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Wedding Expenses You Can Skip

The first time you set out to plan your wedding budget, you’re going to be in for quite a shock.

Aside from the main expenses like a dress, suit, venue, and cake, you’ll find articles telling you about dozens (if not more) of “must-have” party favors or decorations, and that’s not to mention the “traditions” that cost some serious dough. Here’s a look at which expenses you can skip (and why they don’t benefit you or your wedding):

Champagne Toast

Group toasting with champagne

Sure, it sounds fun on paper, but when you look at your guest list and calculate how many bottles of champagne you’ll need, that fun quickly morphs into stress. Even if you pick up cheap bottles of sparkling wine (and who wants to go cheap at their wedding?), you’re looking at hundreds of dollars worth of a drink that not everyone will enjoy.

Instead of using champagne, let everyone toast with whatever drink they have in their hands! It’s a small part of the wedding anyway, and it certainly isn’t the moment you’re going to remember for years to come.

Expensive Party Favors

Party favors with "Thank You" tag

Oh, Pinterest. You’re full of good ideas, but sometimes those ideas can send brides down the rabbit hole of expensive party favors and outrageous decorations. Here’s a hint: you don’t need them! Your guests are there for you, not the fancy gifts you provide. Engraved wedding flutes, mini liquor bottles, potted plants, anything personalized...the list goes on. Most party favors end up at second hand shops or someone’s attic anyway. In general, guests appreciate edible party favors more than anything else, and thankfully these are usually much more cost effective.

Fancy Invitations

Floral wedding invitations and stationary

...along with other paper goods that will be thrown away after they’ve been used. The point of an invitation is to extend a formal welcome to your guests, and that can be achieved with relatively little expense. There are many more important aspects of a wedding you’ll need to allocate your budget to, so focus on those instead of the lace-trimmed, scented, royalty-worthy invitations you don’t need.

You can also skip the wedding programs if you don’t think they’re necessary. Larger, more elaborate weddings might need programs so guests know who’s who and what’s going on, but for most couples you can put out a simple sign that details the order of events and skip the printed programs altogether.

Pro Makeup

Woman holding makeup palette

There’s more than likely a skilled makeup artist in your family or friend group! Or maybe you’re the one who’s handy with eyeshadow and lip liner. In either case, you don’t need to hire a makeup artist to do pro-level makeup for your wedding. Find a look you like, and try it out a few times before the wedding to master it. Through all the crying, laughing, dancing, and kissing, you won’t escape without a smudge anyway. Instead of worrying about ruining your $100+ look, let yourself enjoy the night!

On the other hand, you probably shouldn’t skimp on the pro hair if you don’t have the same amount of confidence in your abilities on that front. While your makeup will blend into the background, you’ll likely notice your hair first and foremost in your photos when you look back on your wedding day.

Elaborate Centerpieces

Floral centerpiece

Centerpieces go on tables at the reception and add to the overall atmosphere, but that doesn’t mean they have to be complex. The main structure of a centerpiece is usually a vase and a few different types of flowers, and that’s where the expense can start to creep in. You don’t need the biggest, most expensive flowers or a towering vase. Your guests won’t be able to see each other across the table! Let centerpieces be an opportunity to think outside the box and do something other than the norm. Stacks of old books, sweet succulents, and candles all make lovely (and inexpensive) centerpiece designs.

Expensive Wedding Bands

Married couple's hands in front of floral bouquet

Rings: The Titan, The One and Only

If you’re looking for something that makes a big impact as far as your wedding budget goes, nothing frees up hundreds (and even thousands) of dollars like rethinking the engagement and wedding bands. You may be under the impression that you need to spend x amount of your salary on y carat diamond, but those “rules” are outdated (and out of reach for many couples). Simulated diamonds are half the cost of natural ones, they’re the exact same composition, and they don’t come with messy ethical concerns. With all that extra money, you could take a longer honeymoon, choose the better venue, or save up for the future.

Your marriage begins with the wedding, so start off on the right financial footing by ditching some of the expenses that don’t matter when it comes down to it. Ready to start shopping? Check out the full collection of affordable and inexpensive engagement rings and wedding bands from Modern Gents, here!


  • Starr

    These blogs are so helpful! I love reading them!