I’m a Wedding Planner: 6 Things I Tell Clients Not To Waste Money On

champagne toasting celebration.
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Most couples planning a wedding are conscious of their budgets for the big day. According to Zola’s The First Look Report 2023, the average wedding budget is between $20,000 to $40,000. Once couples lock in their venues and vendors, they can prioritize the rest of their spending money accordingly. 

What isn’t worth the money? GOBankingRates spoke to three wedding planners about expenses couples can skip when they’re planning their wedding day. From favors to a party bus, consider skimping, or skipping entirely, on these wedding expenses.

Customized or Monogrammed Wedding Items

Today, couples can get many wedding items customized including favors, cocktail napkins, signage and champagne glasses. Wedding planner and CEO of Rent My Wedding Marie Kubin said couples can skip this frivolous expense. 

If you really want a monogram included on your wedding day, Kubin recommends using a monogram for one focal point instead of custom printing everything. “Display a monogram light with your names on the wall or dance floor,” Kubin said. “This adds an instant ‘wow’ factor for a fraction of the price.”


“Favors are almost always a waste if given at the reception,” said Brooke Sheldon, president and owner of Lilybrooke Events. “They get left behind and there are always too many. Give them in a welcome bag or somehow in advance or skip them all together.”

Flowers for the Cocktail Tables

Flowers for the cocktail tables is the one area Lynne Kennedy, owner and wedding planner at The Gilded Aisle Weddings, suggests clients skip on their wedding day. 

Make Your Money Work for You

“The only people who see it are the first few people in the room and then the centerpieces are shrouded by guests and empty drink glasses,” Kennedy said. Instead of putting flowers on cocktail tables, Kennedy recommends placing a votive on the cabaret or high-boy table. 

Staffed Photo Booths

For many years, professionals were required for photo booths at weddings because they were needed to operate an actual camera. When possible, Kubin recommends skipping staffed photo booths in favor of more affordable DIY photo booth rentals. 

Party Bus

Instead of splurging on a party bus with bench seats and color-changing lights, Kennedy recommends opting for a limousine shuttle bus. 

“These buses can hold up to 50 guests and you’ll save $600 to $1,000 depending on the timeframe and your geographic market,” Kennedy said.

Champagne Toast

What you may not know is venues typically make you pre-purchase champagne. 

Kubin said many couples end up ordering more than they need just to be safe. As a result, with leftover glasses on the table from guests who don’t enjoy champagne and extra bottles that are never opened, it is almost always a waste of money.

When in doubt, consider skipping the champagne toast. “Guests will be just as happy to raise their glass of ‘whatever’ they are drinking!” Kubin said. “If your heart is set on doing this, serve champagne for just the newly married couple.”

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