5 things you can cut from your wedding without looking cheap.

There are some elements that are essential for a wedding day. The bride is a must. The groom should probably be there. Family and friends are hopefuls. And champagne and cake are absolutely non-negotiable.

There are also elements that are not essential for a wedding day. Embossed, satin-finished, hand-written in calligraphy invitations? Probably not a life-or-death requirement. Imported flowers? Not a necessity. Elaborate, hand-made, cellophane-wrapped, ribbon-tied thank you gifts for guests? Not essential.

Sure, non-essentials can be nice. And embossed wedding-invitations do look lovely stuck on the fridge. But the problem with non-essentials is that they cost money (and they achieve nothing). This means cutting non-essentials is an extremely effective way to save money in planning your wedding, kwithout detracting from the day itself. Here are out list of wedding non-essentials that should be on your cost-cutting hit list.

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Organising guests with lots of bits of paper

‘Save the date’ cards, invitations, place cards, thank you gifts, the list goes on…

Enough. Be brutal. Thank you gifts are not an ultimatum people, neither are place cards – adults can, usually, find their own place to sit. Guests are already enjoying the above-mentioned champagne and cake. They’re also lucky enough to be there on your special day. They do not need the trail of scented stationary and bonbonnières to feel welcome, included and happy for you. They’re there for you remember?

“Guests are just excited to be invited,” former Inside Weddings editor Erin Migdol told Connections.Mic. “Cheap invitations work just as well as the ones lined with gold foil. If the majority of your guests are tech-savvy, you could even consider doing e-vites.”

At a friend’s wedding, they asked guests to write their favourite love song on their RSVP, then they made compilation CDs of all the songs as the gift to guests. That was lovely. – Sam, 32.

Save the dates are useless, I didn’t do them. As are exxy invitations – they get thrown out after the event, why bother spending big? – Jess, 27.


Elaborate decor that nobody sees

Let the location, the people, the atmosphere of the wedding speak for itself. The imported flowers, silk table runners, hand-made centrepieces are not going to make or break this. The way your chair covers match the colour of your aisle runner is not going to affect the beauty, intimacy and celebration of your big day. (READ: non-essential, so more money for champagne and cake!).

“At the end of the day, couples do not care (or even really remember) all the little decor details,” Migdol told Connections.Mic. “They remember how it felt to dance with their friends and look in their partner’s eyes and say their vows. Any little decor element that doesn’t contribute to those memories is really, really unnecessary.”


And on flowers:

“The basics mixed with nice flowers can look just as good as the pricey stuff,” Migdol said. “Guests will not be able to tell the difference, or care.

Everything about this is essential. via GIPHY

The entourage

A big bridal party and several groomsmen SCREAMS big money. Also, it’s non-essential. They’re not getting married, you are, so there’s really no reason for them to be anywhere near that alter.

Think about the bridesmaid dresses, the groomsmen’s suits, the shoes, the accessories, the make-up, the hair, the location where you will all get ready, the transport, the thank-you gifts, etc. etc.

Then think about the fact that these people are your nearest and dearest,. They’re going to enjoy celebrating your wedding with you – no matter if they’re standing next to the alter (in a dress that probably doesn’t suit them and they’ll likely only wear this once) or if they’re a member of the guest-list, enjoying the champagne and cake with all the rest.

Having too many bridesmaids and groomsmen – I know this can cause a lot of drama but it’s just more people to add onto your wedding costs (dresses, shoes, thank you gifts etc). – Rebekah, 34.


Wedding transport

Some form of transport, of course, is essential. You do have to, somehow, get to and from the wedding. But the stretch limo, Rolls Royce or restored vintage convertible is not necessary. Depending on your wedding location, there are several photo-opportunities that don’t revolve around the way you arrived. And it’s a good idea to have the ceremony and reception at the same place, to save on the cost of travelling between the two locations.

So often, cars they don’t feature in any photos. Just hire town cars and skip the Rolls Royce, Jenna 32.

Dessert X 2.

Dessert and cake are the same thing, ladies. Cake = dessert. Dessert = cake. They do not need to be served as separate entities (and separate costings) at your wedding.

Everyone is full. Everyone is also likely a little tipsy. They do not need dessert and cake by the time it rolls around. You can serve wedding cake as dessert and tick off both the cake-cutting celebrations and fulfil your guests’ sweet tooth in one budget-friendly swoop.

I think serving dessert and then wedding cake is absurd. I worked weddings for five years and the cake NEVER gets eaten. Just replace your dessert with wedding cake!! No one wants two servings of goddamn cake. – Sarah, 29.

Also, you could get Justin Beiber to serve it, then no one will be complaining.