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Skip These 5 Destination Wedding Expenses You Don’t Need

Amira Harris is the owner and destination wedding specialist of Aisle Travel™ based in Calgary, Alberta Canada. Aisle Travel™ provides Canadian couples with full group travel services, destination wedding planning, and customized wedding group experiences. 

If you ask five couples which wedding expenses aren’t necessary, you’re going to get five different answers. Because every couple’s priorities are different, and so are their budgets.

One couple will value great food and an open bar, while another may value a band with fireworks at midnight. Everyone’s “wedding wants” and expenses are so different. That’s why I recommend every couple to sit down and discuss how they envision their wedding before setting a budget.

As a professional wedding planner, it’s your job to bring your client’s vision to life. But sometimes, their budget might not be realistic for their vision. You’ll be asked to make recommendations on where to find savings to put elsewhere.

Check out these destination wedding expenses which aren’t necessary!

Wedding ceremony decor

outdoor wedding ceremony on the beach doesn't have much floral design - destination wedding planning tips

When having an outdoor ceremony, your clients will likely have it on the beach, gazebo, garden, terrace, or pier. All beautiful locations will have some sort of natural decor. Whether it’s a view of the water, palm trees, or something picturesque, the venue already has built-in decor that doesn’t cost anything.

Sure, a floral arch, large floral arrangements, and huppa would look great. But so does the view! Floral design is often the costliest item for a wedding ceremony. If your clients can skimp on some of them, they’re save some money.

Having beautifully designed programs for guests are also a nice touch; however, they are not a necessary expense. These programs often get thrown out or left behind after the ceremony. With a ceremony being the shortest part of the wedding day, it doesn’t make much sense to splurge here. You can easily justify skipping some of the flowers, programs and decor rental expenses to your clients.

Wedding favors

wedding favors for a wedding

We all love cutesy items, but how often will guests pull out that favor or use it after the wedding? Not often. Sure, all those items with your client’s initials or wedding date are nice keepsakes. But unless it’s a practical wedding favor, local to the destination or something you can enjoy right away, they’re just another cost your clients can easily cut.

The guest list

Are your clients planning to invite everyone they’ve ever met to their wedding? It’s is a huge expense—especially if everyone invited actually attends! For destination weddings, some guests will use it as the perfect opportunity to attend a wedding and go on vacation.

After all, as the destination wedding planner, you’ve already done all the travel research for them.

Gone are the days of inviting everyone out of obligation or guilt. Especially if your clients are trying to keep their guest list small or have a family-only event. The more guests they invite, the more expenses they’ll have. Start adding up those extra invitations and meals in the wedding budget. Show your clients just how much it all adds up, and they’ll realize over-inviting is an expense they can easily reduce.

The extras

calligraphy for a destination wedding

All those wedding ideas pinned on Pinterest add up, sometimes fast! Do your clients have any of these pinned?

  • printed menus at each place setting
  • escort cards
  • name cards in calligraphy
  • personalized napkins for the bar
  • personalized signage everywhere

Paper goods look great and are hard to resist, but they’re a big expense. Your clients can still have a wonderfully personalized wedding while skipping a few of these.

What about the other extras? How about sparklers for guests at the end of the night or for the first dance. And personalized shawls for a cool evening? What about flip flops for those sore, dancing feet?

These are all great things to have, if your clients have the budget for it. Advise your clients that they shouldn’t go overboard with little extras that guests really don’t expect or need.

Multiple wedding dresses

bride trying on wedding dress with her bridesmaids

If it was in every bride’s budget, we’d all have two or three dresses for the wedding day. As tempting as it is to have a ceremony, reception, and dancing dress, it’s just not affordable. Not to mention, who has all that time to change outfits instead of enjoying the big day? It’s nice in theory, but it’s not very practical.

Advise your bride to advantage of her wedding dress that probably took a long time to pick out, and wear it to its fullest. After all, she will only wear it once.

Having a clear budget and sticking to it can be a challenge, but it doesn’t have to be. Wedding couples can easily save on expenses by choosing one or two areas in their budget to splurge on. Then they should be cost-conscious for every other detail. It’s their wedding and they should spend it on what’s most important to them both. Happy planning!

What other unnecessary wedding planning expenses are there? Leave us a comment!

Need more tips on cutting guests? Check out these tips on narrowing down the wedding guest list!

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