With weddings these days costing anywhere from £10,000 – £30,000 (and higher!), newly engaged couples have more stress than ever when it comes to planning their big day. Not only are they in charge of a million decisions, but they also face the risk of blowing their financial stability before their new lives together even start.
The good news is that many of the things you may think you ought to have at your wedding are actually totally unnecessary. There are two main things that people tend to remember about a wedding: how good (or bad) the food was and how good (or bad) the music was. All those teeny-tiny details you feel obligated to agonise over are things most of your guests won’t even remember the day after.
So, for those of you hoping to throw a lovely wedding without breaking the bank, here’s a list of the things you can easily nix from your planning:
1. Elaborate favours. Most “collectible” wedding favours (matchboxes, mix CDs, engraved anything) will just get tossed in your guest’s “everything” drawers, so don’t waste your time and money thinking up super-creative favours.
Your best bet? Anything edible — especially chocolate. A handful of chocolates wrapped up in mesh with a pretty bow is something your guests can enjoy right at the reception. Don’t bother getting candies with your faces printed on them or little candy boxes with your wedding date. Keep it simple.
2. Elaborate centerpieces. The trend right now is big, bigger, biggest — vases so tall with flowers so large your poor guests can’t even see each other (let alone talk) across the table. If you’ve got 10 – 20 tables at your reception, extreme centerpieces that will be used for only a few hours are a huge waste of money. Again, keep it simple.
Do a small arrangement of votives on a mirror with petals scattered across it. Take quirky pictures of yourself and your future spouse and pair them with a framed anecdote from your relationship. To be perfectly honest, after your guests have first sat down and checked out their table, they probably won’t even notice the centerpieces anymore.
3. Real flowers. This is a matter of personal taste. Some people can’t stand fake flowers; others are perfectly contented with the large variety of silk flowers out there that look very much like the real thing. If you’re not a flower person, consider using fake flowers for things like centerpieces and aisle decorations and only paying for the real stuff for the bridal party bouquets.
4. Engraved toasting glasses/engraved cake cutters. Some things just seem manufactured by the wedding industry to squeeze more money out of engaged couples. Unless you plan on arranging your personalised toasting glasses/cake cutter on a shelf in your home (and let’s be honest, who really does that?) whatever your reception venue provides for these tasks is more than sufficient.
5. Place cards. Place cards are something you probably should have, unless you want to run the risk of Crazy Uncle Al sitting next to overly political Aunt Claire, resulting in a scene-stealing argument halfway through the salad course.
But there is absolutely no need for place cards printed on extra-rich cardstock and hand-scripted by a calligrapher. There’s no need for “place cards” that look like little beach chairs or high-heeled shoes to match cutely with your theme. (Remember your guests’ “everything” drawers.) All you need is something that will tell your guests where they are supposed to sit. Save your money for more important things, like the dress and the DJ.