The biggest key to having a wedding you love (and probably a frugal one too) is knowing what you want. When we got married last summer, there were a lot of things that are part of wedding convention that we didn’t want. So we just didn’t do them. And don’t feel too guilty, too. As a guest at many weddings, I can tell you that a lot of the stuff feels pretty extraneous. So if you don’t want it for you then don’t feel pressured to do it for your guests (for the most part, anyway. things like chairs are handy! 😉 and food. )
Pinyo has asked us for our best wedding tips and stories, so I’ll share one now (and save more for later!).
This one is about wedding favors. When planning the wedding, I ran across hundreds of ideas for favors. They ranged from little doo-dads to some really nice stuff. And the prices were…yeah. With about a hundred guests and not planning to spend much on the wedding, I started thinking about the very nature of favors and whether they were worth it.
As I said above, I’ve been at a lot of weddings. I can tell you one thing they all have in common: I didn’t keep the favor. Well, there was a scented candle I stuck in my suitcase once but I don’t know what happened to it. And a bottle topper which I just got and which we’ll likely never use since we don’t drink (but it’s pretty).
However, I’ve been to a few weddings where instead of or in addition to favors, the couple put out snacks on the table. I decided to do that instead. We went with a mix of Hershey kisses and a friend made pretty boxes for them all.
The idea was that the guests could eat them before, during, or after the lunch (though the sandwiches were ready as soon as they arrived…I appreciate blood sugar issues and didn’t want people getting famished).
They could take some along when they left or just leave them there to be consumed by my chocolate-happy family later.
Best of all, Hershey kisses aren’t really a budget breaker.
If you’re looking for unnecessary parts of a wedding to eliminate, I’d start with the favors. Yes, you want to create a happy and friendly atmosphere for your guests. But you do that best by talking to them yourself and by setting things up in a way that makes them comfortable (access to food, places to sit, things to do if you’re going to be doing 3 hours of photos).
Favors aren’t necessary for any of that. So if you don’t particularly want them, direct your attention and money elsewhere. I doubt a wedding favor will ever make a big impression on me.
No need for matchbooks or candies with your initials. No need for candles or birdseed (unless you want me to throw it at you) or anything else. If you really want them, they’re not bad things to have but they’re not part of the wedding/reception’s core.
By all means, save money there.