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Cutting Out the Non-essentials for a Simple Wedding

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How can you decide what to keep and what to toss from your wedding day plans? We’re discussing essentials vs non-essentials for your wedding.


Above all, we want to help make your wedding planning process simple. One sure-fire way to have a stress-free process is to plan a simple wedding. Simplicity means cutting out the non-essentials, stripping away the excess, and focusing on the true must-haves.

There are very few *true* must-haves when it comes to a wedding:

  • A couple
  • An officiant
  • A marriage license
  • An agreed-upon time, date, and location.

These things are truly the only “essentials” or must-haves for a wedding day. But it’s so surprising how quickly things can spiral out of control once you add guests! It’s like having witnesses causes us to all go overboard with flowers, decorations, and personalized details for every little aspect of the celebration.

So how do you decide what’s essential and what’s not?

Making Wedding Decisions

Part of planning is doing things and making decisions. Doing things can look like this:

  • Choosing your wedding date.
  • Deciding on your venue.
  • Picking out wedding bands.
  • Finding an officiant.
  • Ordering save-the-date cards.
  • etc etc

Another part of planning is deciding what you’re *not* doing.

Part of keeping things simple is not taking on tasks that you don’t love, that you’re not any good at, or that will cause you stress.

Too often for couples on a budget, the options are either do it yourself and be stressed out (and perhaps unhappy with the product) or throw a lot of money at a vendor to do it for you. Those are both valid options, but you could also just nix things entirely.

Keep it or Toss it?

One option for wedding aspects you’re not into is to just not do them. Just like we talk about on The Bouquet Toss Podcast, you have to decide what to keep and what to toss from your wedding plans. If something costs too much, stresses you out, or you simply don’t care about that aspect of the day, feel free to toss it!

You may do this with a lot of things right off the bat, both for money-saving purposes and for simplicity’s sake. Things many savvy couples cross off their list from the get-go:

  • Hiring a wedding planner
  • Having a professional DJ
  • Wedding favors
  • Extraneous decorations
  • Ring bearer/flower girl
  • Expensive centerpieces

You may find you cross some more things off as the wedding approaches. Some things, on the other hand, you might decide are actually important enough that you want to include them, but maybe you don’t feel you can tackle them yourself.

Outsourcing Help to Vendors or Friendors

These are things that you can decide to hire professionals for or enlist the help of friendors if you have a talented and willing pal. Examples could include:

You’ve probably seen it many times in the real weddings section here on The Budget Savvy Bride that couples lean on their network for wedding help. From “We have a friend who’s a photographer who did our wedding as a gift” to “My sister is an amazing chef who catered our whole wedding and made three hundred individually piped cupcakes” to “My uncle owns a sweet vintage car that we got to use for our wedding photos,” and even “My husband’s great aunt owns a vineyard which was the perfect wedding location for us.”

You might read those stories and feel like those couples were super lucky to randomly know florists or be related to graphic designers or whatever their super-talented family connections were. You may be thinking you don’t have any connections that would be helpful… but we’re willing to bet you do!

Results May Vary, So Decide What’s Important to You

Just because you don’t know someone in every area of the wedding business doesn’t mean you can’t enlist people to help out! People love to be involved, even if they don’t have expertise. So if you’re not incredibly picky about results, letting an amateur friend assist you is a great option. Even asking a friend or family member to simply do the research for you is super helpful in taking wedding planning tasks off your plate.

Sure, you might end up with a slightly lopsided cake, imperfect invites, or a less “polished” feeling event, but the key here is that these are the things that aren’t crucially important to you. If any of these things go wrong, it will not ruin your day– and things might actually turn out wonderfully in the end!

Ask yourself if the time, money, and peace of mind you’re saving by letting these tasks go is worth the risk… and if it is, friendor up!

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