Cultural appropriation isn’t cute, folks.

It’s that special time of year. Wedding invitations are starting to appear in your mailbox and you’re starting to think of excuses to RSVP “with regrets.” Possibly one of the reasons all weddings feel the same is because everyone follows the same five wedding trends over and over and over again…

We interviewed Emily Gaikowski, owner of Hearthrob Weddings and Events about all the trends that #needtostop (can we throw in #weddinghashtags while we’re at it?) who specializes in non-traditional, luxe weddings for creative and adventurous couples and offers her advice on what to avoid for your special day.

SGM: What are some of the most common wedding trends that are overdone?

Gaikowski: “Everyone knows anything ‘rustic’ is especially played out and over, so I won’t focus too much on that!

The overuse of everything ‘Mr. and Mrs’ (place-cards, signage, cake toppers) is also tired and not especially inclusive of all types of relationships and couples.”

‘Theme’ weddings can be a real bummer. A couple can spend a ton of money just so their big day can look like an eight year old’s birthday party. Board games, tons of Disney references and paraphernalia, and video games don’t pair very well with a beautiful venue, and there are so many other ways to showcase your individuality, hobbies, and interests. I love silly stuff and Disneyland, but I think there are more special ways to maximize couple’s hard earned wedding budget.”

Are there any unusual traditions, decorations, themes, or wardrobe decisions that you consider ‘too trendy’?


Gaikowski: “I think anything that can be perceived as cultural appropriation (Frida Kahlo-themed weddings and showers, misuse of teepees and mandalas, Dia de los Muertos cake toppers and decorations) probably isn’t the best route to go.

The look and feel of your wedding design should be thoughtful and representative of who you are, and ripping off other cultures is never a great look.

Before choosing decor items, pause to think about if you’re misusing something that might be very sacred and significant to a group of people you don’t identify or share culture with. I’m all about mindful decor decisions.”

How can couples avoid the pitfalls of “trendy” wedding decisions?

Gaikowski: “I think inevitably there will be some trends at every wedding, but I really encourage couples to think past Pinterest and focus on the music, art, literature and hobbies that are important to their partnership.

I’m sure I’ll have some trendy elements at my own wedding someday because I love this stuff so freaking much, but moderation is key, as is cohesiveness! I have an in-house designer/florist and it has made all the difference in the world when it comes to weddings looking put together and ‘complete.’

Going into planning blind could result in the dreaded ‘Pinterest explosion’ of 10 different trends and nothing really making sense. If you must incorporate a certain trend, make sure a professional designer, planner, and florist helps you execute your vision so you and your guests aren’t confused by an erratic wedding.

Any other advice for our brides and grooms-to-be this season?

Gaikowski: “I can’t emphasize enough how important it is that couples stick to their original wedding vision throughout their planning process, and try to avoid hiring friends instead of professionals whenever possible. We’ve seen weddings ruined because someone insisted on using a friend or family member for catering, photos, music. DIY may look like an easy way to save money, but unless you’re already a professional crafter/baker/florist, you will very likely end up spending just as much if not more by not hiring professionals.

We say this not because we have to up-sell you on certain vendors, but because it is absolutely the best use of your money and will save you a ton of sanity. A wedding is one day that can feel long because we’re there for 15 or 16 hours, but for the couple it feels like it lasts about 4 minutes, so don’t leave anything up to chance, you don’t get a redo.”

So as we enter into the 2018 wedding season, let’s all pledge to class things up a bit and make an effort to be original. Check out Emily’s website here and her designer’s website here. Both are excellent sources of inspiration and will encourage anyone to put down the floral crowns.




I have to be successful because I do too much drunk online shopping.



Shameless‘ Frank Gallagher was my father… but we never let him sleep outside in the snow.

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