So many people include things in their wedding because of tradition and or because they think they have to. As soon as someone gets engaged, they begin to run down the checklist of all the things that are traditional at a wedding. But do you really need to do all the same things as everyone else?
Here are 5 things you think you need for your wedding but really don't:
1. Party favors
Think about the weddings you've attended. What do you remember most? The bride's dress? The look on her dad's face when he gave her away? The raging dance party at the reception when you slipped and fell and hoped nobody saw?
Whatever it was, I bet it wasn't the party favors. While it is a nice gesture, everyone already knows you're thankful they're there. Favors only add unnecessary monetary costs and an extra task to complete when there's already so much to do for a wedding.
2. Fancy outfits for the wedding party
Sure, the dresses are gorgeous and the suits look sharp, but at what cost? How much time and anxiety goes into picking the length, the style and the color of the dress while also trying to keep in mind what looks good on every bridesmaid while still finding something the bride loves? Next, what color of suit? What color tie? Will it be a traditional tie or bowtie?
While many of these decisions are trivial, a decision must be made nonetheless. And then who pays for the suit rentals and the dresses? There are many schools of thought: some think the bride and groom pay, some think members of the bridal party pay for their own, or some go half and half.
Regardless of who pays, those luxurious fabrics in customized colors are not cheap. Then you add on the cost of alterations, and it just gets outlandish. It could be simpler, and just as beautiful, to have the men wear suits in a matching neutral and the ladies buy cheaper dresses off the rack that match your color scheme that they could also wear again.
3. A wedding party
That being said, there's no rulebook that says you have to have bridesmaids and groomsmen at all. Like everything else for a wedding, having bridesmaids and groomsmen add extra costs. We've talked about apparel, but bouquets and boutonnieres are not cheap either when you have to buy flowers for them and maybe pay for them to be arranged if you're not in a DIY mood. Not to mention all the horror stories you hear about relationships destroyed by who gets to be a bridesmaid or maid of honor and who doesn't. Do you pick your friends, or do you pick your family? The easiest answer is neither.
Not everyone likes cake. Not everyone wants to pick some froofy design for a cake. Nobody wants to pay hundreds of dollars for the same amount of cake you could make yourself for 10 bucks worth of boxed cake mix from Wal-Mart.
In terms of sweet treats for wedding receptions, the options are endless: cookie bars, ice cream or sundae bars. You could even make your own s'mores. Provide assorted candies that are favorites of the bride and groom. Or, place a ton of cut-up fruit and a variety with complementary dips. Anything your heart desires. Pick something you and your spouse love. Don't box yourself in just because everyone you know has had some towering cake.
5. Anything you don't love the idea of having at YOUR wedding
You don't care about flowers and don't want a bouquet? Cool. Save yourself some money and don't buy the flowers. You and your spouse don't want to do the garter toss because even the thought of it makes you both blush when you think of your grandparents watching. Fair. Don't do it.
Weddings are about the bride and groom and what you both want. It's a day for you to celebrate your love together in whatever way makes you happy. Don't do anything that doesn't make you love your wedding day all the more.
Chelsea is a contributing writer for FamilyShare.com. She has a bachelor's degree in English with an emphasis in creative writing. She does a little bit of a lot of things, including writing, event planning, editing, film making, and social advocacy. She enjoys traveling alone by car and observing people, birds, and storms.