Some to come back 5 years from because we love them but have had enough of at this point and then others that just need to stay in the grave. You know them – those elements that you see plastered all over Pinterest that look amazing and therefore encourages every bride alive to request them on her very own special day creating a sense of overwhelm & cringe to wedding planners & event designers everywhere. Last week, I shared a post that predicted the wedding trends for this year and this week, I thought I’d flip the script and go for highlighting those details that make us all *wince* when we hear them in fear of being too “pinteresty”, too overdone, out of style, or just plain wrong.
Disclaimer: If you are a bride or groom and come upon this blog post and are horrified to see some of your near-and-dear wedding elements listed, don’t hate me! This blog post is definitely not meant to bash anyone’s special day (I’m a wedding planner who LIVES for wedding days, trust me!) and meant more for humor and fun among the wedding industry more than anything else! As wedding planners who are immersed in a ton of wedding details throughout the year , we see a LOT of these elements over and over again and it becomes more repetitive than just zoning in on one day. Your day will be beautiful and amazing and we hope that it’s everything you hoped and dreamed of (and that’s all that matters!). Enjoy!
Marsala was Pantone’s Color of the Year – in 2015. 2 years later and it’s still going strong. The deep, velvety romantic characteristics of this tone makes it a favorite for fall and winter weddings and allows for the flexibility of going with a heavier, more dramatic feel or an overall brighter scheme with pops of the color here and there. But after over 2 years of reigning supreme – we’d love a bit of break. Au revoire, sweet friend. May you rest in peace (please).
Wine Cork Everything
I literally laughed out loud when a wedding planner friend mentioned that she is so done with sticking escort cards inside of wine bottle corks. But let’s take a deeper look into this popular element.
They are EVERYWHERE. While quite beautiful and, at a certain time past, unique – the season for these are over. Come back again, soon!
Drunken Sparkler Exits
While the resulting photos from sparkler send-offs are usually breathtaking, the general equation that we like to use in the planning world for this event is:
Alcohol + People + Party + Coordination + Fire = Doom. #prayersaregreatlyappreciated
While I have been graced to make it out alive from all of our beloved sparkler send-offs, I’m pretty positive that my liability insurance policy would decrease dramatically if sparkler exit coordination were removed from my list of offered services. But, alas, it’s here to stay!
When this phenoma arrived on the scene in buckets around 2-3 years ago, we were SO. IN. LOVE. Such a glamorous touch. Such an elegant accent! Until it began to spiral out of control. All 15-20 guest tables dressed in sparkles. Sequined bridesmaids dresses (which aren’t super flattering on all body shapes). Sequined backdrops. Ah! Now, don’t get me wrong. I love sequins! But sequined everything may be a bit too much. Everything in moderation is our motto.
So fun, but so done. I can only imagine what guests think when they’ve attended 5 weddings this year and all of them have the expected photo booth. Photo booths are super fun, don’t get us wrong, but there are SO many alternative options out there that are just as unique and interactive! Video booths are emerging as a super fun alternative (think Boomerang or insta-stories, or even voice-recordings, slo-mo – wedding style!)! Take a walk on the wild side and try something different!
“Pick a Seat, Not a Side”
…or any other overdone, cheesy phrase. There are plenty of ways to tell guests that there are no assigned seats for the ceremony – just think a bit. Is it really necessary that it rhymes? I dare say it’s not. Other classic phrases that need a rest are: “You can find your seat here, but your place is on the dance floor”, “live, laugh, love”, etc. etc. These are all catchy – but I encourage and charge all engaged couples to be intentional with every piece of the day (esp. if there’s money involved) and brainstorm ways to be fun AND original!
Left-Hand Photo / Designer: Mulberry Market Design
Right-Hand Photo / Photographer: Jenny Smith & Co. // Planner: Debby Baltas (No Link Available)
Pachelbel’s “Canon in D”
Can’t get any more traditional than this can it? I mean, it’s a beautiful melody, but I like to call this the “I just don’t have time to pick out a song selection” processional choice. Some stricter venues (i.e. churches, etc.) actually limit the options for processional music, so I totally understand in those situations – but if you’re getting married ANYWHERE else that allows the option to switch it up – please take the leap, friend – unless, of course, it actually means something to you. Then, by all means – go for it!
+ Bouquet Toss. Enough said. No, actually not enough. There are OTHER SONGS to choose from!!!!!! I promiseeeeee! #sendhelp.
Bouquet + Garter Toss
I may lose some people here, but stop doing things just because you’re “supposed” to. Long gone are the times in which you have to do ANYTHING that doesn’t align with your vision or unique personalities. If you find tossing a feaux (or god forbid, the actual and risk cold cocking one of your guests) bouquet to a ton of women and witnessing the ensuing wrestling match old and tired – toss the entire thing! There are few requirements when it comes to what should/should not be done on YOUR wedding day. As I mentioned in the header of this post – it’s YOUR day. Make sure you find sentimental value in every piece of it and not simply including pieces because you feel as though you’re supposed to do it. That concept is dead and gone. Make this 24 hours 100% your own and don’t apologize to anyone about it!
Left-Hand Photo / Photographer: Lyndsi Espinel Photography
Right-Hand Photo / Photographer: A Bryan Photo
Rustic chic. Rustic with modern touches. Rustic glam. What does any combination of this word even mean anymore???? Burlap with gold accents? Barns with chandeliers and loads of flowers? Cowboy/girl boots? Le sigh. This entire word should be retired from weddings for all eternity. I’m sure there are plenty others who would agree.
Well – I think that should just about do it for today (we want to have a few friends left after this is all over!). I hope that you all enjoyed the humor with us and didn’t get the blood pressure up TOO high while reading along! We love weddings – the good, the bad, the “not done enough” and the “STOP. ENOUGH” stuff, too. Can’t wait to hear your thoughts! Did we miss any dead-beaten horses? Share with us in the comments below! XO
I have been loving reading all of the 2017 wedding trend predictions from wedding industry professionals and thought it a great time to jump in and share my very own thoughts on what we can expect to see more of in the coming months for wedding & event aesthetics! In addition to this week’s post, I’m super excited to also share what we would love to see LESS of after seeing it done over….and over…..and over again – NEXT WEEK. It would be great if I never saw ________ at another wedding again – am I right? Alright – here we go!
I am obsessed with the inclusion of all sorts of fun and funky geometric shapes that are popping up in beautiful wedding designs. From large, expansive floral chandeliers, to smaller, decorative bud vases, ring boxes, accent decor and everything else in between – these cost effective accents are really holding their own in the trending category for a while now and they aren’t making any plans to slow down now. Give me more!
While the classic and traditional formal invite, RSVP & information cards are definitely not being put away altogether, couples are now brainstorming ways in which to add a little something extra to their guest’s initial invitation in their season of celebration. Hand-drawn illustrations of popular attractions and important sites in/around their wedding destination are popping up more and more along with other additional pieces of fun information. Also, more and more couples are stepping outside of the stationery suite route altogether and going for more elaborate acrylics or non-paper materials, etched woods, entire gift boxes and other over-the-top alternatives. We are here for it all!
Stationery, Signage, & Paper Goods
Wait, wait, wait! Just because clients are choosing non-traditional routes for their formal invitations doesn’t at all mean that paper goods are a dying breed. Clients LOVE creating more of an experience and sharing pieces of their story throughout their wedding day and there are a TON of ways to do this with meaningful, aesthetic-based, and intentional wedding day stationery. We’re bringing out the customized thank-you notes for each individual place setting, signature drink/bar menu signage with fun messages for their reference, fun escort card/seating chart displays – their personalities are able to come through so much through the many opportunities (but not overwhelming or tacky) to share messages with their guests throughout the evening!
Non-Traditional Dessert Hybrids
Gone are the days of one lone cake table. Couples are beginning to admit that not EVERYONE loves just cake. Some prefer pies, cookies, cotton candy, ice cream with all of the toppings too! And that’s perfectly okay! We are living for the dessert displays that offer guests a wide variety or dessert options. Maybe a less traditional pie buffet with 4-5 different flavors to keep a reign on the budget, or investing a bit more to include a dessert buffet with a range of individual delicacies for everyone’s varying palettes (candies, donuts, mini pies, cotton candy, cookies with milk, etc.).
I am so ecstatic that brides and grooms are coming to realize how much of an impact florals can have on the overall aesthetic and decor of a wedding day. In the past (and still even now – but that tides are beginning to turn), so many couples have tried their best and even invested quite a bit of money into non-floral accents to “save” the budget. In their efforts, they have spent nearly the same amount (sometimes more) on antique containers, trays, photo-printing, frames, fruits & vegetables, bird seed, and so many other items to create a non-floral alternative effect. And where there are complaints that they’re gone after one day – on the flip side, now you have 1000 random items that you will more than likely never use again. You don’t have to spend your entire budget on flowers in order to create a beautiful floral design. Even smaller, traditional florals can transform a space. Sprigs, floral heads, and greenery can also be more cost-effective, yet still pack a punch in the decor department. Talk to experts prior to taking a leap in the other direction. It’s not ALWAYS the most intelligent or cost-effective choice!
Greenery vs. Blooms
Greenery is dominating these days – and I’m enjoying it more than I thought I would! Couples – esp. the ones veering towards the more organic, naturesque vibe and style – are coming to realize that floral design isn’t just limited to peonies, roses, and ranunculus. Floral designers are now breaking the mould with the inclusion of eucalyptus, ferns, ruscus, and monstera greenery into their wedding designs. Understandable because it’s all well……pretty gorgeous. Now, don’t automatically assume that you’ll be saving yourself a ton by going the greenery route – that’s not always necessarily true, but you can definitely brainstorm and discuss your heart’s desires with your floral design and come up with a way that wins – whether that ends up going with more greenery of somewhat of a greenery/bloom hybrid.
Unique Entertainment & Fun
Photobooths are beginning to lean towards the “overdone” department, dear friends. They were fun and unique and all the rave around….3-4 years ago. Now common guest responses when they step on the scene and discover the photobooth is, “Oh. A photobooth.” (i.e. – that I’ve also seen at the last 10 weddings). They were fun then. Now they’re just….expected. I love the couples who are ready for new and refreshing forms of entertainment and ways to capture guest experiences. Videobooths, DIY-guest recorders (e.g. Wedit), unique & custom Photo Backdrops and/or open-air booths, DIY Fujifilm Instax cameras, hiring a caricature artist – are all ways to still be able to capture recaps of your guests while veering away from the overdone closed, vintage photo booth concept.
Aside from photobooths, if you aren’t that caught up on photo-based guest entertainment – other fun and unique ideas to consider are cigar bars for the gentlemen, oyster bars, dancing lessons, dancing favors (shades, maracas, streamers, etc.), etc. There are tons of ideas to consider – take a minute to brainstorm something intentional and thoughtful that your guests will love and remember.
Social Media Connection
2017 is the year of social media connection – including on the wedding scene. Hashtags, Snapchat & geotag filters, online DIY guest photo galleries – all are ways in which to allow your guests to share all of the fun and great experience that they are having on your special day. Some of these will even allow you to store and keep the videos and photos so that you can have the fun of reflecting on them all days later as a fun activity and even store some of them for your own personal memories. Super fun and super easy!
Just make sure to let the guests know through website information, signage and word-of-mouth that these activities should begin AFTER the ceremony so that you can keep the actual ceremony private, respectful, and just for you and your guests – your photographer and other media team members will thank you (and so will you when you receive your photos back and don’t have tons of guests in the photos trying to grab the best shot of you walking down the aisle). Yikes!
Who says that wedding party members can’t include your furbaby besties? If you’d like to include your furry friends in your ceremony in some special way, brainstorm with your venue and wedding team on the best ways to go about doing that. There are most likely rules and restrictions on how exactly this can be done (if at all), but don’t count the possibility out altogether until you take the time to do the homework. Most outdoor venues are okay with it, as long as you have a plan on how the animals are going to participate, who is going to be responsible for taking care of them, who is going to be responsible for taking them off-site before the reception begins, etc. etc. Even with stricter venues who won’t allow any pets on the property, there are also some fun ways to include your furbesties in the experience – classy silhouette table numbers, a photo memorial table with family, friends, and furbaby momentos, etc. If your furbabies are a dear part of your heart and story – there’s always a way to bring them into the guest experience in some sort of way! Best of luck!
Ah – I loved writing this post! I would love to hear your thoughts – which do you agree with? Are there any that you don’t think will be as trendy as predicted? I can’t wait to refer back to this post at the end of the year and see which ones stuck and which not so much. I may actually decide to post a What’s NOT post as well on next week – who knows? What do you think – would you like to see my NOT predictions for this year, as well? Come back next week to see the verdict! XO!
Happy Wednesday, loves!
I am pleased to interrupt my normal sharing of wedding recaps, education, and other industry musings to cheer on one of the most influential women who I have the pleasure of knowing on her BIG day today!
I have followed along Natalie’s journey far longer than she realizes, but our journeys collided a little over 3 years ago when we collaborated on a styled shoot together! Natalie opened her heart and world to me and offered me so much. Guidance, cheering, education, mentoring, time, passion, effort, love……she gave me so much. I honestly would not be here if it weren’t for her along with so many other encouraging and equipping boss ladies who have intersected my path.
Today is HER day – she is launching her brand new website and brand to the world and I cannot WAIT to see what the Lord has in store for her in the coming months and years as she continues to impact the world and turn it upside down in the most beautiful of ways. Here’s to you, Natalie! I love you so much!
If you have a moment, be sure to hop on over to Natalie’s NEW website, Instagram, and other social media platforms and throw lots of love and confetti her way. This woman is a force and a movement and I am SO honored to know her! If you don’t know her – you should! Send her some hugs today and say hello!
XO – Lacoya
Emily & Andrew tied the knot on Thanksgiving weekend and boy – was it a chilly one! However, it was still one of the most crisp, clear, beautiful days of the season! Both have strong Christian values, so they chose to hold their ceremony at their home, First Baptist Church of Alexandria. Emily valued creating a strong sense of community with her guests and making them feel welcome and well taken care of.
After the ceremony, guests headed over to Top of the Town for dinner, dancing and a night of fun! Highlights of the night include being serenaded by Voss Weddings, a combination entree of filet mignon & crab cakes, and a sundae bar! We wrapped all of these beautiful details in a soft palette of cream, purple, & pops of silver. It was such a joy to work with these two! Enjoy these beautiful captures courtesy of Nicki Metcalf Photography!
Ceremony Venue: First Baptist Church of Alexandria // Reception Venue: Top of the Town
Coordination, Styling & Design: Hello Love Events // Photographer: Nicki Metcalf Photography //
Florals: Sweetwood Floral Designs // Catering & Bakery: Windows Catering // DJ & MC: Voss Weddings
Photobooth: Handlebar Photo Booth // Live Event Artist: Brittany Sims Art
Note: This guide comes with the assumption that you already have an established guest count maximum based on an average per person price that you’re willing to spend combined with your overall wedding budget maximum. This number is also based on the venue capacity and whether you both desire a large wedding (although I’d never recommend filling a venue to capacity – it’s always nice to leave some breathing room!) or something more intimate. Whatever the case, determine that number prior to utilizing the tips below!
Start with a good template.
Use whatever you’re comfortable using here, but keep in mind that this list will need to be utilized for several different reasons and it would be best to use something that will allow you to organize guest details and view them at-a-glance whenever necessary (save-the-date/invitation mailing, meal preferences, RSVP management, etc.). There are a ton of ways in which you can organize this information – the key is to make sure it is easy to navigate and grab information for those on your planning team that will need to utilize it throughout the planning process (planner, caterer, stationery designer, calligrapher, etc.).
Note: Some stationery designers/calligraphers require you to use a specific format for guest addressing, etc. so be sure to check with them before or during this process so that you aren’t creating a double load for yourself!
Consider Financially-Contributing Parties
If other parties are contributing to the budget for your special day, show good etiquette by allowing them to contribute to the guest list, as well! Of course, this isn’t a requirement – especially if they have already mentioned that this is unnecessary and they’d much rather you be surrounded by people you know and love and vice versa – but most times, they appreciate the gesture and take you up on being able to invite some of their dearest friends to such a proud occasion.
Designate a set number of guests that they are allowed to invite based on your budgetary restrictions, etc. and let them know this in advance so that they have time to corral addresses, etc. for invitation purposes. This number should be rigid and have no room for scope creep, unless you just know them so well you’d much rather tell them a lower number knowing that they will add on more. Either way, there should be a final number in your head for your planning purposes. Regardless, at the end of the day, you will need to keep a hold on the final amount of guests invited. This will help you keep your budget comfortable and realistic.
Create a ‘Raw’ List
Who exactly should be added to this first round? Anyone you would like to have present! To ensure no one is missed, be sure to reference the below categories (on each side)
Immediate family members that you see and/or speak to on a regular basis – who you would be mortified if you somehow forgot to send them an invitation. Even if they happen to live further away and you aren’t able to see or speak them as often as you would like, you still would hate to not have them present on your wedding day.
Same as above, just not technically your blood relatives. You still would be remiss if they did not receive an invitation. You can’t get married without them!
Family members that are further removed and with whom you do not speak to on a regular basis, but you are still family, speak occasionally, and you think they deserve an invitation. However, if they RSVP’d no – the world would not end.
Extended Friends & Co-Workers
I combined these two categories because co-workers are technically friends if they’re receiving an invitation, hopefully. These are people in your life that you speak to on a regular basis whether at church, an organization or at work. Although you do speak regularly and get along well, it has most likely never expanded outside of the environment in which you are normally together. They have your phone number, but they never call unless there’s a reason. They know you’re getting married and you’d like to consider them for receiving an invitation – if for nothing but to be polite. If they decline, you will more than likely be overjoyed at saving the cost.
Financial Contributor Guests
These are simply the guests that you have allowed to be added by those who are financially contributing to your budget.
Trim it Down
Once you have completed the RAW list, depending on the ratio between the amount of people you know vs. your guest count max – you may be WAY over. That’s okay! It’s just going to take a bit of trimming down. From this point, go through your raw list and slowly, but surely, brainstorm over which guests you will be removing to your guest list in order to reach your goal amount. This process may go on for days or weeks so be sure to start this process EARLY! It may include discussions about relationship status’, updates, discussions with other family members, etc. This process is absolutely okay and recommended to ensure that the final list is one that you both are comfortable and confident with. Ultimately – these guests are going to be the ones who will share in one of the most important days of your lives. Take your time!
Note: There may come a point at which you are willing to increase your budget a bit before trimming some guests off of your list.
Finalize & Complete
Now that you both are confident with the list in front of you, it’s time to start the real fun! Reach out to your guests to begin obtaining mailing addresses, etc. Over time as you begin to receive unofficial declines (from simple word-of-mouth), you can always add guests to the list that will tip you over the max count, but only because you know that some of your guests will simply be receiving an invitation out of politeness but that you know won’t actually attend.
Congrats on creating the first official draft of your guest list! Here’s to a lower amount of stress moving forward. Happy Planning!