Wedding Planning 101
When planning your wedding, there's so many tips and tricks to learn from to make the process easier. We're hereRead More
You spend so much of your wedding planning focused on all the details that you need for your wedding: a venue, a gown, music, food, photography. But the options can start to get overwhelming as you try to customize your day with personalized wedding elements.
It’s time to cut yourself a break and realize that there are many traditional features you don’t need for your wedding anymore. While they may have been must-haves in the past, it’s not necessary to spend the time or energy if they’re not important to you. Don’t worry about what your friends are having. Your wedding needs to only be about you. Here are some traditional wedding details that we say you can forego—and not feel obligated to include:
1. Engagement party. This can be a really fun way for families and friends to meet for the first time and celebrate your upcoming wedding, but this is not necessary if you’re not into it. If you’re concerned about finances, this would be one of the first details that could be easily eliminated from your roster of events.
2. Bridesmaid proposals. This simple question has morphed into a large project requiring time, money and creativity. Don’t feel like you have to create the perfect proposal or put together an elaborate box full of bridesmaid goodies. A simple heartfelt card—or better yet, a sincere conversation—more than suffice.
3. Drama. This is a detail that I think all brides can agree to not include. But how do your prevent this insidious element from creeping into your wedding in the first place? One place to start is with your bridal party—stop firing your bridesmaids! I see this phenomenon over and over again among New Jersey brides and it truly baffles me. You should only include best friends and family members in your bridal party who are near and dear to your heart and whom you have known forever—or you plan to know forever. This is not an opportunity to include casual friends from work or girlfriends of your fiance’s best friends. You do not need to have a large bridal party, and your bridesmaids are not disposable. With careful selection, proper communication and an awareness of others’ lives, most drama can be avoided.
4. Bridal shower. While many moms may argue with this point, there’s truly no rule that says you have to have a bridal shower. Many brides today have been living with their fiancés for years and own all of the necessary household items you’d typically receive at a shower. Some brides simply don’t like the attention. It’s perfectly acceptable to forego this tradition completely, or you can set up a registry for honeymoon activities or an online wishlist for home-improvement projects (think Home Depot or Wayfair).
5. Bachelorette party. We’re seeing these trips taking place out of state, out of the country and out of the Western Hemisphere. This detail is now officially out of control. The simple idea of a bachelorette party has blown up in recent years and has taken on a life of its own—along with costing thousands for all involved and precious time taken off from work. New Jersey brides used to just go to—gasp!—Hoboken or Atlantic City for a night out. Or if you were truly adventurous or feeling fancy, you’d head into New York City. But now the obligatory destinations include Nashville, Napa, Miami and Punta Cana. These outings require a passport, multiple matching outfits (good luck fitting it all into a carry-on), elaboratie itineraries, expensive dinners, shows, chauffeurs, professional photographers (if it’s not on social media, it didn’t happen) and even “goody” bags from the bride for all attendees. Please don’t feel like you have to partake in these festivities. You can easily have a fun bachelorette party without all of this high-priced fanfare. Fun doesn’t have to cost a lot. Fabulous alternatives include vineyard tastings, wine and paint nights, spa days, Broadway shows, a girls’ nights in, cooking lessons, knitting classes, color runs or a day at the Shore. What do you love to do? Spend the day doing just that with your favorite friends.
6. The ceremonial cake-cutting—or even the cake itself. If you don’t like the pressure of all eyes on you for yet another moment on the day of your wedding, your cake can be simply cut in the kitchen and served as dessert with no fanfare. We know brides who have even skipped the cake altogether—simply because they didn’t like cake. They indulged their guests with brownies, petit fours, cupcakes, cake pops, cookies, chocolates and assorted sweet treats instead.
7. Favors. Let’s face it: With the exception of food, most guests throw out small trinkets or mementos. Even if you only spend a few dollars per favor, this detail quickly adds up. We say skip it. Your guests truly won’t miss it.
8. Garter and bouquet toss. This customary tradition is typically one of the first to be skipped nowadays, especially if you don’t have a lot of single guests in attendance. Play one of your favorite songs instead and keep the energy of your party flowing.
9. Honeymoon immediately after. Many couples are planning a “minimoon” for a few nights away immediately after their wedding and are postponing the true honeymoon for up to six months or a year later. This enables you to save up for this sizeable expense after all of the wedding bills have been paid and will also allow you to devote your time to researching and planning this fun adventure, long after the stress of planning your wedding has subsided.