I am sure there will be many of you that don’t agree with this analysis I certainly do along with many other wedding attendees. So many Couples are trying to cut back on the overall expense. Consider Omitting these things first. Put the money into the Things People really want.
The party itself! Food, Drink and Music.
1) The Invitations
I hate to break it to you, but these little suckers end up in the recycling bin faster than you can say, “I now pronounce you husband and wife.” Sure, it’s the very first introduction to your wedding, but a beautiful invitation is a beautiful invitation. No one is judging your choice of paper stock, ornamentation or font (just trust me on this one).
2) The Programs
See: Invitations (but with a far shorter lifespan).
The Solution: Programs are super cute, but if you want to skip them and save the money your guests won’t care. Instead create a few DIY chalkboard or wooden signs that have your schedule or other necessary details listed on them. Have a few of these around the ceremony and reception site and your guests will get the general idea.
3) The Guest Book
Ah, the thumbprint tree. Such a creative idea in theory, but it can get real messy, real fast. The anniversary wine, the Polaroid station, the wishing tree… Super cute, but super unnecessary. Guest books can get pricey, and the cost can really skyrocket once you start piling on the works. Do yourself a favor and keep it simple, or go ahead and nix it altogether. Your guests won’t miss it, and in the age of digital photography, you’ll have tons of tons of snaps of your family and friends sharing your special day. If that doesn’t beat a scrawled name on a page (or a smudgy thumbprint), I don’t know what does.
4) The Flowers
Now don’t get me wrong; floral arrangements are almost always a welcome addition to your chosen venue, and can inject the space with a bit of your personal style. But while no one will argue that golden dip-dyed roses aren’t totally gorg, they’re also a total waste of time and money. Trust us, no one will notice the lack of designer blooms, and your artfully arranged farmer’s market flowers will be just as striking – at a fraction of the price. Guests will appreciate the thoughtful, fragrant flourishes no matter what, regardless of whether you’ve chosen exotic blooms from far-flung corner of the world or locally grown greenery.
5) The Linens
As a wedding guest, I just don’t pay much mind to your tablecloths. As long as I don’t have to eat my halibut off of a dirty old burlap sack, I’ll be just fine, thank you very much. Specialty linens can get costly, so save yourself the buck and choose something simple and functional that blends seamlessly with your décor – no muss, no fuss.
6) The Dress
This one may be a bit controversial, but personally, I think that blowing your bridal budget on a fancy-shmancy gown just to wear it once and never again is less than practical. It’s not what you wear but how you wear it, so as long as you’re comfortable and feel like your best, most beautiful self, well, that’s good enough for me. That’s not to say that guests won’t remember an outlandish or ill-fitting dress, but if the bride is rocking a beautifully tailored gown that makes her look and feel like the goddess she is, guests won’t bat an eyelash at the lack of designer label.
7) The First Dance
Short of a live performance by Adele to provide the soundtrack, no one will remember your first dance. In fact, a nervous, shaky, overly choreographed routine may be what sticks with them. Instead of the weeks of rehearsal required to try and fix your two left feet, it’s more important to just be yourself and enjoy the moment. Tackle a few moves that you feel 100% comfortable performing, no matter how simple, and watch the pressure just melt away. Great for you, great for your guests and great for your wedding photos… Everyone wins!
8) The Cake
Towering layers, handcrafted sugar paste designs, 24-carat gold motifs… The painstakingly detailed wedding cake is certainly gorgeous, but guests won’t miss those details if you opt for an elegantly simple confection instead. As long as it tastes delicious, you’ve got a guaranteed crowd pleaser (and let’s be honest, it will, because CAKE). Speaking of tasty treats, a fondue station is a great option as well. Swap the cake for an array of equally delish (and comparatively affordable) dessert bars, hand pies, ice cream sundaes, and guests will be just as pleased.
9) The Bouquet Toss
This tradition has become somewhat archaic in recent years, with many brides opting to skip it altogether. Do it or don’t do it – it all depends on your vision – but rest assured that if you opt out, it’s likely that no one will miss it. Besides, less time assembling the masses for the ceremonial pitch means more time on the dance floor!
10) The Wedding Favors
An edible sweet treat that guests that can enjoy in the afterglow of the wedding as they share memories of your spectacular soirée – well, I can’t argue with you there. But engraved champagne flutes, customized candles, and other novelty items are forgettable for guests and an added expense for the bride and groom. A fancy soap might seem like a great idea for the fancy soaping-loving couple, but for most of your guests it’s basically the adult equivalent of getting raisins on Halloween. One in 50 will love it; the other 49 will dump them on your lawn.
So what do guests care most about?
1) The Ceremony: We want to hear you proclaim your love to each other. Keep it short and sweet!
2) The Food: Hire a professional, serve lots offood you love and don’t be stingy with this part.
3) The Drinks: Start with a welcome beverage and then a full bar.
4) The Music: A great Band or Fun Contemporary tunes hosted by a DJ