3 Wedding Expenses to Skip and What to do Instead

When you get started it kinda feels like in Zoboomafoo when the brothers open the closet that’s jammed packed and everything dumps out and buries them (please tell me someone got that reference). Wading through all of the “traditionals”, “must haves,” and trendy items can be overwhelming. 

So I’m sharing 3 wedding day expenses that I think you can skip and no one will notice. I am probably going to ruffle some feathers with this post, but please know I’m not looking down on anyone who did have these or is planning to have them at your wedding, it’s YOUR wedding!


I think favors are worth it (and appreciated by guests) IF they’re edible. On the rare occasion we got to attend a wedding as guests and not photographers, the bride and groom had chocolate chip cookies and pretzels for guests to grab on the way out. The mix of salty and sweet snacks was perfect for our drive back to the hotel.

Instead of favors–small items for your guests to take with them–instead use that portion of your budget to provide your guests with experiences. This could be a photobooth like Palm & Pine, having an artist draw caricatures of your guests, or having beer burros deliver drinks during cocktail hour (everybody loves a mini donkey even if it isn’t bringing them a cold one). Experiences can also be providing something beyond dinner, drinks, and wedding cake–my team and I still talk about the agua frescas bar at Chelsea and Saul’s wedding; and I’m still hoping for the day I arrive at a wedding that has booked a coffee cart like Rose Coffee.

Other ways to give back to your guests: having little “emergency kits” in the bathroom with bandaids, tylenol, breath mints, etc.

Ceremony Programs

Unless you are having a multicultural event, or really fill your program with personal touches, I would skip having a ceremony program. If you do want to keep them, and are having a traditional ceremony, may opt for one large sign, or one program per family. I would only do individual programs if you’re having a wedding outside during the summer and your programs are printed on fans! 

I also love the idea of a reception program– I can’t say I have seen this but I think it would be a great way to let guests know what’s coming next, especially for those who may not be planning to stay through the dance party but want to be present for any other events. This could be done as one large sign when they enter the reception space, or as a sign for each table.

Custom Napkins

Why are you spending precious portions of your budget on items that you know will be thrown away? Do get napkins in your wedding colors, don’t worry about adding anymore personal touches to them. Unless they’re funny, cause I will totally be buying these for my next party.

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