Planning a wedding is a fun, exciting, and amazing experience, but it can also be riddled with a few tough decisions along the way. From whether or not to invite kids to having a cash wedding registry or even if you’re going to change your last name, the decisions can feel confusing and frustrating. But they definitely don’t have to be! There are pros and cons for each one of these tough wedding decisions that you and your future spouse should definitely talk about. We’ve included our advice where appropriate along with some helpful guides to hopefully offer you some more guidance along the way!
Not Having a Wedding PartyPros: You won’t have to decide between girlfriends or relatives. Cons: Not being able to pick out bridesmaid dresses or have your BFFs stand next to you! Our advice? Figure out how many bridesmaids you would potentially have, first. Then read about how many bridesmaids the average bride has for fun. Photo by Keepsake Photography
Kids-Free WeddingPros: It’s cheaper and you won’t have kids running around your ceremony or reception making noise or causing chaos. Their parents can also have a REALLY good time now. Cons: They’re adorable and everybody loves a flower girl and ring bearer walking down the aisle. Their parents might also have an added expense of a babysitter, or not come to your wedding at all. Read our Kids-Free Advice here. Photo by Maine Tinker Photography
No Open BarPros: You won’t have to worry about drinking and driving or elevated beverage costs. Cons: Unless the majority of your wedding guests do not drink, not having an open bar can be considered pretty taboo. Our Advice: Read our guide on How to Save Money On Your Wedding Bar Tab. Photo by Maine Tinker Photography
Or Beer and Wine OnlyPros: Your bar tab will be A LOT cheaper. Cons: Some people hate both beer and wine and won’t have anything they like to drink. Plus, no speciality cocktails! Photo by Heather Mayer Photography
Choosing to ElopePros: It’s an intimate decision that allows you to save money and not worry about the stresses that come along with planning a big wedding party. Cons: You don’t get to plan a big wedding party, which we think is a lot of work but also a lot of fun! Our advice? Read our guide on How to Elope Without Freaking Your Family Out. Photo by Jessica Roberts Photography
Open SeatingPros: Seating chart, schmeating chart! This way guests can choose to sit where THEY want to sit, not where you want them to. Cons: Not having assigned seats can sometimes be confusing and interrupt the flow of your reception. Our advice? Check out our hassle-free seating charts here. Photo by Melissa Avery.
Having an Intimate/Very Small WeddingPros: You’ll have way more options when it comes to wedding venues, and of course the less people you have the less you’ll be spending in most cases. Cons: Having to decide who gets cut is not an easy task, and some people might be offended they didn’t make your list. Our advice? Check out these 10 Fun Ideas for the Small Wedding of Your Dreams. Photo by Ten 10 Photography
Planning a Far Away Destination Weddingphoto by Fine Art Studio Photography
Not Having a Religious CeremonyPros: You can have the ceremony where you want and can choose a script that fits you as a couple. Cons: More religious family members might disapprove of not being married in a church or temple, or by a religious leader. Photo by Bright Bird Photography
Having a Friday or Sunday WeddingPros: Many venues offer cheaper rental fees for Friday and Sunday weddings (except on a holiday weekend), which can majorly help your budget. Also, many Jewish weddings take place on Sunday (but rarely on Fridays after sundown). Cons: If a lot of guests are coming in from out of town, they will most likely have to take an extra day off of work. Photo by Maine Tinker Photography.
Or a Holiday WeddingPros: Holiday weddings are perfect for destination weddings, since they often involve long weekends when guests are already off of work. Plus, it’s like having a built-in wedding theme! Cons: Holiday weddings, especially those on or around Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve can really throw a wrench into holiday travel plans. Plus, airplane tickets tend to be more expensive, as do catering and venue pricing (especially around the summer holidays). Our advice? Read our guide on The Pros and Cons of Having a Holiday Wedding. Photo by Alexandra Howard Photography
No Garter or Bouquet TossPros: Both traditions can feel a bit dated, especially the garter toss! Also, if you most of your girlfriends are already married, there might not be enough ladies for a bouquet toss (that happened to me). Cons: Not having a classic tradition like a bouquet toss can feel like you’re missing out! Our advice? Read the 6 Wedding Traditions You Shouldn’t Feel Bad About Skipping. Photo by Elizabeth Burgi Photography.
Not Having a Wedding RegistryPros: If you simply don’t need anything or feel uncomfortable asking, NOT having a wedding registry (or asking guests to donate to a charitable organization in your name instead) can feel like a better options. Cons: Most guests feel weird NOT giving a wedding gift, and will end up giving you something anyway. Having a wedding registry gives guests a bit of guidance. Otherwise you might end up with 6 toaster ovens! Our advice? Read our guide to the Best Online Wedding Registries. Photo by JD Howell Photography
Or Asking for Money in Lieu of Wedding GiftsPros: You won’t have to worry about picking out pots and pans you don’t need, and can instead start saving towards something you really want. Cons: Like choosing not to have a wedding registry, asking for cash towards a honeymoon, house down payment, or other fund can feel awkward. Sites like Zola and Honeyfund can make it feel more formal and less weird. Our advice? Read our guide to the 4 Honeymoon Registries to Check Out Now.
Not Wearing WhitePros: Wearing a blush, blue, pink or other non-traditional wedding dress color can be modern and fresh. Cons: If the color is truly different, some guests might give you the side-eye. Our suggestion? Forget about them! :) Photo by Jasmine Rose Photography
Not Having a Professional VideographerPros: Videographers can often cost as much as your photographer. Cons: You won’t be able to relive walking down the ceremony aisle or your first dance! Photo by Ritz IQ Photography
No Wedding CakePros: You’ll save hundreds of dollars by not having a tiered wedding cake at your reception that most guests won’t even eat. Cons: Picking out your wedding cake IS pretty fun. Our advice? Find out How Much Wedding Cakes Cost and let your budget decide! Photo by Asteria Photography
Not Changing Your Last NamePros: You won’t have to worry about changing e-mail addresses, credit cards, and other legal documentation. Cons: You’re bound to get A LOT of mail addressed to Mrs. HisLastName. And it might cause some confusion later on if you have kids, and deciding who takes which last name. Our advice? Read my article on the Problem With Having Two Last Names.