Planning a wedding is, without a doubt, a daunting task, especially for those doing it on their own. The multitude of wedding-related websites out there, not to mention the bridal magazines, books, TV shows, and the opinions of every relative, friend, a bridal party member, and the vendor can make every little detail seem like the biggest deal in the world.
That said, you can take a deep breath, heave a sigh of relief, and relax. Your wedding is all about you – something that is often said but forgotten more often. Regardless of what happens on that day, you're there to marry the one you love, surrounded by those who love you. Little details aren't what will make your day special and memorable. Prettier, possibly. Evidence of your Type A-ness, quite probably. But in the end, those details aren't what count. Give yourself permission to skip the things that really don't matter.
5 Things You Can Skip
Disposable wedding cameras: These may have had their place in the days before digital cameras and instant photo sharing, but now, there's no reason to waste the money (or to junk up your beautiful tables with a cheap piece of plastic in a cardboard wrapper). The picture quality is uniformly terrible, and the subject matter is rarely what you intended. Save your money and your time and just spread the word for guests to email you their digital images after the wedding.
Bathroom baskets: Wedding planners and planning books almost always recommend these, but truth be told, they're rarely used and rarely appreciated. You could easily drop $20-40 on a nice basket, travel-sized toiletries, and other miniature luxuries, only to have them ignored or, worse, trashed. Truly, no one will notice if you don't have them.
Pew decorations: Unless you have an unlimited budget and can afford to have your florist create elaborate displays to decorate the seating at your ceremony, you may as well skip these altogether. Things like tulle or ribbon bows are a hassle to assemble, tend to look wilted, and, frankly, are a little dated. Spend your money on making the focal point of your ceremony – the area surrounding the bride, groom and officiant – beautiful, and skip the rest.
Menu cards: This is another decorative touch championed by wedding planners (not to mention stationery companies), but they're truly unnecessary for the vast majority of weddings.
Most couples choose a familiar menu, such as steak, chicken, or "surf and turf," and a fancy card to describe the meal is pointless. If you're a foodie who's serving quail and foie gras, the menu card might be a nice touch – both to show off your exotic tastes and to help out your guests who may not recognize your choice – but otherwise, the money could be better used elsewhere.
Cake knife and champagne flutes: Somewhere, somehow, brides got the idea that they just had to have their own special cake knife and server, and their own special champagne flutes for toasting.
In reality, though, these items are virtually never noticed by the guests, don't enhance anyone's enjoyment of the event, and, assuming they aren't lost or damaged by the catering staff, are always thrown in a box for the next 20 years of your marriage.
Consider using the cake knife and champagne flutes available through your caterer or borrow some from your parents or a friend – they'll be probably delighted to finally put theirs to good use!