Wedding planning checklists can seem long, sometimes even endless, and your final months of engagements can get pretty intense trying to nail all details down. Furthermore, when relying for social media for inspiration the amount of decor and accessories that seems to be “must haves” can lead to a lot of pressure to achieve it all.
It is fair to say that for every item you can cross off the list, the less stressed you’ll be, and the less money you would have had to part with.
So, if you are not keen on unnecessary stress, or don’t want to spend money on things that don’t really matter that much once the wedding has come and gone, this is the post for you.
Whether you as a couple are traditional or not, start your planning by figuring out the to-do-items which are relevant to your intended look and feel of your wedding day.
Scrutinize, be honest and select the wedding day elements which you feel are close to you and your grooms hearts and let other less significant aspects fall to the side, or be excluded entirely.
Maybe you don’t want your husband to remove a garter in front of everyone, and perhaps tossing a bouquet seems redundant if most of your friends are already married? Maybe a seating plan is not necessary? How important are the escort cards?
Luckily you are getting married in times when weddings are don’t have be be conformist to wedding traditions, in fact- it is highly encouraged to personalize and make your wedding day experience totally unique.
There are no rules on how to get married (aside from the legal of course) so the majority of the day is up to you as a couple to decide how traditional or pioneering, low-key or extravagant you want your day to be.
Sit down together, establish what is important, then figure what unnecessary details to take out of the equation, leaving more time and room in the budget to fulfill the most meaningful elements that will add real value. Why make it more complicated than your wedding needs to be?
The less elaborate details – the less to worry about. The more relaxed you are on the big day, the more head space for love, happiness and quality time with your groom and guests. Planning this way, you might find that you save both time and money, and have a lot more fun, too!
Let our tips below inspire you to cut the pointless excess out of your wedding day. You will still have a stylish, impressive, enjoyable and memorable wedding – we guarantee it!
Areas you can re-think…
Save the dates:
They are pretty and are not entirely unpractical, and of course is a lovely way to announce your wedding. But as a modern invention, no body expects to receive a Save the Date. Posting the invites 2 months before the big day, will give everyone enough notice to book the day off. For your high significance guests and those traveling from afar will appreciate a personal call as notification.
A time and money saving option is to create your Save the date digitally, and send as an email, which can also encourage guests to interact with your wedding website from early on.
These pretty paper things are indeed beautiful, but with the wonder of digital design, sending paperless invites can be just as mesmerizing to open, and from a guests point of view, easier to manage as everything they need to know is stored in their email. The benefits are that they can directly RSVP and see all the details, add it to their calendar with a click and get directions easily.
Online stationery from Paperless Post, Wedding paper divas or Joy.com have a surprisingly large selection of beautiful “paper” ware.
For you, not only will it be a fraction of the costs, perhaps even free, and so much easier to manage RSVPs’ and to see dietary preferences and send out notifications to every guest instantly.
Lastly, it always feels good to do things in a more eco-friendly way!
The bridal beauty list is long and intimidating. Teeth whitening can lift a smile if you have stained or discolored teeth, but if your teeth are perfectly normal already, don’t worry about this procedure as it might look unnatural to go too bright.
Manicures throughout the engagement
Many girls already follow a nail bar routine and wouldnt change it, but if you are not, there is no need to start now just because you got engaged. You will show your ring to people for sure, but it doesn’t mean you have to spend money on nail extensions or gel tips all the time. In fact, many of those treatments end up weakening the nail, causing you to be dependent on the top coat for the nail to look any good. This means once you start, it is easy to get drawn in to a bi-monthly visit to the nail bar – an expense you might want to avoid as the wedding bills start to pile up.
Keeping your nails shaped, clean and natural will be good enough. Caring a bit extra for your hands is a always a good idea.
For your big day, it will be special to treat yourself to a professional manicure with the design of your choice.
Bombastic centerpieces can look impressive in photos, but in reality they are costly, unnecessary and can obstruct the view across tables. It also feels wrong to throw away beautiful flowers the next day when the wedding gets packed up.
Fewer, well executed decorations are going to be as effective and stylish than big, opulent and jam packed ones.
Keeping the centerpieces small will benefit the guests more, as they will be able to see each other and talk easier.
Candles, greenery and loosely arranged flowers goes a long way. Consider using fresh fruit, vegetable, potted succulents or cacti. Each table can look different too, that is okay! If you don’t like wasting flowers, potted herbs or pot plants make beautiful features.
Generally speaking, the botanical or minimalist approach to centerpieces will always hit the jackpot in terms of beautiful looks and wedding ingenuity.
More ideas about how to save on wedding flowers here
It is a sweet gesture, but your guests are not going to mind if they don’t get a favor. You have just hosted them a beautiful evening and provided entertainment, delicious food and drink, which they are more than grateful for! They are just so happy that they got invited to your spectacular wedding day.
If you really feel the need to give something, consider giving something delicious such as a individually packed food item or a midnight take away snack. Instead of a gimmick, most will prefer a bag of editable goods such as hot chocolate, a cookie or a sample jar of honey.
The aisle runner has little purpose and could be removed completely.
Once all guests are seated, and the ceremony begins, their eyes will be solely on the ceremony arch and the wedding couple. The brides dress is usually the key decor piece of the ceremony, why you can get away with keeping the aisle style decor and flowers to a minimum.
Focus on the arch, perhaps add a focal piece on the ceremony table, then keep it simple elsewhere. That is where people will notice and appreciate it.
The program is of course an opportunity to be traditional or creative, but if you are keeping the ceremony around or less than 30 minutes, the program is not that relevant. Most will know what to expect, or be delighted by surprises, and will only look at what is happening as opposed to head down reading.
A large framed by the entrance to the ceremony area will give those who are interested a chance to read the order of service.
If your ceremony is long and detailed, it can however be a bonus with a program so people can follow along.
Wedding day perfume
If you don’t normally wear perfume, you should not have to now. If you do normally wear it, why not use your signature scent that defines you? You might end up not loving the new fragrance, or your husband might not enjoy it, so wearing a brand new perfume could be a bit of a gamble.
Many Brides want to achieve their best shape ever for the wedding and resigns to crash dieting and hours in the gym. But even though it may boost your self image, unless you shed at least 5 kilos, few people will actually notice.
In the end of the day are getting married, not signing up for modeling school. Size 10 is no better than size 12, and 12 no better than 14 etc.
Stick to your normal and sensible routine – your wedding dress silhouette will work the magic if it fits you right. Let your overall wellbeing and sanity be priority during your engagement.
Having facials every month leading up to the wedding is recommended in beauty plans – and of course it is a nice pampering treat which could be good for relaxation. But consider this: your skin is probably not going to be visible through the foundation you’ll be wearing on your wedding day. Cleansing, exfoliation, moisturizing and a hydrating face mask regularly will go a long way.
Make up artist
Most of us knows how to beautify ourselves and have a proven routine that works, and there are plenty of online tutorials should you wish to up the game.
Instead of spending money on the makeup artist, use that money to purchase your own professional makeup that you can use again and again.
The understated bridal look is always going to be more timeless, so go for a makeup style that you will proudly show your children – and never try to look like anyone else than yourself!
Pompous floral backdrops
Flowers come with big price tags, so consider replacing some with ribbons, makramé, branches or foliage.
Plants such as Monstrea, Pampas grass, ferns and Dusty Miller add interesting shapes and focial points.
If you are a minimalist, hang strings of lights, branches with leaves or some beautiful fabric instead. This could be a satisfying DIY project and result in a truly unique feature.
When it comes to flowers in general, they are of course luxurious and very pretty to look. But given the fact that they cost a lot of money, only last a few hours and can never be used again, consider using foraged wildflowers, potted plants or cut flowers from a friends garden to save the wallet and environment.
Inexpensive flowers are also beautiful, and if used in moderation with botanical leaves and other features – such as succulent, artichokes or tropical leaves – you make a unique style statement that is just as impressive and enjoyable as masses of peonies and orchids.
If you want flowers, carnations, daisies, hydrangeas, alstroemerias and some varieties of roses are reasonably prices and come in a range of colors. Potted or harvested lavender adds the on-trend purple color and has a lovely scent. Lavender has many uses when dried, too.
Fillers such as eucalyptus, solidago, waxflowers, pittosporum and thistle have great textures and can be used generously to add bulk and interesting shapes.
As the Greenery trend has showed again and again, you can further reduce the expense by replacing some – or all flowers – in favor of fillers and green botanicals.
The nice thing about begonias and succulents is that they root – meaning they can be planted after the wedding and will enjoy a long life span afterwards.
If you live in a place which has bougainvillea, use it to add vibrant pops of color – it is also incredible durable and wont wilt.
Your bridesmaids can carry a single stem flower, or how about a floral hoop with a simple arrangement?
Choose only your must-have flowers and display them in paces of high visibility such as in your hair, on your wedding cake and your bouquet, as these will be photographed a lot.
To pass the enjoyment on after the wedding, ask someone you know to donate the leftover flowers to a hospital or old age home where they will be highly appreciated.
Let the starters happen during cocktail hours as on foot canapés and finger foods. This will be less formal and enable a more dynamic interaction amongst your guests. People will appreciate the extended opportunity to mingle and nibble as much or as little they like, all at their own leisure.
Why not implement a “grazing table” – an opulent buffet style presentation of tapas style cold foods in addition to (or as a replacement) to platters of canapees and finger foods for guests to pick out their favorites, and come back for more!
Sitting down for hours can be tiring, and most will not miss the butternut soup starter – aren’t cold meats, olives and hummus more yummy anyway?
A few signs here and there are a sweet feature, especially if its one you think you could enjoy as a keepsake on display in your home later.
You will of course need some signs with instructions to help your guests to find where they need to be, but filling every corner and path of your wedding with slogans and rhymes copied from Pinterest quickly gets corny, and too many orientation signs are unnecessary as people are quite good at figuring it out by following the natural flow.
Stick to 2-3 significant ones, such as your welcome sign or order of events. Here is another opportunity to be creative and put your own artistic flair on it.
For bridesmaids, give them a color code and some keywords, then allow them to find what they really like and will keep using for other times in their life. Save the effort and leave it up to your girls to find a dress that they love. If they all get to choose for themselves, they will wear it again.
A royal blue satin gown might be difficult to find another occasion for, other than your wedding. You will save either theirs or your money by letting them pick their favorite style with a similar overall look.
Another alternative is that they each wear their favorite black (or white) dress, which most already has got hanging in their wardrobe. It will make your girls very happy and grateful. You are guaranteed to save a lot of money and potential disagreements this way.
For groomsmen, get them to rent suits if it is a formal dress code, or look for matching wardrobe items such as white shirt and grey trousers, then coordinate with a matching tie or bow tie. It is totally fine to have mismatched groomsmen too!
It gets expensive and tricky if all makeup, hairstyle, earrings, necklaces, nail polish needs to be synchronized.
Few people will notice the bridesmaids details – they will look at you!
For their accessories, why not just decide on a metallic variety. Earrings would be the easiest to coordinate (perhaps it is a gift from you?) or wear timeless pearl studs.
Let them compare shoes from their own wardrobes in a basic color that works for you, for example neutral, black, or metallic.
You may even bypass the idea of having a wedding party at all! You can trust your besties will be celebrate with you on your engagement journey, attend the bachelorette party, be part of your wedding day preps and get ready with you if you invite them, so letting your friends sit comfortably on a chair instead of standing in the ceremony, will save you – and them – money as well as potential interpersonal dilemmas.
A well thought out playlist will do a great job for most of the day, as long as someone is in charge of pressing play and pause. If you plan to have a nightclub vibe later, the effects and music from a DJ can be worthwhile for those few hours.
But a list of all of your favorite tunes played on your laptop can be just as good for most of the day, other than the dancing part where you want the songs to blend.
It is noteworthy that there are free apps and computer programs that allows even a novice to fade in and out of songs – perhaps you have a music lover in your group of friends who knows how to work it?
Whilst pretty to look at, additional table runners don’t serve much purpose other than cluttering a table. Choose either runner or table cloth, but there is little need for both. You could get the effect of a runner by replacing it with loosely scattered green leaves. Having your table bare is also an option if the table top is pretty enough by itself.
The napkin will only need to be in good condition and reasonably absorbent, but don’t worry too much about thread count and color here. Spend that money on great wine which something guests will appreciate more.
Instead of printing one menu for each guest, just print one menu and put in a frame of your choosing (one per round table, or 1 every 6 chairs at a long table) or even just write it on a bigger board by the door or by the buffet for all to see.
It is quite easy for guests to figure out what they are eating once food gets served. A printed individual menu is only looked at for less than a minute usually!
Wedding cake designers are truly able to produce elaborate works of art, and most modern cake are an astonishing feast for the eyes. But consider this: just as with wedding dresses, when it comes to cake less can definitely be more.
Instead of aiming for amazing looks, focus on the essential stuff such as the taste. A simple white fondant cake should never be underestimated, as it also has the added qualities of endurance: there is less risk of the cake melting or sliding, than for example a trendy naked cake which easily dries out or collapses. Baked by a professional and covered with fondant, the cake will stay moist and delicious even if standing in the summer heat all afternoon.
Decorate your basic fondant cake with a feature flower, berries and fruit, and you will have a stunning and unique cake. Or why not add succulents, chocolate or berry sauce drip or edible gold flakes? There are even edible “pearls” if you feel that way inclined – a visit to your local baking shop might prove worthwhile.
Another idea is to have several smaller cakes, cheesecakes or pies, blending in the professional with some homemade ones, instead of one big cake – this way you have more possibilities to unleash your creativity, and there will be something to entice every taste.
Even though it seems counterintuitive, hand making from scratch can often work out expensive, and can get pretty stressful, too.
Plan no more than 3 small or 2 medium DIY projects, and choose to make items that you think you might find joy in having after the wedding too. Pick projects that don’t seem too elaborate to maximize your DIY enjoyment. Take you time with it, and do them lovingly.
Rentals will kill the budget quickly. Consider borrowing objects, or buy from thrift stores, or just to have less.
A sustainable way to decorate is to buy decor items that you know you’ll also make use of or easily sell on after the wedding: such as lanterns, candle holders, pots, coffee table or a nice sofa.
Novelty toasting flutes
Yet another piece you will pay a premium for, use for the wedding, put in a cabinet to grow dust never be used again. Be minimalist-savvy and attach a twig of rosemary instead, or a simple ribbon, to two ordinary flutes.
This is a fairly easy to achieve DIY projects – how about a dip in gold paint, some more pearls or glitter?
A fancy carriage
Few will take notice your mode of transport to the ceremony, and for the getaway car, dont be afraid to be innovative and rethink the vintage rental car – how about a wolkswagen bus, a golf car or a rickshaw?
Ask around in the network – someone ought to have an impressive or quirky vehicle, or perhaps a characterful old truck.
Uber Gold is the fancy version of the taxi app – much less expensive than limo rental.