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Wedding Do's and Don'ts

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Forget all the traditional wedding rules– it’s your day and you should plan it your way. Check out this list of do’s and don’ts you can ignore, plus advice that’s actually worth listening to!


Throughout wedding planning, you’ve probably seen and read way too many lists of wedding do’s and don’ts.

Most offer some great advice, such as:

But we even find ourselves cringing at some of the advice given by the experts. They tend to come from big mainstream publications that cater to a luxury market, and therefore assume you have unlimited time, resources, and money to make your wedding day one big YOLO blowout bash.

While these “experts” may have a lot of experience when it comes to weddings, they shouldn’t dictate how you plan one of the most important days of your life.

Here, we like to take a savvy and simple approach to wedding planning, so you can get through the process with your sanity and a good chunk of your savings still intact!

So with that in mind, we thought we’d share our version of the Do’s and Don’ts of weddings! (Savvy Edition)

Traditional Wedding Do’s and Don’ts to Ignore

Here is a list of things you should not listen to when it comes to what you should and should not do at your wedding:

Do not hire friends/family members as vendors.

If you have a friend or family member who is a great photographer or DJ or baker, why not hire them? Of course, having a seasoned pro will typically yield professional results, so it might be the more “trusted” route, but that comes at a cost.

If your budget is tight, who’s to say that a talented friend or family member couldn’t do a fantastic job? Plus, you know they’ll put in extra love and care to make your day special because you are special to them. The key advice here is to just be sure you trust them, have proven quality of their work, and the expectations are clear upfront.

Do hire a wedding planner.

This advice always seems to be the default, but in our opinion, it’s not 100% necessary. There are many benefits to hiring a wedding planner, but full service planning can be pricey. We’re all about hiring help for the day of so you don’t have to worry about anything on your special day. If you plan your wedding the savvy way, you won’t need more than a coordinator.

Do spend a large portion of your budget on X

Most of the time, this advice comes from a partial point of view. Photographers will say you should spend a majority of your money on photography, catering companies say you should spend a majority of your money on the food, and a florist might convince you that you should spend 20% of your budget on florals, etc.

Our advice? Forget all those wedding budget percentage breakdowns and get clear on what matters most to you. Create your priorities based on you and your fiancé – not on someone else’s input that doesn’t know your relationship or your vision for your day.

Do have an open bar.

Alcohol is expensive and if it’s not in your budget to pay for it, you shouldn’t feel obligated. There are many ways to cut back on your bar costs, such as finding a BYOB venue, including serving only beer and wine, or offering a signature cocktail. Alternatively, you could offer a cash bar if you are really opposed to footing the alcohol bill due to religious reasons, or if you and your partner are non-drinkers.

We understand people like to have a drink with their dinner, but if they’re not going to come to your wedding because you’re making them pay for their alcohol, do you really want them at your wedding?

Don’t DIY your flowers, music, decor etc.

DIY projects can be a great way to save money (be sure to know the cost before starting the project!) and also to add a personal touch to your day. If you want to do your own flowers, do your own wedding flowers. If you want to create your own signage, create your own signage. Or if you want to pay someone to do all the decorations and it’s in your budget, then do that!

The Only Wedding Do’s and Don’ts to Follow

We know that weddings are a combination of unique traits, people, situations, and circumstances. Giving wedding advice is not one-size-fits-all, nor is it black and white. It’s not right for the wedding industrial complex to tell you what to do and not to do. Here, we’re not about absolutes and do’s and don’ts when it comes to your weddings… except for these below:

Do What Feels Right to YOU.

Do what you want to do and don’t do what you don’t want to do. Sounds simple, right? This can be achieved more easily if you get really crystal clear on what actually matters to you and your partner about your wedding day. Plan a wedding according to your values and priorities, and you’ll be in alignment with all your decisions, and have a more enjoyable day! After all, there’s no such thing as “perfect” – just what’s perfect for YOU!

Don’t Stress Over What Others Will Think

So many couples get caught up in worrying about what their family or friends might think of their decisions. There are lots of fears about judgment, wedding budget shame, and family dynamics at play in planning a wedding. Try to enjoy the process of planning your day, and don’t stress over what others are going to think about your day.

Do Focus on the Meaning of the Day

The most important thing is making the day about you and your fiancé starting your life together as one. What matters, in the end, is not what your centerpieces looked like, how expensive your dress was, or how much/how little the alcohol cost. Remember that you are marrying your best friend, and just do you! It’s your day, you should plan it your way!

What advice do you have to give other brides that don’t necessarily follow the typical “do’s and don’ts” of wedding planning? Join us in the community to chat more about your list of do’s and don’ts!


The Budget Savvy Bride is the #1 Online Wedding Planning Resource for couples who want to plan a beautiful wedding on a budget they can actually afford. Check out our best-selling book on Amazon, The Budget-Savvy Wedding Planner & Organizer!