Real Brides Reveal: 12 Wedding Details That Aren't Worth the Splurge

The "hindsight is 20/20" rule applies to virtually every facet of life, but it is especially applicable whenever forking over major cash is concerned (hello, wedding planning!). To help prevent any post-nuptial regret, we asked BG's Instagram users which wedding elements they spent less on (or wish they had); here's what they had to say.

bride and groom cake topper with money
Photo Credit: iStock

Flowers and Décor

"I loved everything about my wedding. I could have spent less on flowers, though. I used hydrangeas, roses, orchids, and wisteria for my centerpieces. I had three varying designs (tall, medium, and small) throughout the room. I used hydrangeas and roses for my bridesmaid bouquets, as well as my own. In hindsight, I would have gone with my initial idea of the girls each carrying one calla lily wrapped with a ribbon. I also probably would have done away with the medium-sized centerpiece." —@bmarie1029

"Instead of extravagant centerpieces, we're keeping it simple with baby's breath and candles! I bought wooden Mr. and Mrs. letters at Michaels to include as well, that I'm going to paint myself." —@mech_e_ater

"I've cut down my flower budget. I love them, but my venue is a courtyard that already has so much greenery that it doesn't need much additional décor. My florist has been great about working with me to figure out what I want and what fits my budget." —@adabunn

"We didn't spend a ton of money on flowers, favors, and decorations because we chose a beautiful venue. No one remembers those small details." —@ashleealexandri


"I'm an October '16 bride, and we are getting married in Connecticut, right in between our families in NYC and Boston. Everyone is staying at a hotel, and we are shuttling everyone to and from the venue. The cost of the shuttles is much more than I anticipated, but unfortunately, there's not much I can do about it!" — @asaule52

Food and Drinks

"In retrospect, I would have spent less on alcohol. We should have put a cap on the open bar — all our beer-drinking friends chose to drink wine, which was not only way more expensive, but puking wedding guests are never fun!" —@jitterbugandthebead

"I think I probably would've just had a light meal or appetizers instead of serving a three-course meal with a dessert buffet. Ten people were no-shows at my wedding. We only invited 60 guests in total, so their absence was very noticeable. So much food that we paid for went to waste — it was a major bummer! The money I saved doing that could've gone towards better photography which, in my opinion, is the most important aspect of the budget, since photos are priceless and can be cherished forever." —@rhiannamacleod

"We are getting married this summer. We decided to go with a mini cake for us and great desserts from our caterer for everyone, including skillet blondies, skillet fruit pies, and stone fruit fritters. So many wedding cakes go uneaten! Our cake will cost $100. I'm also saving on plate rentals by doing away with chargers that aren't really useful. We are also using a large mirror to write the menu on rather than spend money on printing." — @lisaheywoodinteriors

Invitations and Other Stationery Items

"Try not to blow the budget on things that will, ultimately, be thrown away (i.e. invitations). You will save one, your grandmother will hold on to one, but your cousin? She's just going to throw it away, as will most of your other guests. Unless your wedding is during a holiday weekend or around busy traveling times (think summer vacations), don't bother with save-the-dates. Again, it's just more money spent on things that will ultimately end up in the trash!" —@elizabetty19

"We mailed out invitations but skipped the paper RSVPs. No one likes to take the time to send them in, and we saved money on postage as well. We had a wedding website, and people RSVPed on there." —@dallasg


"In hindsight, I wouldn't have bought wedding favors." —@s_wiebe

"Our wedding is in two weeks, but I can already tell you that favors have ended up costing way more than we anticipated! My fiancé is the head baker at a coffee shop, and I was a barista there for years, so we are gifting little bottles of iced coffee concentrate with instructions to mix. I don't regret them at all, but they're going to be a lot of work to assemble. Also, my advice is to find a venue that can accommodate your wedding weekend events. We have access to ours from Friday through Sunday, and we are having a cleaning party on Sunday with leftovers and mimosas! It's an old remodeled little house in town with a huge front yard and backyard, and local art hanging inside...we lucked out! It's breathtaking." —@stephosaurusrex_

Plus, check out 50 Cost-Cutting Wedding Swaps.