Weddings are special for many reasons, one being that they’re usually crafted to represent the individual couple. But over the years, the list of what’s necessary to have an “acceptable” wedding has gotten really, really long. And with that list, it’s hard not to question if we’re losing sight of wedding significance: celebrating two people who are in love and choosing to become family!
As times change, old-school traditions aren’t always needed — especially if something isn’t important to the couple. With the addition of tech consumption, budgets in mind, and by throwing out outdated wedding “rules,” there’s a handful of things to reconsider when planning a wedding. Here are eight things you might not need at yours.
The original meaning behind a wedding cake was good fortune and fertility — with quality ingredients expected to enhance a long-lasting and happy marriage. But the thing is, cakes nowadays are extravagant, expensive, and not everyone likes them. If you’re not sold on the meaning, ask people in your circle to bake something in lieu of a gift. This adds a personal touch on dessert, more variety, and cuts down on fancy cake costs. Pretty sure good fortune can come from cupcakes and donuts too!
I know, I know, who doesn’t love flowers? Well, the budget and whoever paying might not. Of course florals are a beautiful touch to a wedding, but they certainly aren’t necessary. Sticking to solely greenery is more budget-friendly, on-trend, and easier to manage (doesn’t die as quick), so that’s one option. Or, skip living things all together and go with a minimal vibe of candles and twinkle lights — just as pretty and a whole lot cheaper. If you aren’t doing a bouquet toss (another thing you definitely don’t need), reconsider a traditional bouquet too.
3. Physical invites
With most people locked into their emails 24/7, sending a save the date, invites, or both, via email isn’t a bad idea. It’s better for the environment, less expensive (sites like Paperless Post even offer free versions), and one less step for your guests. They can simply respond in a click and then head straight to your registry simultaneously. Plus, no postage and dead hands from addressing them! If you’re worried about your grandparents dealing with an email version, and rightfully so, buy and send physical versions for limited people.
4. Separate father-daughter/mother-son dance
If you want a dance including each parent but aren’t stoked on the idea of being in the spotlight for so long, join forces. I recently went to a wedding where the bride and her dad danced at the same time as the groom and his mom, and I thought it was brilliant. It’s still sentimental, but you’re essentially killing two birds with one stone — and less awkward if you hate being the center of attention.
5. A rehearsal dinner
Sure, you probably want to run through the ceremony beforehand, but having a full-on dinner afterwards isn’t crucial. Especially if you don’t have a wedding party, limiting who you see the night before — especially if people flew in from out of town — can be exactly that… limiting. And heavy on budget!
Think about dining with a very intimate group or even just your future spouse, then meet up with the rest of the guest list at a bar, bonfire, park, etc. to mingle before the big day. It cuts down on cost, includes everyone, and takes the pressure off making the rounds to every single person during the reception. Spend that time dancing instead!
6. A white dress
Let’s get real, the meaning behind a white, pure dress isn’t totally honest for a lot of us, ehem, modern women (Myself included!). If you love a reception-style dress with floral embellishment, wear it. If you want to channel your inner Gwen Stefani, go pink. If you want to wear a jumpsuit, by all means. Bottom line, it’s your day — if it’s not against morals or religion to dress in something other than white, wear what you want!
I honestly can’t think of a single favor that I’ve gotten that was truly useful (Sorry, friends!). While a sweet idea, gifting guests with a token of your wedding can be skipped. One less thing on your to-do list, and I promise your guests won’t miss it.
8. The bridal party
Though it’s special to be surrounded by your closest friends, them standing up in similar dresses vs. sitting in the crowd doesn’t alter significance. And I think most of us can agree that being a bridesmaid is a lot of work, and a lot more money. Instead of stressing over hurt feelings, finding a dress to fit everyone’s body and liking (probably not gonna happen!), purchasing gifts for the party, and putting burden on your BFFs, consider nixing the idea.
You do need a witness to sign off and make things legal, so think about choosing one Maid (or Matron) of Honor and Best Man, or have a family member be the witness. You can still get ready with your girls and take group pictures — with them wearing whatever they want.