Overdone wedding trends that have jumped the shark

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Overdone wedding trends as seen on @offbeatbride #wedding #trends

For those of us who have worked in the wedding industry for a while, it can be exhausting to watch the annual cycle of writers and industry leaders predicting hot new wedding trends (anyone remember when “global meat” was supposedly a trend?). Inevitably, then the same folks tell us all which wedding trends have jumped the shark.

That thing you like? IT'S OVER.

Almost monthly, someone will dutifully decree that candy buffets are over, photo booths are over, burlap is over, barn weddings are over.

I read one article with a trend expert who explained, “Gone are the days of the white hydrangea,” and I thought — wait, the white hydrangea had days? What the fuck?

On any given day, you can simultaneously find someone bemoaning and celebrating the exact same fucking trend! Boho weddings are sooooo hot this year! No wait: “We'll see the bohemian trend head out before you know it.

Meanwhile, mason jars have supposedly been an overdone wedding trend since 2011, but guess what? NO ONE CARES.

…Or rather, those of us who work in the wedding industry or wedding media care… but only because it's our job to look at hundreds of weddings every year, and we're human and we get bored and want to see more variety to keep our jobs more interesting so that we feel less fatigued. This fatigue has nothing to do with you, the people getting married, and everything to do with industry folks' professional patience and exasperation.

Even as one of these industry people (remember, Offbeat Bride is totally part of the wedding industrial complex), I'm here to tell you: my opinions about the things you like are not your freaking problem!

We are rocking the fuck out of pride today. #lovewins
My kid rocking his shirt at Seattle's Pride parade.

I'm reminded of my six-year-old brony son wearing his My Little Pony tank top to school.

“I bet Antony will tell me My Little Pony is for babies,” he said.

“And what will you say if he does?” I asked.

“I don't know,” he mused.

“Here's what I'd say: ‘Dude, I like what I like!'”

“Yeah, except for Antony might not like being called dude,” my son said.

“That's fair,” I said. “We should always let people pick which labels they use to describe themselves, and Antony might not identify as a dude. So I guess I'd just say, ‘Meh, I like what I like!”

If someone tries to tell you that the wedding thing you like is overdone? Jumped the shark? Soooo last year? Just shrug and say, Meh, I like what I like.

Here's the reality: Each of us is susceptible to trends, both in weddings and otherwise. Almost everyone (outside of those who work in the wedding industry or media) don't even know what the trends are. Yeah, here at Offbeat Bride, we see a lot of steampunk weddings… but nobody else really does. We've seen how long Burning Man weddings have been around, but people going to Burning Man this year don't really care what someone did there a decade ago.

You want to talk about TRULY pervasive trends? Let's look at home decor… but very few people tell you to avoid doing something in your home just because it's been done before. (Well, ok fine: some people do.) If you like something, like it.

If you like something, just like it! If it tickles you, just do it — regardless of who else is doing it. Why should you care if you're “falling” for wedding trends?

You know what I think takes the cake for overdone wedding trends? The trend of complaining about people liking what they like. Shitting on people because they like something? Now THAT has totally jumped the shark.

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Comments on Overdone wedding trends that have jumped the shark

  1. The only problem with trends is when they’re so pervasive it’s impossible to find anything BUT the trend. I didn’t care one way or another about burlap until every single DIY project I could find involved the stuff, and now I’m “over” it out of sheer desperation for choice. But that’s my deal, not anything about anyone who likes the lace/burlap/barn aesthetic.

    • This is a great point — that sometimes a trend that’s just fine starts to feel less fun because it’s so pervasive that it can be hard to find variety.

    • Re burlap, if you like the look but want something different: muslin! Most fabric stores and a lot of art supply stores sell it, because it’s a common material used in things like pattern-making, theatrical set-building, and painting. It also has a similarly rustic look to burlap, without being so “on-trend” (also is cheap, is nice to touch unlike burlap, etc).

    • YES. I swear, we cannot find a non-city venue anywhere in the greater Seattle area (in our budget) that isn’t a freaking barn. I’m over it, even though I see the appeal of the faux-country wedding, primarily because it feels like it’s taken over my venue options.

  2. I was definitely a trend follower when I planned my wedding. Not because I’m a sheeple but because there are so many moving parts in a wedding that at some point you have to block out all the noise and just make a decision on what you like, regardless of trendiness, so you can move on to the next decision. When you’re not in the thick of wedding planning, it’s easy to say things like, “man my wedding will be so original, it won’t have x, y, z” but when you ARE planning a wedding there will be moments when you’re texting your bridesmaid who’s having a crisis as you wander around Michael’s and you need to call the caterer back and the DJ’s first deposit is due in a week and fuck it, this white guestbook with roses on the cover will do the trick, now where was that aisle with the candles on sale?

    • Not because I’m a sheeple but because there are so many moving parts in a wedding that at some point you have to block out all the noise and just make a decision on what you like

      YES GOD THIS! I’m totally reminded of this: http://offbeatwed.com/cookie-cutter-wedding

      Like sometimes your priority is on creative expressions through your wedding, and other times it’s just on getting shit done without losing your mind. Both priorities are equally important!

  3. I know we rode the coffee filter flower trend with our wedding.
    I know looking back at our photos twenty years from now we’ll giggle and say, “Wow, that’s soooo mid-teen’s!”
    But we got married in the mid-teen’s (2014 to be precise).
    Weddings don’t have to look timeless. They’re put together by folks living life to the fullest (in theory), which of course means incorporating elements from their era into their big day (sometimes without even realizing it).
    My father rocked that powder blue suit when he and Mum got married.
    I chortle over how ’70’s it looks. Thank heavens they got married in the ’70’s!

    Weddings are a product of their time. Trends and all 🙂

  4. One problem I’m having with trends is that it becomes an easy way for people to dictate what I should do or try to solve all my problems in a sentence as if it’s not something I’ve actually done a lot of soul searching on. I battled for a long time over whether to elope, whether to find a way to have the big wedding my mom wishes I would have (but my partner doesn’t care about), and really what kind of wedding we wanted in the most zoomed out sense. SO MANY PEOPLE said some variation on, “Oh, don’t stress about it, just find a barn and get some mason jars and maybe rent a photo booth!” Not really understanding that this stuff is the WIC now, not a cheapie “oh just…” kind of thing. Which is fine, if you actually want those things, or you’re answering the question of “what kind of centerpieces should we have?” But I’ve found that a lot of people confuse “aspects of a wedding that I have heard of” (because they’re trends) for “easy wedding solution”. Which can be frustrating when nobody understands what’s so complicated about planning a wedding, when, like, mason jars, obviously!

    • “…try to solve all my problems in a sentence as if it’s not something I’ve actually done a lot of soul searching on…”

      OMG, yes. I know that I have absolutely no real reason to be cranky about this, and I should just appreciate the enthusiasm, but sometimes it really irks me when I’m like “X is what we’re doing for the wedding!” and someone else immediately jumps to “have you thought about Y? What about Z?” without even asking why we picked X. (And of course I’ve thought about Y and Z.) It starts to feel like their default position is assuming I don’t know what I’m doing.

      I’m just going to start prefacing any sentence about wedding planning with “According to my research…” like the little girl on The Magic School Bus. Because I have done all the damn research.

      • I love that!

        And, yes, it’s kind of amazing how when you say “We’re serving chicken & waffles and having a mimosa bar and using board games as our centerpieces which people can play during the reception if they want!”, and then people follow up with “But have you considered mason jars?”


        (Mason jars being a shorthand for “trendy wedding thing someone saw on pinterest”)

  5. Ive been fighting this feeling so hard during our wedding planning. Because people were expecting something kind of silly and goofy from us, the pressure to be “different” felt enormous. But I really liked the feeling of the owners of the barn we’re getting married at; I like the look of burlap and twine and lace. I like mason jars because they remind me of the canning my mom and grandma did growing up, and it’s like having a piece of them there. I like wood and antiques and having pictures from photo booths. So I kept everything I loved and we added instead. We put Simpsons references in our vows and cake and cuff links. We got a barbershop quartet to sing us down the aisle. We got a shitload of chalkboards and a guestbook that was a big ol fucking mason jar. And you know what? I’ve never seen burlap at a wedding in person yet. I haven’t seen milk bottles or a short dress or a groom dress like a Mumford and son. I’ve seen it online, sure, but never in person.

    Thanks, Pinterest, you’ve been awesome, but my wedding lives offline.

  6. Guilty of the wedding version of “nooo, you stole my super secret baby name!” A particular dish & cuisine had became a short lived trend for wedding receptions and I felt like “WHY COULDN’T YOU PEOPLE PICK SOMETHING ELSE TO EAT ? NOW MY DREAM WEDDING MEAL WILL ONE DAY BE THE NEXT OVERLY POPULAR REPLACEMENT FOR SLIDERS & MACARONI BARS.” I’ve since taken the “there can only be one polka dotted unicorn & it will be me” thinking down to a 2 ; )

    • BonnieBunnies, I LOVE THIS. You have perfectly summarized special snowflake syndrome, which I’ve written a ton about over the years (http://offbeatwed.com/tag/special-snowflake) because, well…. I’m not just the president of Special Snowflake Club for Women, I’m also a client!

      Context for folks who don’t know what I’m talking about:

      We’re all special snowflakes here. It’s part of what makes us both so very special, and so very much the same. 😉

  7. Here’s the thing that’s easy to forget about weddings: most of your guests don’t attend a ton of weddings every year or pore over wedding media the way you do when you’re planning or in the industry.

    I film weddings as a big part of my freelance work, so I see it all. I LOVE photo booths. I’ve seen a ton of them, some good some not so great (as a picky photography-oriented person) and “over” or not, we had a damn good photo booth. And you know what? It’s probably one of the top 3 things people say they LOVED at our wedding. My husband’s aunt even said she “never saw that before” and was blown away. Our guests had a great time and we have an awesome keepsake album and I regret NOTHING.

  8. Here’s my issue with wedding “trends.” What I don’t like is when people pick a trendy thing be it the hot theme, flower, food, centerpieces, whatever BECAUSE it’s a trend. If the couple genuinely likes the look of burlap and lace than that’s awesome and more power to them, rock it! But if a couple rejects something they like in favor of something trendy just because it’s a trend … that’s what bothers me and makes me really sad.
    At our wedding one of our friends came up to me and said “Your wedding makes my (very traditional) wedding look boring.” THAT made me feel awful and I asked if she’d liked her wedding. She said she loved it and she chose all the things because she liked them. So I said “You liked pretty rose centerpieces and I liked centerpieces featuring murder weapons and blood. Different strokes!”

    • “You liked pretty rose centerpieces and I liked centerpieces featuring murder weapons and blood. Different strokes!”

      This is a Tim Burton movie waiting to happen : D

  9. I’m on a slightly different side of the country barn trend. I’m having a country field wedding. I’m also a designer by trade. It’s killing me that I’m using items that are constantly herald as being “so overdone”. The thing really gets me is that I earned it. It’s only recently gotten to the point where I’ve now owned that fact. First of it would be too expensive/ inauthentic for me not to. A little history. Me and my fiance are located in NYC , where I’m sure everyone knows is not cheap. Therefore we have looked to what many non native NYC couples do. We looked at where we are from for the wedding site. Him: Chicago (2nd most expensive place) Me: Michigan at a former Dairy Farm. I honestly tried to see if I could do a modern farm concept. However once the costs of new modern accessories started rolling in; all of a sudden the free vintage wheelbarrow looked like the perfect beer cooler station. So here I am crawling through our old barns and cleaning hundreds (really) of vintage 1930 Bells canning jars from my grandma. I mean we have things rental houses charge fortunes for. I have crazy amounts of crap that is just waiting to be grouped together to make pintrest farm wedding gold. So now I’m owning it. I milked those cow for 18 years. I mowed that hay. I picked rocks from those fields. I’ve earned the ability to burlap / 4-H / mason jar the crap out of this thing without judgement. Then I’m going watch my Chicago/ New York guests experience a farm for the first time. It’s fine if people judge me because if I’m truly honest with myself, I’ll probably be judging them on their poor shoe choice for being in a field.

    • My absolute favorite part of this is “I’ll probably be judging them on their poor shoe choice for being in a field.” And the great thing about doing it all yourself in the place you grew up in is that no matter how ‘overdone’ some of those things might be according to wedding dictators, its all your own original shit, so therefore its one of a kind and totally unique. Rock it, and I hope your day is awesome! 🙂

  10. Ironically, this is what I first came to this site to figure out when I had my wedding back in 2011. I didn’t have a lot of wedding experience, and so I wanted to look past the trends in the ridiculously expensive bridal mags that I bought (and holy shit, get those mf’ers from a library, I spent way too much money on them!) to see what the hubster and I really wanted vs what we were “expected to do.” I wanted to dissect weddings down to the brass tacks, figure out what was really important to us, and what part of that process felt true to us vs something that was traditional that we didn’t feel represented who we were as people. I did wind up doing things I saw on this site (I was a plus sized bride in a red dress) but since I felt that I arrived at our decisions authentically, and kept to the stuff that was important to us, it didn’t really bother me to do stuff I’d seen other people do. It gave me a lot of confidence in our wedding to have done so much research into the trends and where they came from. I didn’t have Mason jars; in fact, we used the caterer’s dishes and stuff because we wanted to express ourselves through the food and the location and my dress, and decor was something we both agreed didn’t mean a lot to us. But to others who are into decor and used it as a medium to invite people into the fabric of what makes their partnership unique, that’s awesome, too, and deserves to be considered just as authentic even if it feels like “everyone else” does it, too. It all comes down to what that couple feels represents them best, and dang it, if burlap and daisies speak to your soul, then bring that shit on and hang anyone who judges!

    I’ve said it before, but that’s one of the many reasons I love this site. Offbeat Bride helped my husband and I to shake off any weird sense of obligation to do anything at our wedding that we didn’t want to do. It set us free to do what we felt worked for us. I stil love reading about all of the other couples what chart their own course for their day, and I look forward to seeing my own kids do their own wedding thing when/if the time comes!

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