You might have a clear idea of what you want, and what you don’t need for your wedding, depending on budget or personal style. There are some items you don’t really need for your wedding at all though, so if you’re looking for ways to spend less or simply cut down on fuss, here are some items to take off your list today.
Size isn’t everything. You don’t have to invite everyone you have ever known so don’t feel you have to. Planning a smaller, more intimate wedding with just close friends and family can be easier and far less expensive.
A Formal Wedding Breakfast
The catered wedding breakfast for a large number of guests can be the biggest cost at any wedding. And for couples who marry early in the day you are expected to feed all your guests twice, usually with a sit-down meal followed later in the evening with a buffet. You can save hundreds by getting married later in the day and feeding fewer guests with just the buffet. It doesn’t have to be limp sandwiches, these days you can cater a buffet with delicious speciality dishes such as sushi. Check with your venue on outside catering as you can save even more by ordering your own party platters from the supermarket, M&S or local bakery.
A Traditional Wedding Cake
You don’t have to have 3-tiers of white iced wedding cake. It is just as pretty and currently very fashionable to have a small tower of cupcakes instead. To cut costs you can serve the cupcakes as your dessert, meaning you save on the cost of an expensive multi-tiered cake and also on the cost of dessert for all your guests. And if you want to be really different, consider having a cake tower made of cheeses.
The truth is, you can wear whatever you want. You don’t need to wear white at all, and if you would feel more comfortable in a trouser suit or a two-piece then don’t feel you have to follow tradition for the sake of it.
Coloured wedding dresses, cocktail gowns, pretty prom dresses and bridesmaids collections will give you a larger range of colours and styles to choose from and most of them at a lower price. And let’s face it, we know from our 2015 Confetti.co.uk Sex Survey that most of us are not virgins when we take our vows so don’t feel pressured into wearing ‘virginal’ white! That said you don’t have to wear bright blue or red, there are plenty of champagne and antique gold shades out there that will give you the look of a bridal gown without being the ubiquitous strapless, white wedding dress.
Most modern brides arrive and leave their wedding in a vintage roller and some may have even dreamed of arriving in a horse and carriage, but if the church or venue is close enough, consider walking there, just as brides did centuries ago. You’ll save hundreds on the cost of wedding transport, be doing your little bit to help the environment and get to show off your wedding dress to the whole town!
Save the Date Cards
Unless you are planning your wedding a year or more in advance, you don’t need to send Save the Date cards unless you really want to. Sending invitations is important as emails can go astray and get lost but if you want to cut down on stationery costs and you’re planning your wedding in under a year this is another saving you could make.
You don’t have to spend over the odds on embroidered white silk bridal shoes. If you wear a long gown, no one is going to see them. It’s fashionable to wear coloured shoes with an ivory wedding dress so why not go out and buy yourself some special new shoes that you can wear again on special occasions – like your first wedding anniversary!
An Engagement Party
An engagement party is another considerable cost that is just not essential. It can be useful to get your families together under one roof before the wedding but you don’t have to plan a huge celebration that costs hundreds and adds more to your stress.
If you want to mark your engagement in a meaningful way, consider having an engagement photo shoot. It’s a good way to try out your chosen wedding photographer and many professional photographers offer an engagement shoot as part of the whole wedding booking. Ask about an engagement photo shoot when you come to booking your wedding photographer as it is a more lasting way to mark the occasion of your engagement, and then send your favourite shots to all your family. A photo lasts longer than a party and you’ll all get to celebrate together at the wedding.
Stag and hen nights are enough. Just like the rehearsal meal, the bridal shower is a lovely American tradition but one that is far from essential, particularly if you are planning to go out on the town for your ‘last night of freedom‘!
Instead, consider combining the gentle bridal shower at home with the often more raucous hen night out and plan a hen day that you can invite your best friends along to, and your granny! Enjoy afternoon tea at a lovely hotel or a day out in the sunshine with all your favourite girls.
There are plenty of items you will feel you need for your wedding, and yet sometimes less is more. Don’t be afraid to plan the wedding you want. It is enough to be together and a bonus to put on an amazing wedding celebration for your family and friends.
Helpful points to remember when choosing a wedding cake supplier! Photo courtesy of Shaw Shots Selection and presentation What kind of cake would you like - traditional fruitcake, sponge cake, etc? How…
Kate Thompson is Confetti's features editor and wedding expert, and has worked in the wedding industry for 15 years. A widely published lifestyle writer, she has made BBC television and radio appearances discussing wedding trends in the UK.