(Closed) In retrospect, what was biggest waste of money through out wedding process?

posted 3 years ago in Reception
Post # 16
7047 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2012

It will vary so much from person to person because everyone has different priorities.

To me favors honestly are a big waste because anything really good/useful tends to be expensive and is out of budget for a lot of people. Unless you’ve got a really awesome favor, I’m usually one to say “skip it”. We origionally were skipping it but about two weeks out Darling Husband really wanted to do something to incorporate his hometown. I frankly told him that it was going to be expensive so we were either splurging or not doing it at all – that I wasn’t wasting money on a half-ass favor that no one would want and would get left behind. In the end we did individual tubs of Johnson’s Popcorn (from the NJ boardwalk) and little tins of Salt Water Taffy / Fudge combo. It was a huge hit and we had none left….but it also was expensive. While yes it was a huge hit, I doubt people who have noticed if we didn’t have it. From a technical side of things the reception IS the thank you to your guests for attending your wedding.

I also think over the top cakes aren’t that big of a priority to me. I wanted a cake that looked nice, but was not willing to spend $3k on one for my 200 person wedding. We picked a baker who makes great tasting cakes but only works with buttercream so she did a simple design and our florist added flowers. I think over the top cakes are gorgeous but in my experience (as a wedding photographer, so I eat A LOT of wedding cake) they don’t always taste that great and are *expensive*.

Champagne toasts. Seriously, people are just as happy to toast with whatever they have in their hand. In fact, most of them usually prefer it. I can’t tell you how many weddings I photograph where the champs gets poured and people take two sips for toasting and the glasses sit half full on the tables. 

Post # 17
1411 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2016

I’m still a bit bitter over how much the food cost- it was ridiculous sum that ate up almost half our budget and I could have used that money for nicer decoration, wedding favours, more ‘wow’ floristry or a videographer, but our venue had preferred caterers and we went with the cheapest one so we had no choice.

I didn’t actually regret any choice we made on budget. Plenty of things I’d change but nothing was a wate of money. My regrets are more to do with doing things too last minute, but that’s another story! 


Post # 18
163 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: June 2017

futremrswhite17 :  Granted I haven’t gotten married yet, but if I could re-do one thing in the process I would have left out engagement photos. I really wanted them for save the date pictures and it may have just been the lady we used, but it cost us 250 just to get the pictures done, plus hair, makeup, outfits, etc…. and we still have to spend at least another 300 for the pictures we want to purchase THEN buy our save the date cards on top of that. Blah. If I could re do it I would have my mom snap some pics of us and our dogs and use a photo app to edit them.

Post # 19
2188 posts
Buzzing bee

There were so many things that I HAD to have that a year later, I wish I would have saved money on. Here’s my rather extensive list:

– Favors — they were a sentimental thing for me but I ended up taking 1/2 of them home and know my bridal party took several as well.

– Special napkins — I spent $70 on special navy napkins instead of standard white from the venue. They looked lovely, but so would have the white.

– Garden Roses — I had to have garden roses in my bouquet and for the tables. I ended up DIYing flowers so that I could spend more on fancy roses instead of paying for a florist to arrange them. It was a stupid choice. Peonies and garden roses are gorgeous, but so are many, many, many cheaper flowers.

-Live band at the reception — they were great. We loved them. None of our guests paid any attention to them.

We had a pretty frugal wedding and I don’t regret it, but if had the benefit of hindsight, I would have simplified many things and done less DIY things. I was unnecessarily frazzled the day before the wedding trying to arrange bouquets and coordinate the delivery of special napkins and signs and other ridiculous things. I also wish we would have halved our guest list and hired a day of coordinator.

Post # 20
728 posts
Busy bee

I haven’t had my wedding yet but I already know we wasted money on the cake. I was back and forth between 3 or 4 tiers and should have just went with the 3 tier size. And we’re leaving on our honeymoon the next day so I don’t know what we’re going to do with all the leftover cake

And I hate to say it but I gave in on the guest list too much. There’s people coming that we hardly talk to and while I like them I don’t feel close enough to some to have at my wedding. 

Post # 21
2930 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: April 2017

I’m the last of my friends to get married so I’ve gotten a lot of advice from them.

Many of my friends did not give favors, but those that did all said they were a waste of money, even the edible ones that they thought everyone would love.  One friend spent a small forture on cookies that looked like her and her husband, but many people left them because the few that did eat them said they tasted like cardboard.  Another friend made homemade toffee (she’s a baker) but she put nuts on top and so many people left them because of allergies.

Flowers were also one area that many of my friends regretted spending so much money on.  I know one girl that spend a ton on off season flowers and while they were pretty, there were other less expensive choices that would have been just as nice.

I’ve also heard special linens aren’t worth it, along with chair covers (although I don’t see them that much anymore).


Post # 22
3450 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2017 - Poppy Ridge Golf Course

Not married yet but have already considered cutting out favors altogether and we’re definitely skipping engagement photos. Professional engagement photos especially seem like an unnecessary waste of money to me. 

Post # 23
1936 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2015

I’m a weirdo because the mst common answers (favours, paper and food upgrades) are where a lot of my money went and i have no regrets.

Our favours were wine which is always a win.

It cost about $500 to upgrade so guest’s could have a meal selection and although that’s made the seating chart how to figure out it was work it. I hate not having a say in what I eat!

I did spend a small fortune on invitations. The only thinig I regret was not getting them organized sooner.

I’m in the process of hiring a band. Not sure if it’s worth it though

Post # 24
167 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: April 2011

A heavy cocktail hour.  If you serve a lot of food at the cocktail hour, guests won’t eat their meals. I’ve left much of my meal at many a wedding because I filled up at cocktail hour.   A nice cheese/cracker/veggie assortment is fine for a cocktail hour if you are having dinner following.

Flowers are someplace you can cut.  Flowers are pretty…It’s hard to mess them up!  I used Wholefoods to do my flowers and they were lovely!  And less than half the price of a florist.

Printed menus at the table.

Champagne toast.  I don’t particularly like champagne, so I am one that takes a sip for the toast then leaves it.

A second photographer.  I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone who had one photographer lament that they wish they had two.

Shoes.  No one sees your shoes.  Get something inexpensive and comfy.


Post # 25
626 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: March 2016

I’m actually glad we did favours – we weren’t going to, but shortly before the wedding I posted here and asked if people thought organza bags filled with Cadbury’s Creme Eggs and similar would go down well, the verdict was “damn yes, chocolate” and they did ….. to the extent that our own got pinched!

I don’t have many expense regrets. Only small things like buying a couple of underskirts I never used. Small eBay purchases like 3 different types of DIY materials to make my own flower hair vine (I ended up buying one)

Post # 26
1200 posts
Bumble bee

Cute little personalized bags for candy buffet–most people just noshed there

Floral centerpieces–I barely noticed them for more than a second

Nicer china–I seriously barely noticed the plates 

Wedding shoes–aside from a couple of pictures, they were hidden the whole time, and I ditched them for platform flip flops later

Expensive veil–I loved it but wore it for like 3 hours

Wine–we bought too much. If you have mixed drinks, seriously cut back your wine estimates

Facial–it was relaxing but did nothing for my skin


Things that were totally worth it that I had doubts about:

Videography–the day is a blur so I’m excited to see video soon!

Late night snack–it was a huge hit



Post # 27
2146 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2017

not from the wedding but from the pre-celebrations so far I agree anything printed (from wish tree tags to invites) they have all been ignored by guests… we now have 100 blank customised wish tags that no body filled in and like 50 invites that never got delivered because people didnt supply their postal address in time


also, no one except me cared about the centerpieces, cake or decor extras… favors where a huge hit though, everyone took one and some took extra

Post # 28
2146 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2017

DZMeadowz :  tea length dresses are very common here so shoes are often seen, however I agree its not worth spending a tonne on, mine cost £25 and will be on display (but im not a shoe person I honestly dont get the jimmy choo craze lol)

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