The One Thing Brides Wish They Never Spent Money On

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Photo by Sarah Tew Photography

When you’re planning your wedding, it’s VERY easy to get carried away and basically start buying anything and everything you come across that you think could be cute to have at your wedding. And while $2 per guest might not sound like a lot for that wedding favor, it can add up…and fast!

Being prudent about what you buy and don’t buy can help you save money at your wedding, but first you have to know what is most likely to go to waste. This Reddit thread (and this one, too) has some great pointers from brides as to which items were the most wasted at their wedding (besides the guests. LOL) that they wish they had saved their money on.


I wish we would have skipped our guestbook. My husband drew this awesome photo of a tandem bicycle with strings attached to it. We had an ink pad for people to stamp their fingerprints as balloons, and my cousin decided it would be funny to stamp his fingers to make it look like the bike was running over the balloons. We only had about 10 people put their mark in it. Our guestbook is now in the landfill.-lhinesley

I spent all this time creating these super cute Madlibs that doubled as our guestbook (thanks, Pinterest). We had 120 guests and maybe…20 completed? Total waste and would not do again.-FosterMonster

Ceremony/Reception Decor

We had a humongous 250 person wedding, decked out to the nines in all regards. The one thing I thought was a waste… the aisle runner! Fricking $1,500 and I didn’t even notice it walking down. It doesn’t even really stand out in the pictures. Definitely an item I recommend to scrimp & save on.-FuturePiePants

Big floral centerpieces. My cousin had these gorgeous, involved centerpieces made by the florist but at the end of the night, we basically had to throw them out. She handed a few to guests but a lot of us were traveling and couldn’t take them home.-eatgeeksleeprepeat

  • USER TIP: We donated ours (and the leftover cinnamon rolls that were our “cake”) to a local nursing home.-internetALLTHETHINGS

I spent almost $300 on balloons. Don’t do it.-TheAustinMark

The Dress

Honestly, I love my dress but I now wish I had done something a little LESS fancy so I could still wear it to special events.-ryvir

Wedding Cake

Our caterer actually said the wedding cake winds up being a huge waste of money and that they see a LOT of cakes not getting eaten/being thrown away after people have paid $500 for them. We’re going to do a dessert bar + a small cake for us to do the traditional cake-cutting shindig and have to save for a year.-gnf01


I seem to remember a lot of unfinished drinks on tables that the caterers would clear before the guest could retrieve them!-ChynaGrove

  • USER TIP: This is common with pay-per-drink bars (either customer-pay bar or the couple pre-paid for X drinks bar). Sneaky caterers.-daggerdragon

Decaf coffee. Seriously. Older women insisted we’d have lots of older guests wanting decaf, since our wedding was in the evening. Yeah, it was barely touched.-Eruannwen

Wedding Favors

The only thing I wouldn’t have gotten, and I think this will be a popular answer, is the favors. I had heard a couple times that edible was the way to go if you want people to take them, so we got a bunch of British candies (husband is British, I’m American and the wedding was in the US). About 70 percent of them were left at the tables, and I’m positive no one would have been offended if they weren’t there. Ah well, live and learn.-cnflare

I just threw out a bunch of shot glasses, wine glasses, wine bottle stoppers, and mini photo frames. You collect them from every wedding and then never use them because someone else’s name is on it.-desp_seeking_suburbs

I worked for an event company while in University and I can’t tell you how many times most of the favors were not picked up. Very frequently there were more leftover than were taken. Event staff were often offered to take one in these situations and I got some pretty sweet stuff. Like the one bride that made little Vera Wang gift bags. No lie – people didn’t want to take them! I got home and I had a little body wash, perfume, and lotion set. The male version of the bag was pretty sweet but I can’t remember what was in it. Thinking back, the most popular favors were the candy bars. People seem to love those.-Aoifa

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