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The Best and Worst Entertaining Trends of 2017 Slideshow

If we never have to look at a bright blue wedding cake again, we’ll be happy
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The Best and Worst Entertaining Trends of 2017

The Best and Worst Entertaining Trends of 2017
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We’re completely and totally in love with most of the entertaining trends of 2017. Despite all of the turmoil in the world — or perhaps because of it, as a means of escape — entertaining and events in 2017 have been on point. Call us people of our own time, but all year we have been here for brushed metallic touches, doughnut walls, farm-to-table catering menus, and slushie cocktails.

But for every dessert waffle we encounter and rave over, there’s a party detail that’s just a little off-putting or overdone. Haven’t we seen enough avocado toast? Does every single party color palette have to include millennial pink? Do you really need to send off every guest with a succulent, which they will then be responsible for? We think not.

So we combed through our predicted party trends for the year to see what came true and then took note of the events around us to come out with the best and worst entertaining trends of 2017.

Best: Breakfast for Dessert

 Best: Breakfast for Dessert
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The line between sweet breakfast dishes and dessert became increasingly blurred in 2017, as red velvet waffles, French toast/ice cream hybrids, and doughnuts became regulars on the dessert table. Breakfast foods are comforting and happy, and we’re totally here for it.

Worst: Colorful Wedding Cakes

Worst: Colorful Wedding Cakes
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Call us traditionalists, but black cakes, bright green cakes, and stained glass cakes may be beautiful, but they’re not for a wedding. A splash of color can be OK, as seen in these jaw-dropping wedding cakes, but there’s no reason to be over the top.

Best: Brushed Metallics

Best: Brushed Metallics
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Everything from prosecco to Starbucks embraced rose gold this year, but that isn’t the only brushed metallic note that was in vogue in 2017. Touches of bronze and gold helped to make everything from desserts to table settings simply elegant yet rustic.

Worst: Millennial Pink

Worst: Millennial Pink
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Millennial pink milk, millennial pink ice cream, millennial pink chocolate. Heck, even our wine was millennial pink this year. We love this simple, pretty shade of rose, but it’s a little overdone, don’t ya think?

Best: Customizable Food Stations

Best: Customizable Food Stations
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Why yes, we will make our own taco at your wedding! The customizable food station went way beyond the ice cream sundae bar this year. No event is complete without having guests put together their own s’more, ice cream soda, or guacamole. Make it custom and Instagram it, baby!

Worst: Avocado Overload

Worst: Avocado Overload
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Listen, we love avocado toast. But hasn’t this creamy, healthy fat-filled fruit gone a little too far? 2017 was the year of the avocado burger, avocado pizza, and avocado latte. With avocado prices skyrocketing, let’s just stick to guacamole in 2018.

Best: Doughnut Walls

Best: Doughnut Walls
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Doughnuts were everywhere in 2017; they were one of the hottest party foods. How were they displayed? On walls. It sounds ridiculous, and it sort of is, but it’s so fun to snap an Instagram in front of, so we don’t mind it.

Worst: Food as Décor

Worst: Food as Décor
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Honestly, this “worst” item almost made our best list, but sometimes food as décor goes too far. While we’re here for edible centerpieces, cakes at the front and center of a dessert table, and the aforementioned doughnut wall, sometimes food as décor goes too far. In 2017, we personally saw shelves filled with cheeseburgers and churros hanging from the ceiling like a chandelier. It’s time to tone it down.

Best: Farm-to-Table Menus

Best: Farm-to-Table Menus

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Keeping food local continued to rule the catering world in 2017, and we wholeheartedly approve. High-quality meats and local, seasonal produce can help chefs to craft unique, high-class dishes while keeping the environmental impact low.

Worst: Serving Dinner Family Style

Worst: Serving Dinner Family Style
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You know what’s great? Eating a lot of food at an event. You know what’s awkward? Sharing that same dish with a bunch of other people. Serving family style has been a huge trend for 2017, but we’re not a fan. There’s either too much food and it’s wasteful, or you don’t get your serving of chicken Alfredo. Either way, no thank you.

Best: Greenery

Best: Greenery
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When greenery was first announced as Pantone’s color of the year, we were skeptical. But we grew to love it. It’s a simple color that can splash with bright oranges and pinks or be subdued with whites and creams. Greenery also plays in to rustic tablescapes and outdoor entertaining, both of which we love.

Worst: Chalkboard Signage

Worst: Chalkboard Signage
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Shabby chic refuses to die. Chalkboard signage with cutesy sayings needs to go back to 2012 where it belongs. And while we’re at it, these wedding trends need to go away, too.

Best: Personalized Events

Best: Personalized Events
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We love little personal touches. From planning a party menu that goes back to your family roots to adding personalized name tags to every seat at a dinner party, we’re loving it. The details make the party, and the more individualized the better.

Worst: Over-the-Top Weddings

Worst: Over-the-Top Weddings
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But don’t confuse a detailed, personalized party (or wedding) with an over-the-top one. When we spoke to entertaining experts this spring, it seemed like every wedding needed an aerialist to perform during the reception or waiters shucking fresh oysters. Events can be understated and straightforward while still being amazing. Don’t let a “wow” moment take away from the meaning of your wedding.

Best: Photo Booths

Best: Photo Booths
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Photo booths are not a new entertaining trend, but literally no party was complete in 2017 without one. And we see why! They’re fun, simple mementos of a great night, an alternative activity to drinking or dancing, and they’re so easy to DIY.

Worst: Excessive Party Favors

Worst: Excessive Party Favors
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Gift bags with succulents, wine glasses, bottle openers, matchbooks, and customized T-shirts need to go away. Yes, it’s nice to have a token from your wedding or birthday parties, but how many Mason jar mugs does one person really need?

Best: Quality Over Quantity

Best: Quality Over Quantity
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“The more the merrier” sort of faded into the background in 2017, but we’re OK with that. Having fewer people but higher-quality food and entertainment is not only more enjoyable for those in attendance, but it also leads to more intimate gatherings where hosts can actually talk to their guests.

Worst: Crowd-Funding Parties

Worst: Crowd-Funding Parties
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Listen, everyone wants their dream wedding, but if you can’t afford it, please don’t be like these couples and use Kickstarter or GoFundMe to pay for your big day. Try these budget wedding tips instead.

Best: Slushie Cocktails

Best: Slushie Cocktails
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Frosé dominated summer 2017, but that wasn’t the only frosty tipple on the patio at brunch. Mixologists took those childhood summertime delights and infused them with vodka, tequila, and rum. And every treat is better with booze, right?

Worst: Black Tie Events

Worst: Black Tie Events
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Entertaining got a little more formal in 2017. Sit-down dinners with waitstaff and elegant affairs were in vogue. We love it when things are nice and high-quality, but we don’t need a party to be stuffy, which formal dinner parties often can be. Instead, for the new year, consider a more relaxed event with these cool theme ideas.