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What you DON'T need at your wedding

There are tons of guides to help you plan your wedding. Did you know there are things you DON’T need at your wedding? More often than not, couples find themselves asking “What do I need at my wedding”? My response is “Whatever you wish”. It’s your wedding so you should make the rules to suit your needs. Just because your cousin had a full bar and photo booth, doesn’t mean you have to. Here are some of the popular items that couples are choosing NOT to incorporate at their wedding.


Don’t feel you have to invite everyone you’ve ever known. And don’t feel you have to invite your high school friend just because you went to their wedding. Relationships change over time and you want to invite guests that are meaningful in your life. Ask yourself this – do you see yourself talking to your current colleague in 20 years? Does your Dad want to invite his old fraternity brother you’ve never met? Be mindful of who is most important to send an invitation to. Remember, each guest can cost an average of $100-150++.


Let’s face it, not every guest reads the ceremony program. If you have a short (Christian) ceremony, most people know the traditional components of the ceremony. They know what the first reading and ring exchange are. Why waste money on printing programs for every guest? If you truly want to showcase the order of ceremony events and your wedding party – make a nice sign and display it before guests enter the ceremony hall.

If you are having an Indian or South Asian wedding that incorporates rituals that many guests won’t understand or you know the Priest will do the ceremony in Sanskrit, then I suggest you have ceremony programs for your guests. Or, you can have an emcee or narrator explain the ethnic rituals throughout the ceremony.

Wedding ceremony program, Indian wedding, South Asian Wedding
Ceremony Program - Summer Street Photography


It’s becoming more common place not to have a bridal party. You really don’t need 8 bridesmaids and groomsmen standing at the altar with you. This especially goes for the South Asian and/or Indian weddings which can be 2-3 hours long. Your friends might be relieved that you aren’t going to ask them to buy matching dresses or socks monogramed with the groom’s favorite football team. If your friends really want to help, assign them duties like handing out programs or loading your gifts into a car at the end of the night. They save money and you still get help from them.

Hindu wedding ceremony with blue and ivory mandap decor.
Indian Wedding Ceremony with family - Laura Alpizar Photography


Anytime you host a bar, you provide a recipe for disaster. As much as you want to cater to your family and friends, someone always takes advantage of free booze. Consider hosting a few items like wine, soda, and a specialty cocktail. You are adults and your friends and family have jobs. It won’t hurt them to pay for a couple drinks on the night of your wedding.


If you don’t like cake, don’t get a cake for your wedding. There are so many dessert alternatives so serve something you love. Some of our favorites are: lassi’s, doughnuts, mini shooters, pretzels, or make your own apple pie. Additionally, you don’t even need dessert if you don’t like sweets. I love doing late night snacks instead. Some of our favorite snacks are: burfi, masala popcorn, French toast sticks, or a French fry bar.

Wedding desserts with mini cupcake, shooters, cakepops, fruit tartlets, wedding cake, and art deco decor
Wedding Dessert Display - Kelly Brown Weddings


We all know the popular dances during the reception: Couple’s first dance, Mother & Son dance, Father & daughter dance, and wedding party dance. Did you know you don’t need any of these? That’s right! No rule says you must perform these dances just because you got married. Think outside the box. Rather than dance, here are a few alternatives:

  1. The Newlyweds can visit each table during the reception or perform a skit of how they met

  2. The Son can thank his Mom with a bouquet of flowers

  3. The Daughter can gift her Dad tickets to his favorite sporting event

If you don’t want to dance or if you don’t like all the attention, you don’t need to do these traditional dances at your wedding.


Most couples nowadays are older when they get married… late 20’s or older. You probably live on your own and already have the kitchen-aid stand mixer, everyday table setting, and linens on your bed. You don’t have to register for anything. People will want to give you something, so have an alternate plan that you are passionate about. Popular suggestions would be a HoneyFund account or a donation to your favorite charity.

Just remember, it's your wedding and you can do what you want. Make it special and personal by creating and designing the wedding that fits your needs and budget.


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