Save money, time, and sanity: 11 things you can totally skip to simplify your wedding planning

Things to skip in wedding planning on @offbeatbride
Simplify sign by The Little Homeplace

So you just got engaged and are now being bombarded with "must-haves," "to-dos," and "checklists," amirite? Hey, we're guilty of it, too. Our blanket advice has always been: Do what you want!

In this case, we're talking about stuff you can totally skip that most people won't notice. Do some of these things make your guests marginally happier or more informed? Sure. Will they notice they're missing? Probably not.

If you're excited about doing some of these things, awesome! Keep doing them! In fact, every single one of these topics is one that we've written posts about how fun and fabulous they can be… so we're big fans of all of the things listed below. That said, if you're looking for permission to streamline your wedding planning, here's how you can simplify your wedding and save yourself some time, money, and sanity by allowing yourself to skip some (or all!) of these "must-dos."

Dance lessons

We love us a good choreographed dance, but nobody expects you to be a dancing pro, nor will they care if you just sway around… or skip the dance altogether!

Welcome parties and rehearsal dinners

We have all kinds of tips if you're planning a rock-solid rehearsal dinner. But actually, these can be completely optional. If you want to chill with your wedding posse after the rehearsal, meet up at a bar, restaurant, or in someone's hotel room.

Dress preservation

Preserving a piece of your outfit? Hell yes. But know that for the dress, the only time this might be a thing you'll want to do is if you have dreams of passing the dress on to someone else. Otherwise, recognize that it's probably just fine in the bag it came in.

Favors

We love gifts, that's for sure. But rarely will anyone wonder where their baggie of candy is at the table. They're likely way more into dancing, mingling, eating, or hitting up the bar. Focus your efforts on their fun instead.

Hiring a calligrapher

This is one of those details that we totally love and wish we could have if budgets weren't as much of an issue. Alas, some things will get cut in the name of dollars and this might be one of them. Instead of hiring an expensive calligraphy master for your invites, feel free to mail merge them onto labels, hand-write them, or use emailed invitations.

Save-the-dates

Save-the-dates can be a really fun detail if you've got the time and money, but they're also one detail you could potentially cut if needed. There are too many alternatives to this one to make it a must-have. Facebook invites and email alone can cover letting everyone know. Feel free to go digital for these.

Programs

We love these for the fun factor, but hey, everyone will still know what's going on without a program. Have the MC make an announcement to move guests to the next part of the day, or maybe just make a chalkboard sign instead.

Bridal party

Want to really save some hassle? Skip the matching dresses, wedding party gifts, and the stress of choosing whom to ask. Unless you have tons of coordination to do and need their help, you can absolutely go sans wedding party.

Disposable cameras

No need to purchase these archaic tools to capture moments at the reception. Everyone's got their smart phones going, so just use an app or a hashtag to snag all of their social shares.

Welcome bags

Unless you're planning a higher budget destination wedding, feel free to skip welcome bags entirely. Still planning a bag? Here are some tips!

Wedding cake

Man, do we love creative wedding cakes. No one turns out an incredible wedding cake like an Offbeat Bride — y'all make your cakes work, whether they're geeky, nerdy, booky, spooky, rainbow-y, or romantic…y. But the truth is that many guests miss the cake cutting anyway, so if cake just isn't your thing, you can always skip it completely or consider a yummy cake alternative like waffles, donuts, cupcakes, candy buffets, and even whiskey fountains.


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  1. Agreed. I have nixed all of the above except for the bridal party, rehearsal dinner and the cake. The church we're getting married in has two large screens, so we will likely post the program on one. Rehearsal dinner will also likely be at the church.

  2. We're keeping some form of rehearsal/welcome party because we want to see our out of town folks as much as possible, and I made some super inexpensive and fast Save the Dates on Vistaprint, but everything else is out the window!

    I absolutely feel the best about our decision not to have a wedding party. So much cost and stress and potential drama vanished instantly.

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  3. We skipped almost all of these! We ended up doing favors because we wanted people to have something tangible from the day, but skipping all the other stuff allowed us to splurge a little and get really nice etched pint glasses (we're homebrewers and there's a subtle beer theme to our day). We also kept the programs, but they're small, single sheet things from VistaPrint and ended up being really cheap!

    I never really understood Save-the-Dates. I guess it makes sense if a lot of your intended guests are out of town/state, but with most of our guests living within 25 miles of us, this just seemed like wasted money/time. I called the out-of-staters and made sure they penciled in our date, which seemed to work fine.

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  4. We skipped almost all of this things, too. We only do favors (dice! Mostly because FH and I wanted custom dice for ourself… XD) and a cake (though our baker told us that she couldn't make it – less than a month before the wedding, so the cake thing is a little questionable, also…)

  5. This seems controversial, but we're planning to skip most of the personalized details and Pinterestabilia. Not to save a headache, per se–I love DIY–but because our venue is a Victorian mansion already. It almost disappointed me when I realized how little we had to do to prettify it ;), but crafting and design just seem (in our situation) like a waste of money we don't have.

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    • Same story with us, only I really can't be bothered with DIY at all. XD We deliberately picked venues that already looked great and didn't need decorating!

      The only thing in this list that we did was cake, because my husband wanted cake. We did e-mail Save the Dates.

  6. We're cutting out all this stuff out except cake. And, technically, save the dates. But, we only sent those out by e-mail, so it wasn't hard or time consuming.

  7. So much yes! I'm cutting out almost all these things as well as flowers which is allowing me to splurge on other things I care about more. I'll be creating a digital save the date on our wedsite with a form that will also serve as address and email collection for my guest list.

    One thing that's very important to me though is having meaningful time with my family before the wedding at the rehearsal dinner. A lot of my FH's fam is flying in from out of town and I want to have a more intimate celebration with them so that is the only thing I'm not marking off my list 🙂

    1 agrees
  8. If you plan on doing a first dance or any sort of dance that requires you to be the center of attention, at least practice it ONCE first. No matter how capable you think you are. We got married last week and our first dance was… unintentionally hilarious. Not that we cared, but still, I would've given so much in that moment to at least have watched a youtube video.

    1 agrees

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