1/ All the parties
Image by Nadia Hung Photography (Thumbnail image by Marisa Albrecht)
A wedding is an excellent excuse to get people together and party, but the organisation and cost of having an engagement bash, bridal shower, bridesmaids’ lunch and hen night (not to mention groomsmen get together and stag night, the wedding itself and any after party) can seem excessive. Go with your gut – if party planning is a joy, go right ahead. If not, pare it back to one or two that best fit your style.
2/ A theme or colour palette
Image by Patina Photography
Themes and colour palettes are a fun way of making events more cohesive, but in reality ‘wedding’ can be the only theme you need! Choosing each element simply because you love it can be a freeing option for some couples, and you won’t miss out on something beautiful or interesting just because it doesn’t match the chosen look or colour scheme.
3/ Curated details
Image by Kristen Beinke Photography
Along similar lines, you don’t need to pour hours of decision making into the tiniest details if you don’t want to. For many brides, crafting the perfect invitations, centrepieces and cake topper will be exciting and fun. If that’s not you, find ways to keep details really simple (premade and shop bought, for example), or else omit entirely anything that doesn’t resonate.
After all, it’s golden wedding advice to forget about how you want the wedding to look and focus on how you want the wedding to feel. Ask yourself if this specific detail will make a difference to how you and your guests experience the wedding. If it won’t, it’s probably not worth the time and stress!
4/ Wedding favours and guest book
Image by Patrick Moyer
Depending on your priorities, the wedding favours and guest book can easily fall into the above category of unnecessary details. The sad truth is that many favours go unused, and many wedding guest books are resigned to sitting on a shelf gathering dust.
Unless having a record of your guests’ well wishes is something you’ll particularly treasure, look to do something different (the thumbprint artwork can be lovely to hang on the wall!) or else nix the guest book altogether. The same goes for favours – focus on things that are super simple to organise (and preferably consumable), or else skip them and put the money towards some delicious food or entertainment for your guests at the reception!
5/ Bouquets and boutonnieres
Image by Avodah Photography
It’s true that florals can really breathe life into wedding décor, but you can get away with less than you’d think and save money in the process. Lose the bridesmaids’ bouquets, for instance, and just have a bridal bouquet. Or forego the boutonnieres, the aisle posies or the decorative arch in favour of keeping it simple!
6/ A first dance and speeches
Image by Larissa Cleveland Photography
If you’re not keen on being the centre of attention, slow-dancing centre stage in front of all your family and friends may sound like torture! Speeches can be similarly painful if anyone involved has a fear of public speaking. Or even if not – speeches are often a cause of stress to the toastmakers and can cause logistical issues, even embarrassment, for couples.
Allay those anxieties by removing the problematic event from the schedule, or replacing it with an alternative. For the dance, this might be a fun group dance featuring the rest of your bridal party, or a more romantic one with all the other couples in the room on the dance floor with you.
Instead of speeches, have the videographer record messages of love from family and friends, or give them the opportunity to honour you in a more intimate setting (perhaps the rehearsal dinner or another small gathering).