Kate Moss and Lila Grace as flowergirl at her wedding to Jamie Hince

Opinion

The backlash has begun - saying 'I don't' to outlandish wedding trends

 

There used to be a time when you could wow wedding guests with a chocolate fountain and a swan-shaped ice sculpture. Not anymore. Nowadays, making a statement on your Big Day means scouring Pinterest, Instagram and Etsy for ideas, and passing them off as your own.

Unfortunately, the unique becomes ubiquitous very quickly in the world of weddings, and some of these ideas are now well past their sell-by date. It prompted Country Life magazine to issue a call for restraint in its latest edition, warning couples that weddings have turned into "the nuptial equivalent of an arms race". Here are just a few of the modern norms that we'd like to see swallowed up whole by the trend cycle.

GAUDY HEN PARTIES

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The L-Plate and plastic tiara hen party is thankfully being replaced by more glamorous and subdued affairs. Says Kate Hyde of HenParty.ie: "These days there is a much stronger lean to vintage and fancy. Strippers, kissograms and party buses are now overlooked for fancier options like afternoon tea, gin tea parties and chocolate making." That being said, one night out is plenty - no need to force your friends on a mega-hen á la model Poppy Delevingne, who spread her bachelorette party across a whole weekend at Coachella (and, inevitably, christened it #Popchella).

RITUAL HUMILIATION OF THE GROOM

Last year, a study carried out by researchers from Madrid University and Salford University found that men don't enjoy the "extreme shaming, humiliation and deviance" of stag parties. Perhaps it's time we accept that grooms would prefer not to be tied naked to lampposts, or have their shortcomings exposed in excruciating detail during the best man's speech.

RUSTIC THEMES

The trend for earthy, rustic weddings, according to wedding planner Sharon McMeel, is facing extinction. She singles out the almost inescapable 'Mason jar with baby's breath, burlap and lace' and says she'd prefer to see couples "getting more adventurous with colour". McMeel also recommends that couples are mindful of their venue when deciding on a theme. "Some couples go for a rustic theme in a modern venue, and vice versa. They need to think about what complements their venue, instead of going against it."

WEDFEST

Festival-themed weddings are a good idea in theory. In reality, couples often fail to consider the logistics of their arthritic-kneed grandparents sitting on haystacks, or their friend in the Philip Treacy hat standing up without stooping in a 6-foot-high tipi. Sure, you might be free-spirited and fun-loving, but it's hard for guests to let loose when they're teeth-chatteringly cold.

NARCISSISTIC WEDDINGS

An unfortunate amount of modern brides and grooms think their Big Day renders them some sort of celebrity status. These events aren't so much weddings as they are branding exercises for couples who think of themselves as Monaleen's answer to Kim Kardashian and Kanye West. Often there's a dedicated hashtag (and probably a far-fetched notion that their big day will go viral). But don't go getting any ideas: guests are also warned not to post snaps before the bride and groom (presumably because the local newspaper bought the exclusive rights to the photos). As with any big-ticket event, merchandise is key. Expect a personalised cocktail called the DerekandSandra-tini and monogrammed tableware - just in case you forgot their initials.

ARMIES OF BRIDESMAIDS

Some brides seem to think the number of women lined up next to them at the altar offers some meaningful reflection on who they are as a person. A legion of 10 bridesmaids may read 'social butterfly' to a bride-to-be, but to the rest of us, it looks ridiculous. You don't need to show us how many friends you have - six or more is just excessive.

AFFECTED BOHEMIANISM

A boho wedding makes perfect sense if you're a vegetarian anti-capitalist who brews her own kombucha. Or your name is Kate Moss. If, however, you think Bhagavad Gita is a handbag designer, you have to wonder if it's worth spending ¤20k to pretend to be a barefooted hippy for the day. The same applies to floral head garlands.

WOODEN SIGNS

Hand-painted wooden signs that direct guests to the Enchanted Forest, the Vintage Photo Booth and the Bellini Bar are now as clichéd as choosing Ed Sheeran's 'Thinking Out Loud' for the first dance or 1 Corinthians 13:4 for a reading. Guests just need to find the toilets, the bar, and the smoking area, and they tend to do so without assistance.

TIERED GUEST LISTS

Sure, you can't afford to invite all your Facebook friends to your wedding. We get it. But cordially inviting someone to the 'afters' is simply a gilt-edged way of telling them that you consider them more an associate than a friend. Besides, would you drive two hours across the country for a few cocktail sausages and a paid bar?

EXORBITANT CHARGES

Couples can just about swallow the corkage fee. However, venues charging for cake-cutting and balloon-blowing need a reality check.

MOTHER-IN-LAW UNIFORMS

Who decided that all mothers-in-law should wear a regulation uniform of fitted pastel shift dress with matching three-quarter-length sleeve box jacket?

SINGLES' TABLES

Just say no.