(Closed) Wedding Planning, no wedding party, overwhelmed

posted 4 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 4
184 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

You need an officiant to be legally married.

I think bachelorette parties are overrated. I don’t want or need one. Fiance and I are going to go shopping with one or two people we’ve chosen instead and buy things we normally wouldn’t buy for ourselves (i.e. $50 t-shirts for me, model tanks for him). Just a suggestion – no reason to go the traditional route if you dont’ want to!

Your wedding isn’t that far. Let your guests arrange their own transportation and lodging if they choose.

Guests, except maybe for young kids, do not need to be entertained at any point. They’re adults – they can entertain themselves.

Hopefully that was helpful 🙂

I’m planning everythign myself as well, so I get it! Lots of stress! And I have less than 5 months!

Post # 5
437 posts
Helper bee

1) Cost. Well, if you dont have a wedding planning or extras like rehearsel dinner you should be able to….Ours was 13k NZD for 80 people which is about 10k? 

2) We had a wedding party but apart from the best man organising the stag do we didnt have any help from them

3) I had a bachlorette party… we had an afternoon tea, DVice came and did a sex toy party and then we did tarot card reading.. the boys then came back from the stag do (which was paintball) and we all had a bbq. It was an awesome way for everyone to meet prior to the wedding.

4) I planned everything myself and didnt need a wedding planner. 

6) We had one of our groomsman annouce speakers, courses, first dance etc

7) Just look at your group of friends and see what they enjoy. We had cards at each table for them to write advice for the married couple. It was a laugh at the time and now I cherish them.

8) I would look for accomadation but allow them to organise their transport.


Post # 9
250 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

@artistInResidence:  Yes, your officiant needs to oversee you saying your vows, and you need 1-2 witnesses to sign as well.

Post # 10
520 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

@artistInResidence:  For cost I would look at what you can afford first, there is nothing worse than planning a dream wedding and then realizing you cannot back it up. We are having a wedding of 40 people and the entire thing will cost $3000 – $5000 as we are looking to lower costs and not go all out. 

If you have no wedding party you don’t need a rehearsal but it could be an idea depending on how well you are communicating with photographer, officiant… you could get away with just having private meetings with certain people to discuss the day within the week before.

A bachelorette isn’t a must but at the same time there is nothing stopping you from organizing it yourself! You can see if your friends would want to go for wine and some may shock you with a yes! I myself will not be having one!

Typically most brides seem to have their mother helping them get dressed while the DOC actually does things to make sure the day is going off without a hitch – I wouldn’t imagine you’d waste that money on hiring someone to dress you when your mother would likely be thrilled. Bridesmaids typically don’t need to do anything but show up so hiring someone would take a load off of your shoulders if you can afford it. 

I don’t think you really need an MC, if someone wants to take the mic to introduce your arrival or something that is good enough. People will clue in when the music starts about the first dance and all that.

The only activity that guests need is food – that will keep them occupied since they are adults after all!

Officiant is a must unless you want to get married at the courthouse prior and then you can do whatever you wish for a ceremony – you could have a dog leading the ceremony to marry you then! 

For us we have some out of towners, with the invitations we are including a card with a list of hotels within a 3 km radius of the wedding so that they can book accordingly. I couldn’t imagine having to pay for them to spend the night in town! 


Mainly you need to pick a date and then start making phonecalls to ask all the detailed questions to the vendors such as price, rules and availability! 

Post # 11
303 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

@artistInResidence:  The mother of the bride or groom could host a wedding shower for you – doesn’t have to be organized by a bridal party. 

Post # 12
520 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

@artistInResidence:  Just in response to a certain question. If you arrive at city hall or the courts they can do the whole signing thing – I don’t think vows are legally required to do so. You may need to bring a witness or two with you but I think many have their staff witness for you. That way you would be legally married and have no legal restrictions.

Post # 13
184 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

@artistInResidence:  I think save the dates are redundant. Why send people what basically amounts to two invitations? Just send invites 6-8 weeks in advance. Anybody who you absolutely want to be there, you will have already told to be there, right?

Seems like weddings have become insanely complicated and detailed and expensive in the last few years. So many extras that no one honestly will care about or notice.

Post # 15
46 posts
  • Wedding: July 2013


First take a deep breath, and go from the most important to the least important. You first need to find a date that works for your essential people, and a venue that you can afford comfortably. Only when you have those, you go to the next step: officiant, dress, photographer, cake. And then to the next: invitation, decor, flowers, etc.

My wedding took place 6 months ago in one of the most expensive areas of the US. There were 54 guests + one photographer + us.

We had our ceremony at a Botanical Garden (less then $1500 for two hours at the venue, parking for 20 cars, and the officiant), and our reception in the private dining room of a restaurant ($4500, skipping alcohol beside the Champagne toast).

We skipped having a formal bridal party (our special friends were our witnesses, helped me get ready, read at the ceremony, were MC’s at the reception, etc), we skipped the dance party (and therefore DJ), and also did without wedding planners/DOC. It’s not because you do not have a bridal party that you can not ask friends to help out. Make sure to ask for small chuncks of help with well-defined roles that they are comfortable with, and give them a nice gift after the wedding to say thank you. Also the coordinator at the reception venue can certainly take care of a few things, such as making sure the decor is in place and welcoming the baker. No need for bridal shower but you can have a girls’ night a few days before the wedding. Punch and games, watching silly wedding-related movies, etc.

Our entertainment consisted of toasts/speeches, coloring books and stickers for the kids, and guest book pages to fill out by each guests with plenty of colored pencils and crayons. I designed my pages using Mrs Unicycle’s template. Look it up! I’m now in the process of creating a guest book with all the colorful pages full of fun comments and advice and photos of our guests. We kept our decor simple with little votive candles and dimming the lights. My flowers were less than $200 for my bouquet, a boutonniere, a corsage for our Ring Princess, and a few flowers to decorate the cake.

For Save the Date, we send a (gasp!) email consisting of a cute home-taken engagement photo with a text indicating our date and the city, and only mailed the actual invitation. For accomodation, we wrote a list of options on our wedding website (that was a free blog with a static front page, paying extra for no ad) and offered to help our close family to make reservations if needed. We made sure to include options at various price points!

Look around for ideas, but if you do not feel the need for the Whole Wedding Experience TM (or do not have the budget for it), limit your research so that you do not get overwhelmed or sucked in into planning something you do not even want! It can be really meaningful and nice and yet affordable.

Post # 16
12248 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: May 2013

1) Cost. We do not want a wedding with more than 50 guests…to keep it under $10,000.

Our 42 guest wedding was 4K, and only 1.5K on that was food! So you might be able to go cheaper–Where are you located?

2) We won’t have a wedding party…do we have to have a rehersal dinner/processional? Or should my fiance and I orchestrate everything on our own and have everyone else, including family be spectators? 

You do not need to have a rehearsal. since you don’t need a rehearsal. You could do a processional of just the parents and you, or you could be the only person to walk down the aisle. Your choice!

3) As a result of no wedding party,… I was envisioning a wine tour, but none of my girlfriends drink… 

You could apporach your girl friends about doing a girl’s night out instead of a bachelorette! Rent a limo, get your nails done, go to dinner, see a show… Whatever!

4) I’m debating between a wedding planner and a day of coordinator…I really don’t want to have my mom there helping me get dressed, etc. 

If you’re planning on planning it, I would go with the DOC! Though I’m not sure I’d want her helping me get dressed… Why not have a friend do that?

5) Do we really need an officiant? … (I haven’t asked my future husband what he thinks about this though…)

I’m 99% certain you need an officiant if you’re planning on having a legally binding ceremony.

6) Do I need an MC or someone to run activities throughout the wedding reception? ….Or does the DOC do that? 

You could go either way… Generally, a DJ will do it, if you have one.

7) Do guests need activities during the wedding reception? How do I figure out what’s appropriate?

Nope! As long as there’s food.

8) Since this will be about 1.5 hours out of town, should we look for accomodations for our guests? Book town cars from the winery to their hotels? Ugh, if so, that would be so expensive…

It’s generally nice to have a hotel block and info on hand for the guests. But providing them transportation (whicle nice) is not necessary.

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