MONEY SAVING TIPS
Skip individual place cards in favor of a big seating chart
Place cards can add unnecessary expense, clutter, and confusion to a reception.
Place cards often get lost or mislabeled and leave guests unsure of where to sit.
Instead, do a seating chart that's easy to personalize and allows guests to orient themselves in the space.
Champagne toasts can be a waste of money
Couples should skip handing out flutes of sparkling wine and allow guests to toast with the drinks they already have.
This will save you a tremendous amount of money since guests often just take a few sips of champagne and leave the rest.
If you're determined to offer champagne, try serving it in shallow glass rather than flutes to reduce waste.
Food walls can be unsanitary and wasteful
The food-wall trend — in which couples set up a wall of edible decor like doughnuts or candy — tends to look better in photos than in real life.
After the first few guests grab their desired pieces, the novelty wears off and you're left with stale snacks hanging on a wall, and if your reception is outside, the food may attract wildlife or bugs.
Scheduling a getaway car might cut your time with your guests short
Renting a fancy car to make a grand exit from your reception can be pricey and lead to missed opportunities to connect with guests.
Getaway cars can be great for photos, but couples often feel rushed to leave and miss out on saying goodbye to guests.
Instead, use that money for the bar tab at the after-party instead.
Fireworks can be smoky and dangerous
Fireworks are an exciting way to end a wedding, but they can be loud, smoky, and hazardous to the environment.
The air and noise pollution created by fireworks can wreak havoc with the local environment and interfere with wildlife and surrounding neighbors.
If you want something similar, try passing out glow sticks or sparklers (with safety introductions) to guests.
A giant wedding cake isn't necessary or cost-effective
A huge cake isn't necessary, especially since the high price of a large, elaborate wedding cake often catches couples by surprise. Most people don’t even eat much cake anymore.
Instead, order a small cake to cut at the reception and serve a sheet cake, or have a dessert bar for guests.
A long lineup of speeches can be boring for guests
Most receptions don't need more than two to four toasts.
A long list of speeches or toasts can bore guests, and shorten your dancing time. At least half your guests won't know each other, meaning long-winded personal reflections won't be appreciated.
Toasts should ideally clock in at under two to three minutes and be given by senior members of the wedding party, such as the maid of honor, best man, or the father of the bride.
Guests usually end up abandoning their favors
Customized favors can often feel forced. Plus, the majority of favors are usually left behind by guests.
If you really have your heart set on favors, consider something consumable like chocolates or a candy table.
You shouldn't serve more than three courses at the reception
Even if you and your partner are foodies, a wedding reception isn't the best time for a large meal.
A long meal is time consuming and takes away from the guests' ability to let their hair down and get to dancing.
Focus on choosing an incredible main course and some interesting appetizers for cocktail hour.
The bouquet and garter tosses might alienate some guests
The bouquet and garter tosses are longstanding wedding traditions that can make some guests feel uncomfortable.
Try something like giving away a prize for the people who catch the bouquet and garter. It allows you the opportunity to include everyone, and it is more interactive for your guests.