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9 Boring, Generic Event Decor Items You Should Avoid

April 03, 2018

If you want a unique special event that guests remember and remark on for its individuality and creativity, choose event decor that avoids decorating cliches.

What's boring events decor? 
If you've seen it before, there's a high chance your guests have seen it before so there's nothing new for them to get excited by. And unfortunately, it can often be the items offered within the choices of a standard venue decor package.

If it bores your guests, at best they won't Instagram it and media won't cover it. At worst, it'll reflect badly on the organisers. 

Here are some of the worst generic decor offenders!

1. Ostrich feathered centrepieces

Ubiquitous at Great Gatsby Art Deco-theme events (dating back to a time when ostrich feathers were seen as wild and exotic), usually in white, black or hot pink, ostrich feathers have become a very tired decor alternative to floral centrepieces. These are often hired out by venues as part of their "standard decor package".  Avoid.

2. Crystal "ball" centrepieces

Imagine a crystal ball shape made out of ball-shaped crystals, stuck on a very tall (usually silver) stem, with an internal base for a tea light candle.  These typically are rented as part of a venue package.

The glittering crystal balls are meant to look expensive and diamond-like but their widespread usage has had the opposite effect.

3. Large martini glass centrepieces
These are the shape of a martini glass but much, much larger. They usually contain an LED light hidden within a large number of faux crystals to create a glowing effect. Often provided by venues as part of a regular decor package.

4. Eiffel Tower centrepieces
I'm not talking about Eiffel Tower vases which are very tall, slender glass vases in the shape of the iconic landmark, but actual scale models. If you're having a Paris-themed event, these are the all-too-obvious choice. Made of metal, the Eiffel Tower centrepiece stands tall on your table above your guests. They have the odd effect of making your table look "barren" yet if you add flowers, you won't see the tower detail.   

5. Manzanita trees with hanging crystals
Another too-common centrepiece option is the manzanita tree. They can look truly lovely painted white and strung simply with fairy lights for a winter event (especially on a huge scale lining an aisle), or decorated with birds and flowers to evoke nature in spring. However, too many of them are drowned in package strands of hanging crystals which manages to confuse, and over-expose the look.

6. White chair covers and sashes

Most people order white chair covers to disguise ugly chairs. When guests see a venue with a sea of white chair covers and coloured sashes, it looks surprisingly overwhelming for the space. What can make your event look somewhat more original is ordering sash colours in ombre shades to go from dark to light, or different colour chair covers per table. Or just spend a bit more to hire chairs that are meant to be seen, not disguised.

7. Shepherd's hooks

A favourite of brides, these typically line the aisle at the end of each row of chairs, each hung with flower balls or mini lanterns. But this is one expense you can cut.

Guests are often concerned they'll knock over or damage the decor (which stands at mid-thigh height). As well, guests worry that if they brush past the flowers they'll ruin their (or the bridal party's) wedding attire, or if it's a lantern, that they'll dislodge the candle and cause a fire or dripping wax!

8. Mini blackboard guest placecard holders

These have become so popular for rustic event that they have now become ho-hum as a placecard decor option. They are usually available with "stakes" to go in a pot-plant, on an easel or with a hanging wire. They are so small that you can't do much with them, and so generic that they'll be left behind.

9. White metal birdcages

White metal birdcages were once a unique decoration for vintage events but after being plastered all over Pinterest boards, they have become a lazy decor option, usually filled with tea lights or roses and babies breath.

Unfortunately they are so mass-market they have become unoriginal and even cheap-looking. The more interesting ones are original, one-off pieces made of wood, or cages painted in unusual colours or displayed in more eye-catching ways.

Enjoyed this? If you plan to sell your decor after the event on eBay, see why you should have rented it.

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