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I Don’t: Wedding Pros List the Worst Trends They’ve Heard

From be-your-own bartender to axe-throwing, here are some of the wedding trends that are driving the pros crazy.

When a big wedding website listed a top 2020 trend as guests making their own cocktails (suggesting it not only provides Instagrammable moments but cuts the cost of a bartender), social media lit up. Wedding pros scoffed at the specter of over-imbibing guests leading to a lawsuit landslide.

What other awful “trends” have wedding pros been hearing?

“A few years ago, somebody at TSE suggested that there would be no more tented weddings, because climate change was going to be so bad that nobody would get married outside.” – Sasha Souza, Sasha Souza Events, Napa, Calif.

“The worst ‘creative’ idea I saw bragged about as a ‘fun’ element for wedding guests was having an Alexa tell each guest where he/she would be seated. This may be fun for a small dinner party of about 20 guests--if there are no hiccups. But think of how many times you tell Siri something and have to keep re-stating it; everyone's speech patterns can vary, and if there's background noise, forget it. But 300 guests? Also, it only allows one guest at a time to ask Alexa where he/she is seated. That is a traffic backup nightmare that does not allow a smooth transition to dinner and makes guests wait forever--and that's presuming Alexa is working on every single guest inquiry.” – Kerry Lee Doehr, Santa Barbara Wine Country Events, Santa Barbara, Calif.

“‘You don’t need assigned seating since you have such a large guest list.’ Wrong! Don’t expect your guests to do work at your wedding. It will be chaos without assigned seating. Oftentimes, even with open seating, there just aren’t enough seats for all the guests that show up.” – Nahid Farhoud, Nahid’s Global Events, San Diego

“Bridal subscription boxes—as if couples are not being inundated enough with ‘buy this, buy me,’ now it is being boxed. I applaud the genius marketer who came up with this idea; as a business owner I see the brilliance. But as a wedding planner, it’s just one more thing draining a couple’s pockets. It might be fun, but when they come crying to me that they don’t have enough money for the wedding they want, this kind of ‘must have’ makes me cringe.” – Gwen Helbush, CWC, Where to Start, Newark, Calif.

And since we asked ….

Kevin Molesworth of Brass Tacks EventsKevin Molesworth, CSEP, of Brass Tacks Events in Austin, Texas, isn’t holding back on the wedding trends that “drive me insane”:

Wretched raffle: “At a wedding in Texas, the couple did a traditional ‘dollar dance.’ Then, immediately after, in a well-coordinated ‘attack,’ all the bridesmaids and groomsmen began aggressively moving through the guest tables, selling $10 raffle tickets to win a prize. They were goading and cajoling guests to buy multiple tickets with the sales pitch that the couple would use the money on their honeymoon. Some guests bought ten tickets or more. The couple then went to the DJ booth to pull the winning ticket and announce the winner. The prize ... wait for it ... was a 1.75L bottle of Tito's vodka; something you can buy in a liquor store for around $30. This was probably the most tacky and embarrassing thing I've ever seen at a wedding.”

“While I certainly hope that raffles examples do not become a trend at weddings, it appears this next one is gaining momentum: Brides booking vendors, signing contracts and paying deposits before they have even been proposed to and received a ring. Yes, this is actually happening. I've had multiple planners, venue managers, caterers and photographers tell me they have seen this over the past couple years. I understand that many brides dream of, envision and formulate ideas for their weddings when they are in a relationship with a guy who they believe is "the one", but to actually start the planning process, including contractual and financial commitments, before he's even popped the question is crazy!”

Trash the dress: “I thought this was ridiculous the first time I saw it years ago, and I still think it's one of the dumbest things that any bride could ever do. Rather than destroying your gown that you have no plans of ever wearing again, why not donate it to charity that will help repurpose it to the benefit of a bride that has less financial resources? Trashing your gown is wasteful, ostentatious in the worst possible way, and offensive.”

Ready, aim: “Brides and grooms--or entire wedding parties--posing for photos where they are holding guns. Handguns, hunting rifles, AR-15s. These are usually a political statement and, frankly, I don't care what your position is on gun ownership or gun rights. It's your wedding day, not an NRA rally.”

So bored: “Chalkboards. Anywhere for any reason. Get rid of them.”

Doggone: “Including your dogs in your wedding ceremony. Stop it! Something always goes wrong. Like W.C. Fields said, ‘Never work with animals or children.’”

Big ask: “Asking for money for your honeymoon or a down payment on a house on your gift registry. Tacky!”

Big axe: “Having an axe-throwing station at the reception. Drunk people ... throwing axes. Hmmmmm. Bad idea.”

Feel free to send more awful wedding trends our way: [email protected].

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