DeLong Photography Blog

Photographers providing authentic photographs, modern heirloom albums, and more for those who value a comfortable and fun experience 
Based in Charlotte, North Carolina. Available for travel.

7 Items You Don’t Really Need For Your Wedding

Things You Don’t Really Need

Every couple has items on their must-have list. Most commonly is a stunning dress accompanied by perfect hair make-up (at least for most females), a gorgeous venue, and a reception that is unforgettable! You might be surprised to find out many of the items on the “must-have” list are things you don’t really need. So before you start throwing around wads of cash, consider skipping or using alternatives for the following items.

1) An Aisle Runner

This item is completely unnecessary if you’re getting married outside. But even if you’re getting married indoors, you don’t really need it. It’s an item you’ll only use once, and it’s a major tripping hazard. (Let’s be real: I got tripped up and I was just walking on grass). Wearing heels and big dresses are not easy to maneuver to begin with, so why spend the money on this?

2) Save the Dates

This is something that is completely nonessential. While save the dates can be fun and exciting to have, you can save quite a bit of cash sharing your date alternatively. Not only would you have to pay to have them printed, but then you have to pay for the postage. You’ll be spending quite a bit on that with the invitations so we suggest saving some money here if you need an area to cut.

Tim and I did not print save the dates, and just shared our wedding website on our social media with all of our family and friends. Having a save the date area is very common with wedding website providers nowadays, like The Knot. You most likely told your closest friends and family the date you chose the moment you booked your venue, so don’t feel pressured. Anyone else will make it a point to be there once receiving their invitation anyway.

3) An Expensive Cake

This is an area that can easily save you big bucks. Brides and grooms are getting creative, and adding some spark to their receptions, by opting for dessert bars, cupcakes, donuts and other sweets that reflect their personalities – all while saving them cash!

Having a wedding cake can be a staple for some brides, and we get it. So if having a wedding cake on display at your reception is a must but you can’t afford one, there is an alternative! Ask your baker to create styrofoam tiers for display, but serve slices from sheet cakes that are kept in the kitchen. A total game changer!

4) Wedding Favors

While you may feel obligated to offer a favor to all of your guests, you don’t really need to give them a physical gift. Most wedding favors are fairly expensive, yet most guests don’t really use them. Even koozies are becoming less impactful as most people nowadays have a drawer full of them. So as an alternative, mention in your wedding program that in lieu of favors you will be making a donation to a charity! Your guests will most likely be moved by your kindness, and those in need will be eternally grateful! We think that’s a pretty great win-win.

5) Wedding Gifts to Each Other

You both are already undertaking planning, and most likely paying for some if not all of the wedding. You’re also paying for the wedding rings and honeymoon. To be frank, giving gifts to each other is a frivolous expense. We suggest scratching this off the list and putting that cash toward that much-anticipated honeymoon.

6) Chair Covers

Guests will rarely focus on how done up the chairs are. They will most likely be focused on YOU, and when they aren’t, they’ll be focused on the people at their table and the music (once it kicks in). This item is absolutely expendable.

7) Menu Cards

At sit down dinners there is always a waiter that comes to visit the table. They will explain what is on the menu for the evening (usually chicken, beef or fish). If you’re having a buffet, there are servers at the stations to explain the dishes. Unless you’re having a very elaborate tasting, or if the food is ethnic and you feel a need to have it explained, you can most likely just skip this option.

Tim and I held our reception at a beautiful restaurant in downtown Charleston. As a part of our package, they printed menu cards for us. So depending on your chosen venue, check into if menu cards are included.

I hope you found this post helpful, and if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to reach out! Happy planning!

Black and white image of Tim and Shannon DeLong of DeLong Photography in Riverfront Park park smiling at the camera

Connect with us!

To see daily updates of our current weddings and images, follow us on Instagram. You can also follow us on Facebook page, Twitter, and find plenty of inspiration on our Pinterest page.

Interested in having us photograph your wedding? Contact us!

comments +


Charlotte, North Carolina Wedding Venues




You'll receive a downloadable PDF on how to plan a wedding in 12 months, our latest insights, and more!