Dispensable Wedding Expenses

Traditions + Weddings = $$$

I am a firm believer in traditions but am also a firm believer in starting a marriage with no financial debt. And clearly, these two do not mesh well. Item after item, tradition after tradition, it all adds up to a pretty penny when you lay it all out.

So today, we're going to explore the expenses that I believe every couple can cut from their budget! This will not only help you save money, but save a whole lot of time!


Most often than not, they're just trinkets and toys - from wine stoppers to figurines and most commonly edible items, you'd never believe how many of these favors get thrown out or even left behind!

We recently had a beautiful wedding in Malibu and their favors were wine stoppers. And they were beautiful! I even took one for myself after the wedding was over! But as I began cleaning up the venue, table by table, I found AT LEAST two favors left on each of the tables. Now there were 18 tables and one favor per couple...that's 55% of the favors that were just left there. And I have no idea how many of those ended up in the trash!

All of that money just went down the drain! And for what reason?

Being a wedding guest, having a delicious dinner, and an amazing night of dancing is more than enough as a thank you to your guests so your wedding favors are definitely an item that can be cut out of that budget.

The Wedding Cake

Christopher Todd Studios

Christopher Todd Studios

No one eats the cake. I know you think that YOUR guests are cake lovers, but is simply doesn't happen. Bride after bride wants a huge cake just in case they run out, with extra sheet cakes in the back! And time and time again, pounds and pounds of cake are thrown out at the end of every single wedding.

Yes, I love keeping the tradition of cutting the cake so here are some money saving options for you:

1. If you love the look of a large cake and definitely want to have a cake cutting, order a large Styrofoam cake with the top layer being a real cake. Believe me, no one will ever know! Cut the top layer and you're good to go!   

2. Order a small, elegant cake for the looks and have a sheet cake in the back!

So as you see, you can still have your cake and eat it too...but spend thousands of dollars less on something that will otherwise end up in the trash!

Escort Cards

I am a firm believer in assigning tables, but that is a whole different story. And for those of you who have given your guests the chance to choose their meal, then I would advice against this next piece of advice.

But if you are having a buffet, or all of your guests are being served the same meal, then escort cards (otherwise known as seating cards), are a time-consuming expense that is just not necessary.

Instead, have a large poster-board-size chart with a list of all of your guests in alphabetical order And next to each name, write their table number. Voila! You're done!

If you absolutely have to have escort cards, then save yourself some time and money by listing couples and families on one card, instead of giving every individual their own!

Programs & Menus

I know, I know. They look so pretty! And there are so many cute ideas out there! But if you're looking to save a couple hundred bucks (that could be spent on a honeymoon flight?), then you can nix the ceremony programs (because no one reads them and they all end up in the trash) and the dinner menus (because no matter what is listed there, the meal is already chosen!).

Hosted Bar

My husband and I so badly wanted to provide alcohol all night long for out 165 guests. But when the quote came to over $8,000 JUST for the hosted bar, we quickly nixed that idea. For those of you who think it is un-classy to allow guests to pay for their drinks, think again. It is totally normal and totally the norm.

But if you want some options, here you go!

1. Host the bar for an hour and let your guests pay for their drinks the remainder of the night.
2. Host beer and wine and let guests pay for hard liquor.
3. Put a couple of bottle of wine on each table for guests to enjoy during dinner.

It's not like you are forcing them to drink! If they want to spend the money, that is their choice and their choice alone. So don't feel bad - I promise that all of these options (and not hosting at all) is completely and 100% normal!

We're all looking to save a buck or two so when it comes to the unnecessary expenses, just let them know and remember that it is not the end of the world if your guests don't know the Best Man's name, or if they don't know what they will be eating an hour from now. Save yourself time, money, and a whole lot of energy!