frazzled bride freaking out

The 7 Worst Wedding Trends of All Time

Couples these days are looking to host memorable weddings. You’ll hear your clients pitch many ideas, some that work, and some that, well, fall flat—very flat. There’s a fine balance between a beautiful wedding with some fun quirks, and a wedding that is remembered for all the wrong reasons.

Sometimes it’s hard to spot a trend until it blows up and everyone is doing it. While some trends endure, like lace and flowers, others shrivel away and leave couples and planners scratching their heads.

Want a refresher on what to avoid? Here’s a roundup of the 7 worst wedding trends of all time (so far).

1. Bad photoshopping

While these photoshopped portraits might garner more than a few chuckles on social media, these images probably won’t age well. From simple face swapping to a complex collage of sunsets and doves, you can’t deny the shareability of these images—but for all the wrong reasons. In an era of memes and instant shares, an inside joke among your clients’ loved ones may be taken seriously as it spreads throughout the net.

Finding a great photographer within your clients’ budget is often a difficult task, but a good photographer is worth the extra cash.

What exactly is this bizarre photoshop job supposed to represent, anyway?

Make sure your photographer knows their photo editing. That includes knowing to edit with a light hand! Simple enhancements and fix-ups are part of the job, but when it comes to extreme edits, unique and funny can quickly devolve into gimmicky.

2. Overplayed wedding songs

Songs like Green Day’s “Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)” appear often on wedding DJs’ set lists. There’s nothing wrong with choosing a tried-and-true song, but there are a billion songs out there. Why go with one that’s also played at high school graduations and somber funerals?

To avoid falling into the cheesy playlist trap, create a “Do Not Play” list. Carefully consider the themes and interests of your clients and collaborate with them to create a playlist that will work for them. Then, ask what songs they absolutely do not want to hear, and pass it on to the DJ. Nothing is worse than your DJ honoring a dozen requests to play different renditions of “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” in the span of six hours.

For more playlist tips, check out this guest post on creating the perfect wedding playlist.

3. Trashing the dress

Recent years have seen an explosion of “Trash the Dress” wedding photos. Brides don their weddings gowns and head out into the wild to glamorously destroy their dresses. Why? Well, you can blame high-fashion photo spreads for the idea. From rolling around in paint in the woods to setting a dress on fire at the beach, the goal is to have fun. Brides like being able to wear their expensive gowns again instead of burying them in the depths of their closets.

For many, a trashed dress is a wasted dress

Although finding a second life for their extravagant dresses is appealing, sometimes these photoshoots take a turn for the worse. Make sure to inform your client about safety and potential hazards if they wish to do this. Especially since wedding dresses are heavy when wet, it may be best to avoid waterside shoots altogether.

Some people love this trend while others hate it. Those who are hesitant about this trend call it wasteful. A good option for brides who want to see their dresses go to a good home can either sell it or donate it to a charity and make another bride feel beautiful on her big day.

4. Over-the-top cakes

You can’t deny that personalized wedding cakes are fun. But as for the American bride that requested her wedding cake to be a life-size replica of herself, well, that’s just a little over the top.

While not all couples are ready and willing to go that far, cakes are becoming bigger and fancier every year. Some cakes have even become more fondant than cake as couples favor customization over taste.

With all sorts of options these days, why limit the decorating to just simple icing? Help your clients find a variety of unique cakes that won’t sacrifice edibility for style. From painted cakes to naked cakes, sometimes keeping it simple can make a bigger statement.

A beautiful cake adds a lot to a wedding... but some just go a little overboard!

5. The “trapped” groom

From ball-and-chain cake toppers to cheeky signs suggesting marriage as a prison for the groom, these “jokes” are downright tacky. Weddings are a celebration of two people’s relationship, so keep the humor light. Implying that the marriage will be a prison to the groom is just in poor taste.

If the groom really feels "trapped," why is he getting married in the first place?

It might provide a giggle or two at the reception, but, honestly, it’s been overdone. In fact, a quick search on Google will pull up dozens of pre-made signs and décor items based on this theme. With weddings becoming so personalized, a mass-made sign seems out of place.

6. Novelty wedding themes

There’s nothing wrong with adding a little personality to a wedding. After all, this special event should reflect both sides of the happy couple. What seems like fun themes now may not stand the test of time, though. Those Frozen-themed cakes, leg-lamp party favors, and lightsaber centerpieces have a time and place, but a wedding is not it. Be creative, but don’t fall into the trap of allowing a fleeting fad to define a milestone event.

While not technically a wedding theme, the “Shabby Chic” wedding has taken the world by storm. Combining mason jars and burlap with lace and flowers may have once been original and trendy, but not anymore. With the advent of Pinterest, many brides are looking online for wedding theme and décor ideas. Inspiration is one thing, but why would your clients want to repeat a formula that their best friends have already done?

Do you really want your wedding photos to look like they came from Medieval Times?

Pin boards are overflowing with tired images of the same shabby chic style of late 2014, so let’s just put it to rest once and for all.

7. Long and uncomfortable speeches

We’ve all been to a wedding where dear Uncle Clark’s well-meaning toast turns into a 20 minute spiel on the sanctity of marriage. Toasts don’t have to be long to be meaningful. The golden rule of wedding toasts is quality over quantity.

Help your clients out by suggesting they give some clear outlines to the best man, maid of honor, and whoever else the bride and groom single out to speak. A good guideline will help avoid potentially awkward situations and give a little push to those who have no idea what to say.

Now, this isn’t the same as telling these toasters what to write. At the end of the day, the speeches should reflect the relationship between those giving the toasts and those receiving it. Some funny stories and embarrassing moments often find a way to sneak in, but your clients should remind their speakers not to sink into raunchy anecdotes. Keeping things light and simple will go a long way.

So now you know about all the worst trends—but what about spotting new ones? Check out our previous post on Staying on Top of Event Planning Trends to keep you in the loop.

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