Wedding budgeting is always difficult- whether your total budget is 10,000 dollars or 100,000 dollars, the challenge is the same- how much to do you allocate toward each vendor, decor, attire, and all the rest?!
My biggest piece of wedding budget advice is always the same- prioritize. What are the 3 items that mean the most to you? What are 3 items you really don’t care that much about? Love flowers? Go big! Could take or leave a fancy floral centerpiece? Get candles instead. I personally didn’t care at all about my invitations so we spent the least amount possible on them…however we probably spent way more on booze than the average wedding (I know, surprise, surprise.)
PTC sees a lot of weddings, and a lot of waste! Wastes of time, energy and money. Only you can decide what wedding elements are important to you, but here are a few examples of items you may want to cut back on, or even skip completely…
Paper goods in general are usually on our “to skip” list – your guest will glance at a program, menu or sign, and really not notice it again, and then they become trash. Programs especially are just generally not necessary, and sorry babe, besides your grandma no one is going to take your program home and scrapbook it.
Super unique ceremony? Creative wedding party? Specific directions the guests need to understand? Lots of traditions to follow along with? Maybe you do need a program- but keep it simple.
Your guests are not coming to your wedding because they are hoping to leave with some monogrammed chocolates or a custom beer coozie. They love you, and want to celebrate you, and are not going to be offended if there is no favor- quite frankly, they would prefer not to deal with it at all.
Have I seen rad favors that guests loved? Yes! Generally items that are handmade and edible go over the best. Have I seen favors get left at the end of the night? Pretty much every time. I’ve given out key chains, gourmet salts, candles, glassware and more to service staff, security and whoever else will take it at the end of the night. Unless you have something truly unique you want to share, don’t waste the time and money on a favor.
I actually wrote a blog post on this subject years ago (disclaimer- its not a good post!) entitled: Guest Books Are Stupid. Well, five years later, I still think they’re stupid.
Now, guest book alternatives on the other hand, I think can be fun. Jenga games where guests each sign a piece, a map that you can later frame and hang in your home, bottles of wine that you can enjoy on future anniversaries…ANYTHING other than a straight up guest book. Here’s the thing- your guest doesn’t even know what to write in your guest book! If you do choose to have some kind of guest book option, I recommend leaving it out the whole event…pre-ceremony, during cocktail hour, and find a place for it during the entire reception.
From cocktail napkins and disposable coffee cups at the bar, to monogrammed cake cutting knives and special forks for your dessert table- I think I have seen every single item possible be personalized, engraved, or custom. Here’s the truth- I actually love and appreciate these details. The problem is, 75% of your guests will not even notice. Guests notice quality, and they may notice if something looks mismatched or out of place, but they could care less if your names are printed on every solo cup.
These special items can be very expensive, and an extra $30 here, an extra $75 there, really adds up. Pick and choose which items you think will give you bang for your buck in adding that special, personalized touch to your wedding day.
What do you think is a waste of wedding money?