We will make no judgments of people that spend exorbitant amounts of money on the following traditions - but if you're the kind that just needs a little extra validation of "It's okay to skip that one, hon," then these are for you:
1. The Bachelorette Party
This is one tradition you can still enjoy without blowing a few hundred on a girls trip to Vegas. One of my favorite bachelorette parties that I've attended was a sleepover with pizza and a movie. Cheap and just as memorable.
2. Party Favors
Your guests expect food, dessert, and a happy time. Nothing more. And they will be plenty happy with those three things, but if you feel like sending them home with something, candy tables are always a hit.
3. Save the Dates
If you feel the need to send a pre-invite (if your wedding is a year or more into the future), instead of printing 200 cards, consider making a private Facebook group and inviting only those you plan to send invitations to. Then you can provide some basic details and ask for everyone's addresses. It's also an easier, quicker way to gauge how many people will rsvp later on.
4. Drinks/Open bar
If you ARE planning on having alcohol:
Providing your own drinks is always going to be cheaper than an open bar, and generally preferable to a cash bar. It's also an easy way to limit the amount of alcohol that will be consumed at your event, if you're the type that would rather not have a handful of hammered guests.
If you're NOT planning on having alcohol:
Soft drinks can also get pricey. At my wedding, the drinks included in my very affordable package were lemonade and infused water. Not a single complaint from anyone about those, and significantly better for the body than soda. Something to think about.
5. Full tux rentals for the groomsmen
So, this one is more for the sake of your men's wallets than yours. The thing is, most men own a nice white shirt and black dress pants (or khakis). If that fits in your color scheme, all they need then is matching ties and - boom! - classy group of guys.
6. An Enormous Cake
Those magnificent 4-tier masterpieces you see on Pinterest come with a magnificent price tag, too. Consider getting a beautiful little cake for you and the spouse to cut and smash in each other's faces, and then get sheet cake for your guests (just make sure it's cut and plated before it's brought out, no one will be the wiser). Albertson's sheet cake is surprisingly delicious.
7. Elaborate Wedding Party Proposals
I've seen everything from the personalized knives and whisky bottles, to a shot glass + tumbler + t-shirt + tote bag gift set, all personalized of course. To save some money (and headache) try simply gifting your future bridesmaids and groomsmen with a nice card and something they can wear on the wedding day. We gave our groomsmen their ties and socks, and my bridesmaids their shoes and a bracelet. Practical and re-wearable.
Got more ideas for avoidable expenses? Tell us in the comments below!