Biggest waste of money for weddings?

May 14th, 2011

I’m getting married next month and have been planning my wedding for the past year. Now that the wedding is almost here, I begin to think back on things that I feel were a waste of money. So here is my list not in any order. Luckily, I’ll admit that I spent unnecessary money on only one of these items.

1.Invitations – I do not believe that people should spend $300 to $400 on invitations. It’s a waste of money, nice yet affordable invitations will do just find. Most people are going to throw it away after the wedding anyway, half of them may even lose the invitation before the wedding. The only people that will hold on to the invitation as a keepsake are you and your parents. That’s about it.

2.Personalized Aisle Runners – the cheapest personalized aisle runner is $90 on the high end $150 dollars. Let’s face it; the runner is only down on the floor for everyone to see during the ceremony. Nobody will see it during the reception anyway. You can’t reuse and you can’t even it sell it or give it away. Who wants an aisle runner with someone else name and wedding date on it. It gives the ceremony a nice touch but for $100 or so, I say skip it.

3.Floral Centerpieces for Reception – Real flowers are nice I’ll admit but for the price, you should save the money. Personally, I don’t think anybody is going to care about whether or not you have real flowers on the table. They die anyway and it’s just for decoration. I say chose fake floral arrangements or if you want real flowers, just small centerpieces but do not splurge on flowers. I do believe you should have real flowers for the bridal party. That is a must.

4.Personalized champagne flutes, cake and knife serving sets- They are nice and it’s good to keep as a keepsake but really, the banquet hall will provide this so why bother spending extra money on it.

5.Wedding Dress – I’m so sorry. I know so many people will disagree with me on this one but wedding dresses are truly the biggest waste of money. A wedding dress can easily run $2000 or more and that is not including tax and alterations. You will wear it one day. You will never wear your wedding dress again. Some will say save it for your daughter. But let’s face it, as beautiful as your dress is today, your daughter will most likely hate it 30 years from today. She’ll said it’s so old fashion. Or get this, you may not even have a daughter, what if you have all sons. I just think this is the biggest waste.

6.Party Favors – This is iffy. Party favors can be really inexpensive if you know where to go but most people trash them. If you are going to get favors, it should be edible or at least will be of great use. If it something that will just sit one’s table, they will trash it. But again, don’t spend a lot on this either.

I think that if you are going to splurge for your wedding then it should be on food and alcohol, DJ or band, and photo and video packages. When people come to your wedding, they want to eat good food, drink and have a good time while listening and dancing to good music. I think that is what makes the wedding fun and really bring people out of the shell and come together. People should not go home saying the best part of your wedding was the flowers on your tables. That’s not a good thing. People should say I had the time of my life and I am stuffed, best wedding ever. As for photo and video, look you spent a year or more planning your wedding, you should be able to see where all your hard work went. This is for the memories. You want to look back and remember your wedding with good photos and a good video. There’s nothing wrong with using an amateur, just make sure their work is good and you’ll be fine in the end.

There are other things that could have made the list but didn’t want it to be too long. So what do you feel were the biggest waste of money for your wedding?

12 Responses to “Biggest waste of money for weddings?”

  1. RAHUL KADUKAR says:

    Get married in a court 🙂

  2. ke says:

    I actually had some really interesting and cool favors planned, but my planner talked me out of doing a favor entirely, as she has done hundreds of weddings and sees how many of these just get tossed or end up coming back home with the bride/groom to sit in a box in the attic for 50 years. I recommend not doing favors. I also agree with you on the dress. I find it wasteful to spend so much on a dress that you will never wear again. Luckily, my mother is a seamstress, so she will be making my dress for around $75-100, I am very fortunate. Also, use your resources!! Find out if you know someone who is a photographer, florist, etc. I have good friends that are both, and they are offering their services as their gift to us. My fiance and I are also local artists in our area, so we are hand painting the invitations (small wedding-25-40 people), as I had talked to someone in our area that did these custom and she would charge $500. That is just ridiculous, since some people immediately throw these away. If you get creative (even if you aren’t a creative person) you can find soooo many ways to make your day unique and not break the budget!!

    We also have a friend that plays in a “big band”, which will be our music (our wedding has a vintage 50s feel, so this will be perfect!). He is doing this for us at a much lower cost than other weddings, since we are friends. That leaves us to spend money on a quality catering company, and since I am a vegetarian, and many of our friends are, we really are doing some unique foods, which require expertise, and does not come cheap. Also leaves money for an open bar, so people can just enjoy the atmosphere!!!

  3. blondie05 says:

    Party Favors are a HUGE waste. No one ever uses them and most of the time they are thrown away or the bride and groom have so many extras they don’t know what to do with them.

    I agree on the wedding dress- you can find a beautiful wedding gown reasonably priced under 1000. I do however disagree with you when it comes to the flower arrangements. Depending on the size of your wedding – you can find a reasonably priced florist that can do smaller affordable centerpieces. I once went to a wedding that put a small sticker under one chair at each table. At the end of the night – the one who had the sticker got to take home the centerpiece and enjoy the flowers for a few weeks after the wedding. In my opinion fake flowers make a wedding look cheap.

    Before people start planning I recommend doing this: DECIDE ON A BUDGET. Remember – a budget is not something you go over. It is something you stay under. Then pick your top 3 things you would like to spend the most money on. Everything else can be cut back. Example: who really needs a 200 person guest list? Or – instead of a 5 layer $$$ wedding cake, get something small for just the bride and groom , then cut sheet cake for the guests. This will save hundreds!!!

    People need to keep in mind: a wedding doesn’t make a marriage. Is just a party. With all of the reality tv shows out there… bridzillas/say yes to the dress/platnuim weddings/etc… it’s easy to get wrapped around the idea of throwing the best party ever and having the best wedding out of your group of friends. What most forget is when the day is done and your wallet empty and the credit card bills start showing up … the stress will be awful and who wants to start off a marriage stressed out and unhappy?

  4. melouofs says:

    I think spending money on something you don’t actually care about it a waste. If its important to you, then I don’t believe its a waste at all.

    I think favors are a big waste of money-therefore, we didn’t bother. On the other hand, the wedding dress was hugely important to me, and once I got over the sticker shock, I honestly felt zero regret about a penny of the money I spent on it (even though it was 5 times more than I had planned to spend).

    At the end of the day, despite spending what I consider to be a lot of money, I’m happy about every penny, because we got the wedding we wanted, and while I can always make more money, I will never have another wedding.

    Actually–thinking about it…I wish I didn ‘t waste the money on a bouquet for myself. It was onyl $105. and i thought of it as a must at the time, but looking at my pictures now, I wish I had skipped that altogether.

  5. Danielle says:

    what your wedding should look like all depends on you as a person. everyone values things differently. for some people, looking back on that wedding dress that cost thousands of dollars, it all seems like a waste. others think it was worth every dollar. as for me, i am not married, but i would like to spend my money on the dress, flowers, and music. i don’t drink (for health reasons) so spending money on alcohol seems like a bit of a waste. plus- nothing is more awkward then a drunk bride.

  6. Ms.Medium says:

    I’ll be honest. I think all weddings are a waste of money. I went all out for my first wedding, spent a lot of money all to have it end in divorce 5 years later because of a cheating husband. The second time around I didn’t want a wedding. My hubby and I went to the courthouse and got married outside under a tree. We’ve been married for almost 8 years and still going strong. All we spent money on was the marriage license. We were able to put 40K that we saved by not having a wedding down on a brand new home. Smartest thing we could have ever done.

  7. Tiger81 says:

    I agree with you on 2, 3, 4 and 6. However, on 1 and 5, I strongly disagree. Your wedding invitation says a lot more about your wedding and about you, the couple, than you think. The invitation sets the entire tone of the wedding. Your guests can tell how the formality of the wedding and the taste of the couple just by the invitation alone. It is the perfect precursor to having a perfect wedding.
    Re: the dress, while I agree that paying loads of money for clothing is frivilous, those pictures are going to be with you for a lifetime as are the memories of the day. My fiancee is currently looking at gowns in the range of $10-15K. While I think that’s a bit overboard, it’s HER day and her deal and mostly her money. If she wants a designer gown, so be it.

  8. nova_queen_28 says:

    I thought like you BEFORE I spent a ton of money on my wedding and so we skimped on pretty much every item on your list.
    We put our money out there for the food & drinks (although we did still shop around & got a great food package at a great price), the DJ, and the photographer.

    We used our own car so avoided a limo fee, made our own invites, made our own non-floral centerpieces ( I even sold the glass items and recovered about 3/4 of what I spent on them).
    For #2 – do people use aisle runners these days? We didn’t buy one.
    For #4 – we were gifted our toasting glasses and cake cutter/server so we didn’t pay for them and the giver had the honor of us using the items at our wedding and they are on display in our curio cabinet in our living room.

  9. Because I Said So says:

    Invitations should be done as cheaply as possible. I only paid $100 for 80 and that included response cards and envelopes. I have 3 weddings coming up and once I mark the date on my calendar, I chuck the invitation in a box and don’t look at it again.

    I’ve been to over 25 weddings and never heard of a custom aisle runner. The plain ones are a waste as well.

    Flowers are also a waste- cut flowers are already dead the minute you get them! I was lucky my bouquet lasted 7 days after the wedding, but I only paid for flowers for the wedding party, not any other decorations.

    When are the bride and groom ever going to use those glasses and engraved serving items again? Never, that’s when.

    My gown was discounted quite a bit because I told them to hem it at the knee, which saved over $200. I just wanted an ivory cocktail dress I could wear again to a semi formal event.

    Wedding favors are the dumbest thing ever. Don’t send me home with some meaningless trinket I’ll never use- if I get one more set of glass coasters that say love on them, I’ll scream!

    Wedding videos are a waste also, my mom had someone shoot my wedding for free and you know how many times I’ve watched it? 0.00

    The food is the most important thing, it’s how you show respect for your guests.

  10. RandomChick says:

    Wedding Dress. You are going to wear it ONE time! I know someone who spent $12,000 on her dress! Ridiculous!

  11. Kristy says:

    I don’t feel any of the money we spent on our wedding was wasted. I got everything I wanted just as I wanted it and I will never forget that day, not a single penny was wasted!

    Some of the things I got a good deal on were invitations ($37.50 for 200!), alterations (free, my mom did them!), my veil ($12, I made it by hand) and bridesmaid dresses ($30 each, I made them also). But if I had to pay for those things, I would have. I was much more intent on getting things done properly than getting them done cheaply.

    Good luck!

  12. Zam Zam says:

    Yes, those were wastes of money. There are marriages in which obvious CRIMINAL WASTE of money is visible. Marriages , have, mainly two functions : Wedding ceremony & Reception. People spend according to their status & class & a lot of pomp & show too is there. Masses can not afford for the same in which most of the money spent goes in the pockets of agencies(so called Marriage Planners) who loot like anything. Everything need not be given to contractors who make everything an INDUSTRY. People spent lifelong savings within few days like royal families is NOT a wise thing. Marriage may be simple too but miserliness too should not be clearly visible. Middle path is the best. People know that it is costly & waste of money but they do so for prestige sake. Wedding planning of a year looks too much clumsy & useless. Three month planning is enough for most of people. Marriage is a UNION of souls, hearts, minds & bodies of bride & groom for WHOLE life(deep love, affection & intimacy must increase after wedding) which MUST be guaranteed by both as a couple. That is NOT GUARANTEED by heavy spending.

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