Your wedding is all about you! So your wedding day should reflect that. As a couple, you should plan a day that is uniquely you; not what you’ve seen on Pinterest, in wedding magazines, or at your friend’s wedding. There are so many things that end up being included in a wedding day that are absolutely not necessary and probably not even that important to you! Here are a few things that you don’t need at your wedding.
1. A Huge Guest List
Who do you actually want to be celebrating your wedding with? Who do you imagine dancing with on the dance floor or seeing in your photos 20 years from now? Your guest list should be all about who you want to see at your wedding, not your parents or anyone else. A wedding doesn’t need to be a huge group of people to be memorable. A small and intimate wedding is just as special and can be more about your closest family and friends!
2. Bouquet/Garter Toss
These are both old wedding traditions that are absolutely not a necessary part of your wedding day. These traditions are steeped in heteronormativism (a big word that basically means that binary genders and heterosexuality are the norm) and can end up excluding same-sex couples. Oftentimes, these traditions can make things awkward if no one wants to come forward to participate and you don’t want that! So if it really isn’t important to you, just skip this tradition and focus on the more important parts of your day!
3. Party Favors
Party favors are something that can take a huge chunk out of your budget. They are often forgotten on tables or you have a lot leftover that you aren’t sure what to do with. Do you really want to end up with 50 extra bottle openers or shot glasses at the end of the night?! Instead of party favors, send welcome bags to your guests’ hotel rooms before your wedding to ensure they have time to enjoy them!
If there’s one thing I love, it’s cake. But if you’re not a big fan of cake, do something different! Choose some desserts that you and your partner love and serve that instead. If you still want to do the tradition of cutting the cake, you can always have a small cake just for that. Focus on the sweets you and your partner love!
5. Cell Phones & Extra “Photographers”
You have hired a photographer for a reason, so cell phone photos aren’t necessary! Make a note to your guests about putting their phones away and unplugging for the ceremony. This is something you can include on your wedding website or work with your wedding calligrapher to create cute wedding signs to remind your guests. You don’t want to risk a chance of a phone going off during a very special part of your day.
6. A Full Bar
A full bar comes at a very high price and can take up a lot of your budget. Wine, beer and a signature cocktail will still no doubt be a crowd pleaser. Speaking of which, champagne toasts and wine service at dinner can also eat up a lot of your budget; it can come to around $500 for this kind of service when you factor in the additional glassware rentals. Put this cash towards something else you love like upgraded appetizers or some pre-wedding pampering. If you still want to do a full bar, but don’t want the sticker shock that comes with it, find out if your caterer and venue will allow you to provide your own alcohol.
Confetti is something that can be super fun and make for great photos, but it’s terrible for the environment and a pain to clean up. There are so many other great options for your sendoff! Consider something fun like bubbles or ribbons (both great mess-free & environmental friendly options!).
8. Printed Programs & Menus
Having printed programs and menus to hand out can be a huge expense that normally goes to waste. Most guests don’t save them, and many are left around the venue to be thrown away. Instead, you can opt for a schedule of events on an easel and a menu board set up before your buffet. If you’re doing a plated meal, your guests will likely have made their dinner selection ahead of time and already know what to expect.
9. Any Other Traditions That Don’t Feel Right
Your wedding day is all about you and your partner. That means every part of the day should be something you want included, and not because it’s what everyone else is doing. Stick to what you actually want to do on your big day and skip the rest.
Our inclusive approach to wedding planning is one that celebrates all couples, all budgets, and any traditions (old and new) that are important to you and your partner. We work with you to be sure you love every part of your day, and have exactly the wedding you envisioned.
Courtney-Rose Dantus is a DC Wedding Planner serving couples planning their weddings in Maryland, Northern Virginia and Washington, D.C. She loves working with destination wedding couples, too.