The Worst Wedding Trends That Really, Really Need To Stop

Weddings are supposed to have personal meaning for the couple. But once wedding photos appeared on social media, terrible trends arose. Now, newlyweds feel pressured to make their wedding look perfect and over-the-top to compete with professional influencers.

Just because these trends are popular doesn’t mean they’re a good idea. Twenty years from now, married couples will peruse wedding photos filled with choreographed dances, chalkboard signs, and cowboy boots, and they’ll think, “Why did I do that?” Save yourself from this grief. Avoid these awful wedding trends at all costs.

Signs That Imply The Groom Doesn’t Want To Get Married

Wooden sign that says,

Are you really going to host a wedding for all your friends and family while placing relationship red flags everywhere? Decorations that say “Too late to run, here she comes!” are outdated. Most people who see those signs will think that the relationship is unhealthy. That’s the last thing you want to promote on your wedding day.

It’s the twenty-first century. Nobody’s locked into a marriage in return for a goat. You’d hope that the groom is marrying his bride because, you know, he loves her.

Chalkboard Signs With Ten Different Fonts

Chalkboard designed for a couple's wedding
Pinterest/To Work With My Hands | Repurpose + Upcycle + Craft

Apparently, it’s illegal for weddings to occur without a sign of five separate fonts. These signs are hard to read, to say the least. They remind people of bars, boutiques, and coffee shops. Unless you’re going for that aesthetic, they’re not a great addition to the wedding.

Chalkboards tend to be easily smudged and faded throughout the day. To prevent them from looking messy, you’ll have to write on the board with markers, which makes it unusable in the future.

Intricate Bridesmaid Proposal Boxes

Bridesmaid proposal box with gifts for the bridesmaid
Pinterest/Money Can Buy Lipstick | Beauty and Lifestyle Blog

There’s a recent trend on Pinterest about “bridesmaid proposal boxes.” Brides are pushed to give their bridesmaids boxes full of expensive makeup, perfume, mugs, candles, and exquisite packaging, just to ask them to help her. Doesn’t the bride have enough to pay for?

If they’re truly your friends, they’ll agree to be your bridesmaids without the bribery. A nice card delivers the message just fine, and most women will jump at the opportunity to be a part of their friend’s big day.

Animals At The Wedding

Group wedding for pet dogs gets held at Purple Jade Villa in Beijing, China
VCG/Visual China Group via Getty Images
Pinterest/wedding chicks

If you want an animal at your wedding, they have to be really well-trained. Many dogs, especially puppies, are unpredictable. Not to mention using other pets, like cats or rabbits or reptiles. Do you really want to risk your animal running off into the woods?

If you bring your dog to the wedding, someone has to be in charge of them. Keeping a well-trained dog on a leash is fine. Letting pets loose is asking for a disaster.

Succulents. Succulents Everywhere

Succulent oasis for Bec and Lauren's wedding

Please spare us from all the succulents. They’re in bouquets, on centerpieces, on the arch (somehow). We get it: You’re a hipster. There are plenty of other gorgeous plants that might look better with your venue than succulents.

Even worse are desserts that are shaped like succulents or topped with them. Yeah, these are a thing. Please end our suffering. That’s way too many succulents that don’t need to be there.

Selective Color Photography

Bride with her bridesmaids with selective color photography

Selective color–where black-and-white photos receive one spot of color–have never looked good. Since they were popular in the ’90s when photo editing wasn’t as great, they appear outdated now.

Most wedding photos are in color. Having one or two suddenly transform into selective color is jarring. Don’t even think about placing this photography in a slideshow; that’s the biggest ’90s throwback you do. Keep your pictures colored or black-and-white.

Confusing, “In-Theme” Dress Codes

Dream theme stage wedding photo

Most people know how to dress if you tell them “cocktail” or “formal.” But couples are now trying to be unique with their dress codes, which only confuses guests. What, exactly, is “beachwear casual?” We bet anything that if a guest showed up in a bikini, the bride would be pissed.

“Casual island,” “rural formal,” “flaming semi-formal”–nobody knows what these terms mean except for the bride and groom. When you’re busy planning a wedding, do you want 100 people calling you asking what they should wear?

Large Choreographed Dances

Bridesmaids and groomsmen perform choreographed dance at a wedding

Weddings are stressful to plan for the newlyweds, bridal parties, and guests. Why would you want to make everything harder by arranging a dance for your entire venue? Mass dances come off as try-hard, especially at an event where the bride and groom are already at the center of attention.

There is one exception to this rule, and that is when the groom and his groomsmen surprise the bride with a dance. Those viral videos never get old.

Recreating Social Media Photos

Newlywed couple pose in a golden field
Pinterest/Style Me Pretty
Pinterest/Style Me Pretty

Yes, Pinterest is a great place for wedding photos. And, sure, Instagram photos may inspire newlywed couples. But the problem with recreating social media poses is that it’s not authentic. These photos don’t represent the bride and groom; they only illustrate the trend at the time.

Dawn Browne, a wedding photographer at Degrees North Images, said that “this trend adds stress to an already tightly scheduled day.” Don’t be “that person” who demands to position everyone in a certain way to mimic Pinterest.

City Girls Wearing Bridal Cowboy Boots

Bride lifting up her wearing dress to reveal cowgirl boots
Pinterest/Junebug Weddings
Pinterest/Junebug Weddings

Yes, the “rustic” and “farmhouse” aesthetics are trending right now. The problem with city girls diving into this theme is that it comes across as try-hard. And following any hipster trend like this earns you the label “basic.”

Most of these brides have never worn cowgirl boots before, so it’s weird to see them wearing some now. And sure, they’ve presumably never worn wedding dresses before, either. But at least the dress matches their style. Unless you’re a ranch owner in Texas, give it up.


Sign of wedding listing the couple's wedding hashtag
Pinterest/The Favor Stylist | Personalized Gifts + Party Inspiration
Pinterest/Kay Woww

As a general idea, wedding hashtags make sense. Couples can browse their invitees’ social media feeds and reminisce on the day. But newlyweds can make this tacky in two ways. One is creating a pun out of the groom’s last name. It’s cute for like, one time. After 20 hashtags, it quickly grows old.

The other, even worse problem is creating #longandcomplicatedhashtags. That’s just a hassle for your friends and family. Plus, you’ll look like a Facebook aunt who just discovered #howhashtagsareused.

The Garter Toss

Justin Moore Aoki throws Alice Aoki's garter at their dessert reception at the Catalina Island Museum
Vivien Killilea/WireImage
Vivien Killilea/WireImage

The “garter toss” is the groom’s version of throwing the bridal bouquet. Instead of tossing his boutonniere, the groom removes the bride’s garter with his teeth and then throws it at the bachelors. In tamer cases, the groom throws a “manly” item, like a football.

Feel uncomfortable yet? Yeah, it’s icky to say the least. The implication is that the groom needs to assert his “ownership” over the bride. Nobody needs that PDA, even from the newlyweds.

Customized Sunglasses

Customized wedding sunglasses for the groom, groomsmen, brides, and bridesmaids
Pinterest/Jessie Edwards
Pinterest/Jessie Edwards

Giving sunglasses to your guests is a great idea, especially if you’re hosting an outdoor wedding. The problem arises with custom sunglasses. Who wants to wear “Jake and Mykaylah” over their eyes after the ceremony?

Even during the ceremony, these sunglasses look awkward. Every time you look at your guest, you’ll see your own names. That’s just awkward. You can save money and prevent cringing if you offer regular sunglasses for your guests.

Livestreaming The Ceremony

A bride takes a selfie photo before celebrating a multiple wedding ceremony in Lisbon

Livestreaming weddings have become popular with influencers on all social media platforms. Even non-influencer couples are beginning to livestream weddings. The biggest problem here, besides wasting valuable time, is that viewers were likely not invited.

What do you think a wedding videographer is for? To make the wedding video. The bride and groom should waste no time worrying about a live stream. Otherwise, it makes the wedding look staged or desperate for views.

Anything That Implies Being “Tied Down”

Bachelor party invitation before groom is

If you view your marriage as being “locked down,” WHY ARE YOU GETTING MARRIED? Nowadays, most weddings aren’t arranged. They’re voluntary. Even as a joke, these statements imply that the relationship isn’t healthy.

Honestly, any decoration signifying misogyny–toppers of the groom running, handcuff rings, speeches about the couple being “tied down”–should just stop. It’s not funny. The couple doesn’t get thrown in prison after tying the knot.

Live Goldfish Centerpieces

Live goldfish in a bowl as a wedding centerpiece copy
Pinterest/Smart Virtual Assistant for You
Pinterest/Smart Virtual Assistant for You

Besides looking tacky, there are a lot of problems with including live fish. One is that, once people start drinking, that fishbowl may not stay on the table. Another problem is that these bowls are usually too small for the fish, which stresses out the animal.

If you decide to include live fish at your wedding, plan where they will live after the ceremony. Offer them as wedding gifts–a lot of people steal the centerpieces anyway.

Wearing Converse With The Wedding Dress

Benfield Photography of married couple sitting on a red truck
Pinterest/Benfield Photography -wedding photography
Pinterest/Benfield Photography -wedding photography

Look, we get it. As the bride, you probably want to be comfortable on your big day, and most dresses will cover your shoes anyway. Converse were cute the first ten times we saw it. But it quickly became a staple for “quirky” couples, and now it’s a cringe factor.

If the bride wears any other shoe–Adidas, Nikes, sandals–it wouldn’t be nearly as bad. Unfortunately, Converse have built up a reputation for being the number one basic wedding shoe.

Barn Venues

A collaboration between wedding related businesses and models shoot photos in a barn
John Ewing/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images
John Ewing/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images

If you live in a rural area, a barn could be a great place to get married. It’s roomy, pretty, and appropriate for your marriage and family. Unfortunately, the barn setting has assimilated into hipster culture. If you don’t live in the country, marrying in a barn is… well, tacky.

A lot of suburban areas offer “modern barns.” These are arguably even worse. They’re the barn trend while trying NOT to be the barn trend. And, no, it doesn’t hide the fact that you married on a makeshift farm.

Chocolate Fountains

Chocolate fountain at a wedding party.
Lawrence K. Ho/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images
Lawrence K. Ho/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Although chocolate fountains are a popular choice for parties, they’re impractical at weddings. These fountains get messy very quickly. If any child guests (or drunk adults) mess with the fountain, that white dress is in serious danger.

And while chocolate fountains may look cool, they aren’t as elegant or special as decorated cupcakes or other sweets. You’re going to spend money on desserts anyway; make sure they’re something that won’t transform the wedding into a chocolate fest.

Blush Pink And Rose Gold

Pink sparkly and gold wedding cake at a blush and rose gold reception
Pinterest/Allie Upalawanna
Pinterest/Allie Upalawanna

How many weddings have you seen where the bridesmaids wear light pink dresses? Be honest. Wedding planners who hear “blush, rose gold, and white” spiritually cave in like an accordion. It’s so overdone.

Yes, light pink is gorgeous. But you want your wedding to be memorable, right? So include an interesting twist. If you want to incorporate rosy pinks, add in some other colors. Blues, greens, and yellows all work well with blush and rose gold.