Weddings are expensive affairs, and it is not worthwhile to spend money on the so-called “must-haves,” which end up being not so essential after all. It is quite commonplace to get caught in a rush, and tick things off your list as quickly as is possible when planning your wedding. In all this hurry, you may easily overlook what is actually necessary and what can be done without.
So, we suggest you take a break from all that wedding planning for a bit and actually look at that long list you have. A few minutes is all it will take to analyze whether you need to do everything that is in there but definitely does this. This well-spent time will help your budget go further.
We have some tips from our wedding planning experts, who have seen enough weddings to precisely tell us what we can do away with, and still have a fantastic wedding day. So, in no particular order, here is the list!
Save-the-date cards are just another expensive piece of stationery, that you can do without. This is very true if you have a short engagement. Your wedding invitation, on the other hand, is a must-have! Almost everyone has an email or social media account these days. So, just send out an email once you finalize your wedding date, and that should be enough for everyone to mark their calendars. In case there are those who don’t operate online, you can inform them with a personal letter or phone call. Or, if there is little time left till the wedding, just send the invitation as soon as is possible. When you think of the postage and printing charges for a bunch of save-the-dates, don’t you think it is worth spending that money on something else?
Your guest book may not cost you a significant amount, but when planning your wedding, every bit counts. It will, in the end, just be a book that will be stashed away and hardly remembered. How many of your guests will do much more than just sign their names into it, and what purpose does that really serve anyway? Now if you were opting for a guest book alternative, like a wish well or a wish box, it would be nicer. You could use this in your new home as a wall or mantel display. This will certainly be more enjoyable than a guest book that will be put away with the rest of the wedding stuff you may never touch again.
A fancy cake-cutting set
When you spend a huge amount on a designer wedding cake, do you think it is necessary to get a fancy cutting set to do the honours? This is an item with a one-time use, but it can be pretty expensive. What is more, your caterer may even have one that you can borrow. Or it may be available at the venue if the place hosts weddings regularly. So, check this option out before you go shopping. Or, you can just ask family and friends. If any of your friends have bought a brand new set for their wedding, they may lend it to you for your cake-cutting ceremony.
A big bridal party
There is no right or wrong number of members in your bridal party. If you have plenty of friends and relatives who must be beside you when you say “I do”, so be it. Otherwise, keep the numbers small, and many, including you, will be relieved. It is expensive for you as well as your bridesmaids when they are at a wedding party. The bridesmaids will have to put aside a considerable amount for their dresses, accessories, hair, makeup and wedding gifts. Similarly, the couple will also feel obliged to buy special wedding party gifts and share some of the bridal party expenses. Instead of all this, if you keep your wedding party small and include just those who are essential, you save everyone a lot of trouble. Not only do the potential bridesmaids candidates just have to worry about getting you one wedding gift, but you can also skip the extras like expensive wedding party gifts. And the lesser the number of women, the lesser the drama! Have a Maid of Honor and a bridesmaid, or even two Co-maids of honour and you should be good to go.
Too many details
An elaborate centrepiece with hundreds of intricate details works just as well as a budget-friendly simple and stylish smaller centrepiece. Similarly, party favours wrapped in cellophane, and then packed into a custom bag and topped with a fancy ribbon will do not different than one packed into a small box. And we don’t even have to get started on how expensive and unnecessary fancy linen is. When there are too many details in a wedding, it loses its charm. Your guests will simply get lost in the several things that they may not remember most of it at the end of the day. So, focus on creating only a few signature elements that stand out from the rest. Stay away from the smaller details that don’t contribute to the bigger picture, and you will save yourself a lot of stress. Instead, devote attention to making your wedding day fun and enjoyable, as that is what will be most memorable.
Let’s face it, a band is very expensive. So, unless you are very particular you must have a group of performing artists at your wedding, skip it altogether. A DJ with a playlist of songs that will entertain the guests at your party can make your party just as interesting. Perhaps even more, if you find the right wedding DJ or band. Also, it will mean a lot less to co-ordinate. Or, if you can manage a good quality sound system, you can create your own list of songs on a CD and have it played at the wedding.
If you know exactly what you want in your new home, or you are particular about not keeping anything more than you actually need, a wedding registry may be a good idea. However, if you aren’t really sure of what you should have, or what you will find useful in future, skip the registry altogether. Trust me on this, creating a registry when you are unsure of things will only confuse you more. You already have so much going on for your wedding, and planning the registry is one tiring detail that you don’t have to add to it. Not having a registry will give your guests the flexibility to figure out something they think will be useful. Don’t you think the surprise of opening up each gift and discovering what they’ve chosen for you will be real fun? And, if you get lucky, your guests may even skip the idea of getting you a gift and give you cash or gift vouchers instead. That doesn’t sound so bad, does it now?
The latest designer wedding gown
Walking down the aisle as a beautiful vision of white is possible, even if you don’t spend a chunk on a brand new designer wedding gown. There are so many economical options that can still help you realize this dream. Choose a gown from the previous season’s collections, and you may get it at a discount. Or visit the clearance sale section of your wedding shop, to find what captures your fancy. You could even rent your gown or buy one second-hand, and nobody has to know. After all, it is a one-time occasion and not a dress you have to wear every day. If you can get what you want for a fraction of the cost of buying a fresh off-the-runway, designer wedding gown, you must be really smart and practical! Don’t worry about compromising on style or look, when you opt for this route. Check out our special offers page on Best for Bride for some fantastic offers that will definitely transform you into the beautiful bride you always dreamed of being, but without the hefty price tag attached to it.
Another piece of stationery that you can easily skip is wedding programs. It is common practice to hand out wedding programs before the start of the ceremony, and the paper that goes into making it is usually not cheap. However, have you ever noticed where these programs end up after the ceremony? In the trash, of course. So, why should you spend a fortune on getting them printed if they serve no real purpose? I like this idea on The Every Last Detail blog, to use large signage instead, noting the key participants in the ceremony and order of events. Not only will this detail have a huge visual impact, but it can also be done at a fraction of the cost of printing hundreds of wedding programs. Also, it serves the main purpose of providing the information that your guests actually need, and in a no-fuss, but classy way.
Personalized wedding favors
Cute little trinkets, personalized tins, glasses and photo coasters may all be very attractive, but how many of them will actually serve any purpose for your guests? While you may have to spend a fortune on your wedding favors and pay extra for custom details like adding a photograph or message, will it ever be used or even saved for later? The best favors that wedding guests actually use are edible ones. So, if you must have a wedding favor that will please everyone, consider cookies, candy, preserves or chocolates. You can personalize these with a photo wrapper or printed message wrapper if you want that personal touch in there. If you don’t think this is good enough, the next best options are candle holders and potted plants, that can be established into any home easily. Not all your guests may appreciate displaying photo favors with your picture, so save yourself your hard-earned cash and stick with what will actually be useful for them.
A towering tiered cake
Earlier we mentioned that you do not need a fancy cake cutting set, to cut your designer cake. Now we tell you that you do not even need a fancy towering cake to impress your guests. You can do the same with a smaller couture cake, that will be just as spectacular, sans the size. Firstly, this means you can have a gourmet cake done with excellent details, just for the cake cutting ceremony. Sheet cakes done in the same flavor can be served to the guests at their tables. Not only does this minimize wastage, but there are also no compromises on style either. Or, if you are feeling bold enough, skip the cake altogether and choose an alternate dessert. For options, check out this previous post.
A weekend wedding
Sure, you want everyone to be at your wedding! But, if a weekday ceremony saves you a tonne of cash or helps you get your dream venue which is booked for all weekends, so be it. This article on the Huff Post tells us that guests who want to be at your wedding won’t really mind taking a day off work for it. If you plan the event on a Friday, it would also help them kick-start a long weekend. Nobody will be complaining, I am sure!
So, tell us now, which of these things will you be eliminating from your wedding plans? Or, is there something that you have decided to skip, but we have missed in the list. Do let us know in the comments below.
Best for Bride helps prospective brides and grooms find everything they need for a fantastic wedding. From wedding dresses, dresses for the bridal party and essential wedding services, we have everything bridal under one roof. Check out our website today, to find what you seek, and come one step closer to having the perfect wedding day.