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5 things you don't REALLY need at your wedding

Now let me start this post by saying... the following 5 things are things I personally felt like weren't necessary. They saved me stress and money, and I don't think my guests missed them at all!

If you choose to have these things- more power to ya! There's no judgement here- just things I felt that worked for us, that saved us worry and allowed us to spend money on things we really found important.

Like food.

We also had a fairly large wedding (approx. 170 guests), and we were buying things in large quantities, thus we tried to save where we could.

So, anyway lets get going on the 5 things you don't really need at your wedding

1. A seating chart 

Why stress yourself out trying to decide which great aunt twice removed has to sit next to crazy great uncle on your fiance's side? If there are less people at one table, and 20 people crammed around another one, who cares? Your guests are probably stoked that they can sit with people they know and actually like, and you're stoked because that's one less thing you have to worry about!

2. Tablecloths that match the shape of your table 

Let me explain this one. If you are renting a venue that provides the tables, they'll likely provide the tablecloths and you can skip to the next point. 

If you're like me and had to get tables and tablecloths separately, you have a couple of options. You could

 #1 Spend a fortune renting round table cloths. We're talking $8-12 per tablecloth (minimum) and   depending on how many tables you have, you can easily rack up a couple hundred dollar bill paying for something people are just going to spill their food on.

#2 Plastic table cloths- not a bad option (I had a friend do it and it worked great!), but I personally     wanted to leave the "cloth" in "tablecloth".

#3 Skip the table cloths and tell your photographer that their job description now includes not shooting the tables... or using magic editing powers to erase the (potentially) ugly table surface out. 

#4 Or you have option #4 which I personally thought was brilliant and saved us over $100! We         decided that we would rent square table cloths big enough to cover the round tables. We were able to rent these from a restaurant supply store (wayyyyy cheaper than wedding rental places) for about $4. 

Now I wasn't sure about this plan at first so I did what any normal person needing to make a decision would do... I googled it. And I found dozens of opinions saying that this option was incredibly tacky and to never do it. Well I decided to do it anyway, and it worked awesome! You couldn't even tell the difference with all the chairs put up against the table, and I have yet to have a guest bring up the issue of square table cloths on round tables at my wedding.

(Our dining room before it was decorated. I think the tablecloths totally worked!)

3. Real silverware and/or plates 

A lot of times your caterer will provide silverware/plates... if that's the case-great! Move along to point 4. 

If you have to figure out your own plate situation like we did, let me tell you paper plates and plastic silverware is the way to go! You can always splurge and get the nicer looking stuff, but people are going to care much more about what's ON the plate than the actual plate itself... wouldn't you agree?

(Note the plastic silverware and plates. We also brought a few empty mason jars and had my bridesmaids stick their bouquets in them for the table decorations). 

4. Super fancy, intricate, beautiful, and expensive invitations 

I LOVE some of the gorgeous invitations that we have gotten and that we saw when we were doing our own invite shopping. But for us, paying $1.50-$2.00 per invite plus postage for 200+ people just wasn't going to fly. My brother-in-law landed up designing the invitations himself and we print and cut them ourselves. Though I don't necessarily recommend a DIY approach to invites (especially if you're doing over 100), I DO recommend not spending a lot of money on them because... lez-be-honest... who doesn't just throw them in the trash after the wedding is over? 

5. Hundreds or thousands of dollars worth of flowers 

Now flowers are BEAUTIFUL and I LOVE them as much as the next girl, but this is one place that can really getcha when you're trying to plan a budget friendly wedding. 

I was fortunate enough to have an extremely talented cousin who made our arrangements with flowers we'd bought from Sam's Club. I highly recommend this route- buy your flowers wholesale and try to find someone to make your bouquets for you (paying them will still be less than a florist), or maybe teach yourself and your gals (hello YouTube tutorials) and throw a little bouquet making party the day before the wedding!

If you decide to go to the florist to avoid the hassle mentioned above- keep it simple! Do bouquets for the girls, boutonnieres for the guys and call it a day! Buying flowers that are in season or cheaper to begin with can really help you out too. 

Flowers can empty your wallet really quick if you do flower centerpieces. Instead of flowers, get creative and do non-flower options. For a fall wedding, scatter fall leaves. For a rustic wedding, place small logs with a candle on top. Try candles on top of a mirror with fake rose petals scattered around.

(Our centerpieces)

OR do what my brilliant friend did... get some interesting shaped bowls at a discount store and fill them up with chips. Add a bowl of salsa and a bottle of wine (depending on your budget) next to it and, voila! You have a centerpiece that your guests can eat... because if they're anything like me, that's all they want to do anyway. 

If your church/venue needs decorating, sometimes you can get lucky and time your wedding around a holiday (say Christmas or Easter), and the church may already have decorations (i.e. flowers) in place. 

If not, tulle bows on pews, arrangements of fake flowers, or easy DIY decorations like the cross and hearts made by my parents below would suffice.

Lights strung behind tulle or clear glasses/jars filled with ornaments or other decorative items could also be cheap options.

(Note the lights behind the tulle)

All of this is to say that a little brainstorming and creativity can save you literally HUNDREDS on your wedding. Some days I got caught up in wanting every little detail that I saw on Pinterest in my wedding. Not only did I not have the budget for it, it stressed me out! 

Just remind yourself of the priorities that you have set for your wedding (more on how we did this here) and let go of the rest.Trust me- you'll be happier, less stressed and you will still absolutely have the wedding of your dreams! 

Much love and happy wedding planning!

What other things do you think aren't really needed at weddings? Or can be skipped to be friendlier on the budget? 


  1. love your sunflowers!!! what a beautiful wedding! :) i love your decor... i had a similar theme at my wedding but am not good at decorating so i thought our centerpieces were ugly (mason jars with burlap/pictures in them, then moss & rocks around them... it looked better in my head) lol i love what you did!

    i used sunflowers at my wedding too! we actually had a guy grow them in a greenhouse for us and we got all the ones i used in the wedding for $40! that was a steal! :) and then we made the bridesmaid bouquets with those flowers also! we didn't do a seating chart either - it's easier for people to just sit where they want, i think! :)

  2. Sounds like I should have hired you BEFORE our wedding! haha, all great ideas :) We printed and made our own wedding invites!

  3. Im glad you were able to prioritize and figure out exactly what you wanted.

    I worked for the Hyatt for a few years and tablecloth rentals are darn expensive! Super duper expensive. I never thought about using square tablecloths for circular tables but that would work. The only people that would know would be people who have worked at hotels =)

    I also agree that most people care about food! Especially the guys.

    Flowers! Yes buy in bulk and create them yourself. My sister arranged my boquet and flowers cost I think around $30. It was cheap.

    I also have a friend who had envisioned her wedding since she was little and she knew exactly what she wanted. SO, she did spend a lot of money on her wedding but it turned out exactly how she wanted. I think weddings are different for each girl.

    If were me again I'd just go to the beach again. =)

  4. we saved SO much on flowers by only getting bouquets, boutonnieres....and i think that's it. for centerpieces we filled vases with water, floating candles, and a single flower (that we got from a grocery store!). these are such great ideas!

  5. Ahhhh don't you just LOVE sunflowers! They are to this day my favorite flower and make me SO happy! And it's a bonus that they're so cheap, right?? Totally agree on the seating chart- too much work for something people don't like haha

  6. Ahhhh totally Caroline- DIY invites can be the way to go even though it's a lot of work!

  7. I think that's what I was most shocked about was the tablecloths being SO expensive. Which isn't a big deal if you have a smaller wedding but we were looking at like 20 tables so that added up quick! And yeah I had some friends in the entertainment/hotel business that probably noticed but who cares? Haha

    $30 for flowers?! Girl that is crazy good! So awesome!

    And running away to a beach definitely can be the way to go haha. I might do that for a vow renewal... in 25 years haha

  8. Filling vases with water and floating candles and a flower is a great idea- sounds beautiful! It's crazy how fast flowers can add up!


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