I am pretty new to the wedding planning process. Since this is my first wedding, and none of my close family members or friends have married yet (or in most instances I wasn't born yet), I do not have direct experience with wedding plan. I have asked my mom for advice as well as friends of my fiance's, who have been a terrific help. In addition, I have also referred to select wedding magazines and websites such as The Knot, Style Me Pretty and Well Wed for guidance and inspiration. I have found some great ideas, yet many of the things that jump out at me and stand out are odd and unusual...
As I have been planning my wedding for the past couple of months, I have noticed many of today's trends, and I think to myself, "is this really for a wedding?" In my opinion, many of these wedding trends and styles stretch far away from tradition. For example, when I was researching dessert ideas, I come across such details as having a "dessert taco station," "a s'mores station," a candy bar, cookies and milk buffet, and a donut buffet. It almost reminds me of a sweet sixteen.
Recently, I interviewed to be an intern at a bridal magazine (I decided not to intern there and instead chose another magazine). During the interview, they explained that when they sort through the thousands of real wedding submissions, they are more likely to accept weddings that incorporate strange and never-before-seen details ("the more odd the better"). I found that to be completely absurd. What happened to tradition, taste, even elegance and practicality. Yes, I do understand the personalized details: I find it very appealing to include a dish that you shared on a first date or a favorite dessert or drink perhaps, but not something that is so far out of the park. Speaking of which, I remember a wedding that had a pretzel station, a ping pong table and a good humor ice cream truck with a baseball game on the TV during the reception. I could hardly fathom it. Were you at the ESPN zone or a frat party, certainly not a wedding.
With all these dessert and food stations, such as a hamburger display, hot dogs, and Popsicles, you would assume you were at a backyard BBQ or picnic. Even all these dessert stations such as an ice cream sundae station, carnival food, twinkies and caramel apples (which accompany an autumn get together). I also wouldn't recommend fondue. They are fun for kids parties and I remember one at my semi-formal, but I would stay clear away because you wouldn't want someone to accidentally dribble chocolate on your dress or tux. Instead, have chocolate mousse in shot glasses or a selection of mini french or Italian pastries. Choose desserts that are not messy. Even those photo booths are cute and silly, but you don't want so many details that take away from dancing and socialization.
I understand that when planning a wedding, you would want it to be a memorable occasion. But, my goodness, a wedding should be a wedding, not something else where people forget where they are. I definitely agree with adding some extra flare: how about a lounge set up near the beach for an ocean side wedding, or a bon fire (if you don't mind smelling like smoke later and having your dress smell the same), or for a country wedding, how about cute signs to lead guests to the ceremony and cocktail hour, and to even have just a cocktail hour and dessert reception. Remember, simplicity is key. Too many details will overlap one another. Have a few special details to make it a memorable event.