"Unnecessary" wedding items. What did you skip and what did you get?

posted 1 year ago in Decor
Post # 16
920 posts
Busy bee

We got married at his house and had a cake party. We skipped most of the traditional stuff and I don’t regret it at all. 

Post # 17
6630 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: June 2015

missmagpie :  Skipped: DJ, emcee, catering, centerpieces from the florist, aisle decor (partially an accident), chair covers, special table for wedding party, professional hair or makeup, alcohol except beer, videographer.  Probably a LOT more.

We had cheap chairs (though cheaper than we intended due to an ‘error’), paper plates, plastic cups, paper napkins, ahalf day photographer, men’s clothes from JC Penney, my dress not an official wedding gown, a strawberry shortcake bar fresh from the grocery store bakery and produce aisles, all flowers but the bouquets/corsages were also grocery store (I put them together with the moms), we rented speakers for $150 and played iTunes, my sister strung up white Christmas lights, we used plastic tablecloths where something was needed to cover the crappy tables our venue had.  We also used a place that had never been used for a wedding, so didn’t cost a fortune (a vacation ‘ranch’ with a ‘lodge’ that used to be a small restaurant – $10 per head plus renting the attached room.  Oh, we also didn’t do stuff like rent a special car to take us around. And we got legally married by a cheap officiant at the courthouse two days before (initial cost $40, but he made us keep half), then Father-In-Law emotionally married us on our wedding day for free.  Last thing I remember offhand, our ceremony venue was public property, so free.

Things I did get: uhhh… we rented UTV’s to carry everyone to the ceremony site.  Definitely not standard.  I did buy a bouqet for myself, 2 for my gals and corsages for the moms.  Florist recommended we not have the guys wear bouts since they didn’t have jackets.  We self-catered (but it was a small wedding, 34 guests).  We did have a rehearsal dinner and everyone was invited, but again, self-catered.  My in-laws hosted a self-catered brunch the next day (plus everyone who was still there hung out more).  I did make welcome bags since guests were coming anywhere from 100 miles to 2000.

Post # 20
1005 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2018


  • RSVP cards & return envelopes. RSVP online.
  • Hotel welcome bags. The hotel has a free happy hour. Guests can socialize there and get caught up in San Antonio tourist traps without any help from us.
  • Flower girls. I bought baskets for $1 at a thrift store. Whoever is brave enough to bring their kid to the wedding can have the surprise of a cute photo of them being a flower girl. Saves us and a family from having to stay on top of another detail.
  • Almost skipped the ring barer, but my 11 year old cousin promised that he’ll behave and use a suit he already has.
  • Expensive makeup and hair. We’re getting everything done at a beauty school.
  • Ceremony rituals that turn into keepsakes that your future children will destroy.
  • German wedding traditions. I originally tried to incorporate these, but they’re all destructive and require too much time or explanation (bridal veil dance, polterabend, sawing a tree, etc)
  • Stressing out about how exactly the bridesmaids will look. They’re beautiful and unique and awesome. They can have their hair done however makes them happy.
  • Guest book that only fills up with signatures to the second page. We are doing a (more expensive) Polaroid scrapbook, but we will cherish it with the silly photos and lovely messages in it. My cousins are managing this.
  • DIY Smartphone Videography (wedding mix), See Investments.
  • Expensive centerpieces. I recycled glass jars and painted all of them purple for $14.
  • Paper goods and party favors. People don’t need this. Most people don’t want it.
  • A seated formal meal / buffet. We are doing tapas, drinks and dancing. I hate going to weddings where the large meals are wasted because they didn’t cater to everyones taste (how can you?) or guests filled up before hand. We are ordering a variety of party foods and drinks to keep things fun.
  • Trying to stay away from “personalized bridesmaids” gifts. No is going to wear a shirt that says “SOMEONE ELSE GOT MARRIED AND I WAS HER B****” after your wedding. I did this when I got engaged and I think we are collectively over it.

Investing in:

  • Quality photography and videography. We don’t know how long we will have our grandparents. We don’t wish to keep the centerpieces. Having a quality team capture these moments will preserve the best memories.
  • Fun events before the wedding. A dance lesson after the rehearsal dinner. A spa day with my girls. Setting up fun opportunities to hang out with the people that give good energy before the wedding.
  • Flowers. I’m decorating from a distance and none of my crap matches. I have no theme. Everything is a different shade of purple. The flowers will make it look like I tried harder to have a cohesive look. My florist is awesome and has all the details she needs.

 Pay attention to sales. I got my dress and all the fixings (including alterations) during David’s Bridal Cyber Monday sale. I bought robes for my bridesmaids at $20 each with no personalization (so they can use them again without “BRIDESMAID” stamped on the back).

Post # 21
9579 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2016

skipped chair covers, charger plates, fancy wedding shoes, limo, videographer, expensive favors (we did donuts, which tbh most ppl passed on.. But we packed them up and put them in the lobby of our apartment building and our neighbors devoured them, so nothing wasted thankfully.)  I’m sure there are more things we skipped because I honestly didn’t even consider them.  We had pretty minimalist decor but I still think it was all lovely.



Post # 22
1721 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2019

We’re not married yet, but I did want to mention that Etsy has been our bible. There are so many “pinteresty” things that you can get for so cheap there, it’s astounding. As far as stationery goes, I haven’t felt the need to cringe, but there are other things that we are skipping to save money, and splurging a little on others that we feel will be worth it. 

(As a side note, I love elegant chair covers – especially with giant bows lolol they come with our venue for free so I never thought twice about them, but I had no idea there was such a hatred for them!) 


1) Photo booth (I agree, super tacky)

2) Majority of flowers (centerpieces, one bouquet near the cake, and the bridal party bouquets are all I’m going to have, and they’ll be simple). I’m also going with silk flowers because I’m deathly allergic to everything under the sun. 

3) No limousines or horse carriage rides or anything like that – just using our own cars to get to places and that’s fine with me. Saves about $300 in my area. 

4) Videography. For God’s sakes, I am so against spending upwards of $4000 on a videographer. All I care about is the ceremony, and my Uncle John Doe is gonna stand in the back with his video camera on a tripod and catch the whole thing. Paying him $100, and that works for everyone. ๐Ÿ™‚ 

5) This may sound silly, but shoes. My friend spent literally $900 on her wedding shoes. It was in her budget, they were gorgeous shoes, but her dress was a gown with a cathedral train and I didn’t see her shoes until I asked to see them and she lifted up her skirt a little to show them off. From the moment I knew I was going cathedral train, I budgeted only $50 for shoes, and the shoes I got were $55 and absolutely perfect! 


Splurging on:

1) My hair and makeup and dress. It’s my money, I’ve been saving for months, and I won’t go into debt, so that’s all I care about! I want the PERFECT gown. ๐Ÿ™‚ 

2) Photographer. We upped our budget a little on the photographer when we decided on no videographer. We’re using two photographers to capture it all perfectly (there will be a lot of guests so that works for that too), and saved, like $2200. 

3) Alcohol and DJ. I think the better your alcohol and music, the better the memories. 

4) Wedding night accommodations. Because they’re wedding night accommodations. ๐Ÿ˜‰ 

Post # 23
47 posts
  • Wedding: August 2018


-RSVP cards (RSVPs online!)


-Most florals (Only getting bouquets and boutonnieres)

-Chair covers

-Expensive centerpieces (DIY’d them…doing stacks of books I got at a library sale w/ ribbons)

-Open bar (Just beer wine and soda instead)

-Cake (We got a great deal on donuts instead)

-Extra DJ “uplighting”


-Limo or other fancy transportation…we’re just driving our own cars

-Makeup artist (family member is doing my makeup for free!)



-Bookmark favors (They go with our literary theme!)

Post # 24
867 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2012

We did heaps of DIY stuff (table linens, centerpieces, place cards, invites/save the dates, etc). 

We didn’t opt for a wedding cake – we thought it was a waste of money. We made cupcakes and had a sweets table. We would have been happy without a photobooth. People had fun with it but none of the photos were very good. We skipped renting a car/limo. Did not have a videographer – I would rather have my memories and some photos. I did not have a ‘reception dress’. Just no. I get to wear a wedding dress once, I’m wearing it the whole time! ๐Ÿ™‚

Worth it:
-Open bar
-Reliable caterer
-Live band at reception. Everyone still talks about how much fun the band/party was. I have seen so many dance floor and party ‘flops’ when there is just an ipod with a playlist. 

Post # 25
21 posts

Trust your gut when it comes to items you think you don’t need. Your wedding will be wonderful if you focus your time and money on what’s really important to you. I cut a lot of fluff out of my wedding and I loved every minute of it. So many people said it was the best wedding they’ve ever been to. 


– Bridal Party (personal choice and my friends loved it) 

– Boutonnieres and Corsages

– Live Music

– Professional Mani-Pedi (did my own)

– Hotel Room night before and wedding night (wedding was local)

– Cutting cake (we fed each other mini cupcakes)

– Photo booth (didn’t have the space and it wasn’t in the budget, our photographer took lots of group shots)

– Videographer 

– Lots of flowers (I shopped around and found a great florist on Thumbtack to do simple arrangements and bouquet for <$500 including delivery!) 

– Favors

– Limo (we took an Uber) 


My Must-Haves:

– Great DJ (scored a good deal on Gigmasters) 

– Professional Photos (great deal on Thumbtack)

– Open Bar, Cocktail Hour and Full Dinner (I wanted to treat our family and friends to a great meal and party)

– Professional Hair and Makeup 

– New 3-piece Suit for Groom (was a good investment) and Lace Dress and Pretty Shoes

– Table arrangments and bouquet


Post # 26
2 posts
  • Wedding: November 2018

ladyvk :  I’m curious – what was your backdrop? I’m trying to figure out my backdrop options at the moment! 

Post # 27
2800 posts
Sugar bee

Try not to spend too much time on pinterest. Pinterest is pretty much entirely made up of ‘cute but unnecessary.’ (as well as ‘DIY that’s actually 10x as expensive as purchasing pre-made’)

We skipped: DJ, favours, didn’t go overboard on flowers, chair covers, elaborate centrepieces, most stationary (programs, menus, save the dates), photobooth, videographer.

We did splurge on a great photographer which was the smartest move we made. 

Post # 28
4973 posts
Honey bee

missmagpie :  


Chair covers


Fancy shoes (I did have wedges and Chucks though)

Garter (skipped the toss and bouquet throw)

No live band 

No fancy rehearsal (we had burgers and fries). It was a Thursday and I wasn’t going to expect people to take off mid week. 

No videographer 

We had:

Favors (they were going to be instead of placecards but our place required it due to food allergies). So you can skip favors

DJ mid range price he was great! 

Flowers (was going to skip but we ended up spending  $1000 or so which is a lot to me but it was worth it)

Burgers and fries for rehearsal (we couldn’t afford another catered affair even if smaller).

Instead of a big rehearsal we put that towards the bar we had a package and did consumption last hour and we wanted to fully host the bar. It turned out great! Wine during dinner. Champagne toast. And full bar (well drinks and mid but no high level stuff bc that would blow our budget). Everyone got enough food and booze and cake so that was the main goal. 

I splurged on my dress bc I never get dressed up. It seems lower budget than many on here but I thought it was a lot for a dress. $1500 or so plus accessories and veil and alterations.  

Edited to add I do wish we spent the extra $500 to have a photo booth. I’m bummed we didnt have more guest photos so doing it over I’d find a way to make that happen. 

  • This reply was modified 1 year, 3 months ago by  sweatergal007.
Post # 29
1719 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2017

3naj :  here’s a picture


Post # 30
243 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 2017

We skipped charger plates, fresh flowers, place cards (did seating chart instead), programs, desert table (just had a wedding cake), uplighting/photobooth, HMUA for the bridesmaids. We also DIYed the centerpieces while the venue provided the table cloths and napkins free of charge.

Splurged on chiavarri chairs ($2 more than the regular chairs), party favors (simple box with candy), wedding arch (outside ceremony but we DIYed the decorations on the arch instead of doing fresh flowers), my gown (doubled my budget to $ 800.00), and open bar/appetizers served ahead of dinner.

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