11 things you'll wish you didn't buy for your wedding
Planning,  Weddings

11 Huge Wedding Money Wasters That Couples Should Avoid

People love to give advice. You hear it all the from what you should be eating to how to clean to house.

Sometimes I listen sometimes I don’t.

How often do you listen to advice?

After I got married I realized there were some things that I should have listened to.

It wasn’t invitation etiquette or advice on how to choose a caterer. It was advice on what’s a real waste of money for your wedding.

And believe me, there are some things that we all waste our money on.

11 big wedding money wasters

Wedding Favors

Although the concept is a great way to say thank you, wedding favors can be a big waste of money.

Why would I say such a thing?

Because I’ve seen it time & time again. Even with my own wedding.

Most wedding favors end up being left behind or thrown away.

If you want to say thanks skip the favor & mail a thank you card or email after the wedding.

Ceremony Programs

My husband talked me into the wedding programs. They’re traditional & let you know who’s who.

But let me 100% honest with you…

Your guests don’t care.

That seems harsh but they don’t.

They’ll glance at the programs to see how long your ceremony will be & put it down. Where it will stay.

A Seating Chart

Seating charts. Love them or hate them. There no in between.

I thought I loved them but after hours of figuring out who could sit next to who & who had a plus 1.

Now you have to add in the $75 it took to print & the $40 stand.

Then on my wedding day, I noticed that after a bit, people ended up sitting where the wanted anyway.

So it was pointless to even make.

Bride Apparel

Although as brides we love anything that says “bride”, “future Mrs”, or “bride to be”. It’s all kind of useless after you say “I do”.

Seriously think about it.

After you’ve been married 2 years will you be rocking bride leggings or a sweatshirt that says “future Mrs. Smith” on it?

I have an entire drawer with bride gear that I had to have. I wish I never brought it.

The same goes for groom & bridal party gear. It’s perfect for the wedding weekend & for pictures. But it ends there.

11 things that you shouldn't buy for your wedding

Preserving The Dress

Just many other brides I want a dream gown. But I couldn’t bring myself to pay the high prices. (I’m a cheapskate at heart).

So I browsed the clearance section of a bridal store & found a gorgeous gown.

It was 70% off & I still paid $600. I can’t even bring myself to type the original price.

After the wedding, I was still kicking myself for paying that.

What am I going to do with the dress afterward?

I was convinced to preserve it.

Well, that was a waste. The box got on my nerves by sitting in the closet taking up space.

I ended up getting it made into a Christmas tree skirt instead. That way I can use it for years to come.

Check out these cute ways to reuse your wedding gown like I did.

A Note From Other Brides

I’ve also asked other brides the same question. What did they feel like they wasted money on for their wedding.

Many agreed with my 5 items from above. But some other brides had more to add.

A Large Cake

The moment we hear the words “wedding reception” people think of music & food. But brides hear cake.

That’s because people put so much thought into cutting a grand cake when it’s really a waste. The average wedding cake can range from $1.25 to $6.95 per slice. That could cost you $1,390 if you had $200 guests!!

“I wasted so much money on a 4 tier cake. I was afraid I wouldn’t have enough for my guests & I wanted something nobody would forget. I ended up with so much cake left over. And everyone talked about how fun my reception is but nobody mentioned the cake. What a letdown.” -Melissa C.

Usually, once the food portion of the reception is done, people are all about dancing & mingling. They’ll take a break to watch you cut the cake but most won’t sit & eat it.

Save yourself some money & go the less traditional cake route.


  • Cupcake tower
  • Donut cake
  • Dessert bar
  • Ice cream bar
  • A pie table

11 huge wedding money wasters

A Toss Bouquet

It’s that time in the reception when the bride tosses her bouquet out into the crowd of single women.

But do you toss your bouquet or do you buy a separate one to throw?

“What on earth was I thinking of buying a replica bouquet just to throw?! I spent another $200 on flowers that literally got half the petals knocked off & then thrown away.”-Emily P.

Sadly, Emily is right. When you toss a bouquet it gets destroyed in the toss & between all of the grabbing hands.

If you’re planning to preserve your bouquet & don’t want to toss it you still have options.

Option 1: Toss a bridesmaid’s bouquet. They don’t get used after the ceremony anyway. (Unless you use them as table centerpieces)

Option 2: Pick up a small bouquet (4-5 stems) from a local grocery store. It’ll cost you $5-6.

Reception Dress

There’s a big trend right now in the world of reception dresses.

Don’t know what a reception dress is? Don’t worry I got you covered.

A reception dress is simply another dress that the bride switches into once the reception starts.

The dress is usually a complete contrast to her wedding dress.

“After watching all the wedding shows I thought it would be so cute to enter the reception in a completely different sparkly dress. And it was! For the pictures. My bank account didn’t agree.” -Alison M.

Here’s the thing. Most brides spending anywhere between $1,500-$1,700 on their wedding gown. Sometimes more.

Why spend all of that money to wear a dress for picture time & a short ceremony? And then just switch it out for another dress?

The math just doesn’t add up. Especially when you consider that the wedding reception lasts longer than your actual ceremony.

If you want to change your look up for the reception consider,

  • Bustling your dress to make dancing easier
  • Switching up your hairstyle. If it’s been up, let it down
  • Having a winter wedding? Add a shawl or scarf

11 wedding money wasters that you should avoid

Huge Guest List

The guest list may be one of the hardest things to decide on when it comes to planning your wedding.

Do you want large or small? Family only or invite everyone?

Here’s the big catch to keep in mind.

You have to literally pay for each guest that you invite.

Everything from the cake to food to seating & even the venue is dependent on your guest list.

So if you want to invite everyone but are planning a more budget friendly wedding, you need to scale back. Or if you have your eye on a particular venue but it only holds a small amount of people, again you’ll have to scale back.

“I have no idea why we invited 250 people to our wedding. We spent more on food than we did on our honeymoon. Looking back I wish we had only invited a portion of those people. I mean I didn’t even recognize half of them!” -Kylie S.

Extravagant Flowers

Flowers flowers flowers. It seems like weddings could cover the entire market for flowers.

But are they a waste of money?

“I loved my bouquet & the ones for my bridesmaids. But looking back I wish I hadn’t of bought the big centerpieces for the reception. They seemed to be hard for my guests to talk around & they went to waste right after. We could have money just going a simpler route” -Sam F.

Sam is right. Large centerpieces can often get in the way of table conversations. And they’re extremely expensive. Averaging between $400-$900 per arrangement.

If their beauty still attracts you consider donating them to a nursing home after the wedding is over so that they don’t go to waste. You’ll be bringing a smile to someone else.

Formal Rehearsal Dinner

The wedding rehearsal is over & now it’s time for the rehearsal dinner.

Give some thought to this.

Do you want to go the traditional route?

This involves a formal dinner & usually some speeches from the bridal party & family.

“I wish my rehearsal dinner had of been more relaxed. I was already so stressed from the timeline for my wedding & the rehearsal dinner just stressed me out more. Formal restaurants & getting dressed up. I would of preferred burgers & fries.” -Beth H.

Yup, I’m 100% with Beth on the burgers & fries.

It’s less traditional but there’s no rule that says any part of your wedding has to be traditional.

Instead of formal restaurants, try a more relaxed restaurant. Or even a cookout! It’s good food, relaxed, & the perfect environment to celebrate before the big day.

Need more direction in planning your wedding? Check out the step by step guide here.

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11 things you shouldn't buy for your wedding