Planning a wedding is said to be one of the most stressful experiences in life. Although I cannot vouch for that just yet, I have to say that my upcoming wedding has put me in front of numerous decisions, crises and sleepless nights. Long before even getting engaged, I vowed to myself I would not become a "Bridezilla" who would terrorise everyone and be stressed for the six months of planning.
And I am not (I think), yet the relentless thought of "this will only happen ONCE in my life" keeps sneaking up and occasionally brings my Bridezilla out nevertheless.
The most stressful aspect of planning a wedding I have encountered so far is bracing yourself about EVERYONE'S opinion on how a proper wedding should be. Cousins, aunts, uncles, mothers, sisters and brothers - they all think they can chip in and share their thoughts. To some extent, that's perfectly fine, as it is a family party, yet the whole "beshoulding" can really cost the last nerve of a bride.
The first problem already starts with the guest list when you have to invite that racist uncle, the cousin you hate or a friend's stupid boyfriend - out of manners. Am I impolite that I don't want to share my big day with someone I can't stand...weird.
But I am digressing. Weddings are first and foremost about compromise - unless you are ruthless and have plenty of money. OK, so the cousin 12 times removed shall be invited then and my cake shall not have marzipan, as apparently no one likes that (these are not necessarily real-life examples). Some compromises bear great fruits, others I have decided to simply put my foot down on and decide they are stupid and I won't do them - and here they are.
1) Freshly cut flowers
I have my wedding reception at a 4-star hotel and as much as I like the benefits of a hotel doing most of the work, they do have some weird idea of wedding planning. My hotel wedding manager constantly keeps sending me emails about details for "my decorator" or "florist". I don't have a decorator or florist. Who, in the times of Pinterest, needs to pump money into someone deciding what you like best?
Also, my hotel wedding planner proposed his house-in florist could make the bouquets for the tables - for fucking €400! Why would you spend such a massive sum of money on flowers that perish after a week? I politely declined, thinking he was a little bonkers and decided to have flower pots with alive flowers instead.
a) they can be given to guests as a present
b) you can keep them as a memory
c) a smaller flower costs about €2-5 and a simple pot about €1-2. In total, my flowers now cost less than €100 instead of 400 - and I get to keep the flowers - so do away with freshly cut flowers and save some money for dead flowers.
2) A DJ
If bands are your thing, sure go for it. I personally decided against one for my wedding, as I like the original voices to sing the songs. Perusing DJs, I found two things:
a) they are completely overpriced
b) their playlists are shit
Unless you don't have any music taste of your own and need someone else to compile a list, why pay someone for a job you could do better? In times of Spotify and Amazon Prime Music, there is easy access to massive music databases and even ready-made playlists you can adjust to your personal taste. I quickly decided against a DJ, but I have appointed someone to watch the music, so I don't have to bother with it during the night of my wedding party. Oh and by the way, that's entirely for free if you find someone to lend you their control desk.
3) The "Aperitif"
Handing people a welcome drink is a great way to say hello and start the wedding mood. However, this trend of "aperitifs" where they ask you to pay €17 per person for a lousy Prosecco is simply outrageous. The notion that people always have to eat or drink in every second of your wedding is idiotic and costs you even more money. I don't want to sound avaricious, but spending a fortune on your wedding so people can eat and drink all night and then adding another aperitif is too much to be asked, if you ask me.
4) A wedding photographer
True, weddings occur (ideally) only once in life and you want wonderful photos of the day - I do too. However, as soon as you mention "wedding" somewhere, the price gets automatically doubled and tripled. A wedding package for 3 hours for a whopping €1500 is insane, if you ask me. I asked my friends and colleagues whether they knew anyone in the photo business and soon found someone who would do it for a decent price and would personalise them to my taste, not the photographer's. It is shameful what kind of business is done with us brides, especially if you then end up with stuck-up, posed photos that look inauthentic and boring.
5) Wedding gifts
Obviously it's nice when people think of you and buy you something for your wedding. However, with couples increasingly living together well before their wedding days, gifting a mixer or salad bowl becomes increasingly obsolete.
Additionally, with more financial freedom and choices, most couples rather want to choose their own house items than simply be stuck with the ones your grandmother 4 times removed chose. A wedding gift registry is obviously also an option, but for me it feels even more brazen than asking for money.
Living in money-saving Tyrol, a money wedding is thankfully not a big deal, so we're only asking for a contribution for our honeymoon (Sweden, by the way, I will write the travelog on my travel blog floatingmylife.weebly.com/). Personally, with young couples still moving around, a bulky crystal set would also only be another box to carry...
Any thoughts you'd like to share on unnecessary items on weddings? I am always happy to hear from you.