7 Wedding Trends That Need To Stay In 2017

If you’re looking forward to the bright, shiny new year and setting a date for your big day that ends with 2018… these are the trends that you should probably avoid. 2017 was a year of massive, sweeping crazes - from Pinterest to Instagram to Dream Boards and everything in between. There’s a term for these trends in the wedding biz, we call it: saturation. So branch out. Cook up something new, original, and most importantly, something that represents you. And leave these trends in 2017 where they belong, (they can be your ‘something old.)

The Rustic Wood Signs… For Everything

Is one weathered wood sign with your names inscribed cute? No doubt. Are 25 weathered wooden signs that label everything from the ring bearers to the bathrooms to the appetizers acceptable? Absolutely not. The trick here is to not overdo it. If you saw a picture on Pinterest of a flower girl who walks down the aisle with a sign that says “Uncle Mike, here comes your girl” and you yelled out in pure joy, then buy it, immediately. All the touches and pieces of decor you choose should bring you happiness, so express ship that for sure. But then omit the wooden signs that hang from worn, old-looking rope behind yours and your groom’s chairs, atop each table, and pointing towards the open bar. Let “touches” be just that, sparse and eye-catching and adorable, and don’t overdo anything… but definitely don’t overdo nautically-themed shipwrecked wooden signs.


Mr. & Mrs. Shot Glasses, Sunglasses, Beads, Etc.

The list goes on and on. Pretty much anything that falls under the “tchatchke” category or that you have to special order belongs on this list. It comes across too juvenile and will completely undermine not only your specific theme, but the overall sophistication of your big day. Just picture Grace Kelly of Monaco, in her cinched white classic gown in an air of ethereal beauty and grace, shooting Jameson out of a hot pink “Mrs.” shot glass. It doesn’t quite work, does it?

Ridiculously Large Bridal Parties

Unnecessary. Over-the-top. Too much. You don’t want these phrases to come up about any aspect of your wedding - not the flowers or the lighting or the style - and you certainly don’t want it to come up about your bridal party. 2017 was a year of little discrimination when it came to choosing our bridesmaids, we saw parties of 12, 14, 18, become more and more popular. There is a laundry list of reasons this doesn’t work, but we’ll start with the obvious: don’t distract from the bride. If looking for the one in the white dress is like playing a game of Where’s Waldo, you’re not standing out on your special day. There are plenty of ways to include loved ones, close co-workers, cousins, and good friends in your wedding and events leading up to it - be discriminatory when it comes to choosing the few closest friends you want standing next to you. Moving forward into 2018, less is more.

An Expensive, Floor-Length Gown - And A Casual Shoe

Somewhere Anna Wintour is cringing. Along the way over the last 12 months, we got it into our heads that wearing Vans, or Converse, or a good ol’ rustic cowboy boot was a good look for the most important day of your life. This formal-casual juxtaposition trend has seen its day and gotten its 15 minutes of fame. It’s charming - sure, but there are limitless ways to be charming, cute, and still original. If comfort is an issue, wear a small heel or go barefoot or wear a bejeweled sandal, but don’t undercut your elegance with a grunge fashion statement.

Cheesy Photo Booth Props

Photo booths are still a big trend. Oversized glasses and clown noses and toxic-green boas don’t need to be. Eliminate the noise from one of the biggest focal points (and definitely most interactive) part of your special day. When you look back at your treasured photos from your big day, the last thing you’ll want to see is Great-Grandma in a velvet top hat.

Mini Bottles, Cakes, & Mason Jars

Another trend that has arced and is now phasing out. Small things are cute, we get it. When it comes to puppies, or any baby animal for that matter, our philosophy is the smaller the better. But you don’t need that trend to bleed over into your wedding reception for average-sized people. There is really no need for a tiny bottle of Patrón at each table setting. There is nothing you can hold in a pea-sized mason jar. And no one will pay attention to a miniature bride and groom cake… they’ll be busy eating the large one. When it comes to cake, more is definitely more.

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Going Overboard With Frames

What 1999 was to the label-maker, 2017 has been to the frames. Suddenly, table numbers appeared in the center of tables in ornate gold frames - sometimes in place of a centerpiece. The first few times we saw it, it was cute, unexpected, and interesting. The 300th time, it wasn’t as interesting. Sample menus don’t need to be framed if paper menus are at each place setting. Table numbers don’t need to be framed because they will become a focal point, and a numeric digit does not need to command any attention at your reception. Keep the frames reserved for things that deserve it: pictures of you and your partner.


Is A Destination Wedding Right For You?


1. Do you and your fiancé both want to get married in a place that isn’t either of your hometowns?

This is the first question you need to ask. Although a destination wedding affects all your guests, your families, and your wedding parties, the only thing that really matters is that you and your partner agree that what you want is a new, special experience for your wedding.

2. Are you hoping to save some money?

If money is no object, you’re blessed with options. However, like many of us, if the price tag of a “normal” wedding is a little too high, a destination wedding is a great choice. Unlike a traditional wedding where the couple or families foot the bill, a destination wedding is a pay-your-own-way event. So, the only cost you have to worry about is yourselves.

3. Do your parents support your decision to travel for your wedding?

This may not be a deal breaker, but it’s an important question to ask yourselves. Have an honest, open conversation with your parents about why this non-traditional wedding fits your needs better than the day they might have envisioned for you. Hopefully they’re on board, but even if they’re not, are they willing to play ball and travel for your big day?

4. Can the members of your bridal party afford to travel for your wedding?

Asking close friends, even siblings, to be in your bridal party if you have a destination wedding is a tall order. They will feel obligated to be there to support you even if the cost of travel and hotels is rather daunting. Make sure it’s not an excessively luxurious or expensive destination, and let them know that as much as you want them there with you, it is okay if they can’t be there. Giving your bridal party as much time beforehand to save money is preferable, so make sure you tell them your plans as soon as you reach a decision.

5. Is spending an extended period of time with a few guests something you’re looking forward to or dreading?

A destination wedding can sometimes be a game of Russian roulette: what if you invite a lot of people, and people you were hoping would decline instead jump at the opportunity? Make sure, when forming your guest list for your destination wedding, that you take a very conservative approach and invite only the people you really, really want to be there. Because likely, your guests will stay for a few days before and after your wedding day to make the most of their airfare. Do you really want to entertain them and spend lots of time with them? If not, reconsider the structure of your destination wedding.

6. Will you be able to have a small, intimate celebration sometime in the year after your wedding to include older relatives and friends?

While not a necessity, this will help diffuse the blow that you are not having a large wedding reception. For people like grandparents, co-workers, cousins, and many, many more that will want to partake in the celebration of your union, it is a good idea to have a date in mind (anytime within the 12 months following your wedding) for an informal party to give everyone their chance to raise a glass to you.

7. Are you willing to compromise on certain details of the wedding or do you have a very rigid idea in mind?

Think seriously about the details of your wedding. When you reference flowers for your special day, are you automatically envisioning a local florist whose work you adore? When you talk about the cake, do you have a specific baker in mind? Make sure your details aren’t dependent on local luxuries or you might face a lot of disappointment on your special day. If your details are flexible, you’ll be fine.


8. Can you envision handing over control to a wedding planner or coordinator for the small details on the big day or are you wanting to be hands-on?

If you are the type of person who doesn’t need control over the scheduling, timing, and little things – a destination wedding will be a breeze. But if it’s difficult for you to think about handing the reigns to someone you just met (many resorts have their own wedding planner) this might be something to consider. These planners are experts in their field: all they do is execute one flawless wedding after another, but if you know yourself and can’t see yourself relaxing the morning of, then take a hard look at how you are picturing your special day.

9. If some of your closest friends can’t afford to travel or have previous commitments, will you be able to live with that?

This is probably the saddest question you’ll ask yourself if you’re planning on a destination wedding. Many of the memories are made from people from all corners of the world and all parts of your life coming together to celebrate you… will it be the same if they’re not there? If this question makes you pause, refer back to #6, and consider whether a reception later in the year will be enough.

10. Even if you were getting married at home, do you prefer the intimacy of a smaller ceremony as opposed to a large, traditional wedding?

Take destination off the table – are you interested in a smaller wedding? If so, a destination wedding naturally aligns with your needs. It’s an intimate ceremony in a much, much more beautiful place like a beach in Tulum or the farms of the Hill Country, who would say no to a prettier backdrop? But if, in your heart of hearts, you’ve always imagined a big, raucous celebration, then a destination could be too different from what you want.

If you answered YES! to 8 or more of these questions, a destination wedding is definitely right for you! Even if you remain undecided on the decision, take your time - there's no rush! Think long and hard about these options, feel free to make pros and cons lists, or to visualize each outcome and see which feels more real to you… and just remember that no decision will ever feel 100% - there will always be a tiny part of you that is sad about people who can’t attend, or certain compromises, but remember what you’re getting in return is invaluable. So find the decision that makes you feel 99.8% happy, and don’t look back.