This one goes out to all the married-couples-to-be who are currently sweating the small stuff. With wedding season currently in full swing, it's easy to scope out others' choices for their celebrations -- and get completely freaked out about all the details you haven't arranged for, or the things you'll be missing at your shindig.
Add in the stress of family expectations and meetings that take up a surprising amount of time, and it's a recipe for a meltdown. We at The Huffington Post Canada wanted to try to help in some way, to remind you this is your wedding and things needn't follow a prescribed pattern just because it's what people expect. While we understand different cultural traditions can influence decisions, and everyone has their own visions, we wanted to offer some suggestions for items you may just not require for your wedding day.
Take a look at these, and let us know what you think -- and don't just leave it to us, dear readers. Which traditional elements of the wedding did you, or would you, get rid of for your wedding day? Let us know in the comments below, and don't forget -- you can always tell HuffPost Weddings about the rogue relative or vendor who's dead set on hijacking your wedding.
Save The Date
If you're planning a wedding for a date you anticipate may be busy, you might think 'save the date' cards are in order. But let's be honest -- people who want to be at your celebration will make sure they make it there (and they probably know directly from you when it will be anywhere). Save the postage, save the paper, save yourself the worry.
Designer Wedding Gown
For some, the wedding dress is the whole point of the wedding, and we can certainly understand why wearing a stunning gown that makes you feel like a goddess/princess/superhero would be at the top of your list. But if you don't have enough time to get a dress made (stores suggest seven to 10 months), don't care that much about what you wear, or want to try something different with your gown (wearing a colour, buying something secondhand), then go for it. The stress and money kept out of play can be worth it.
Some people may have had their hearts set on a particular china pattern since high school, but for the rest of us, having guests put money toward dishes that will sit carefully covered except for special occasions doesn't make a lot of sense. Besides, your mother or mother-in-law probably has a set she's been saving for you -- not to mention what she received from her own ancestors.
Expensive Shoes That Don't Show
Along the same lines as the dress, expensive shoes can be very necessary for those who have been waiting for this chance to indulge, and less important for those who don't care. But for people who opt for the former, bear in mind those shoes will be tucked away under your dress all night -- so if it's showing them off you want, make sure they work with a few more outfits.
Bride And Groom Underwear
Let's be honest -- in the grand scheme of wasteful things, this is pretty harmless (as are bride tank tops, bathrobes, etc.). The problem, however, is that they can only plausibly be worn on your wedding day -- a day for which you've already planned every millimetre of your outfit. They're cute, but save the cash for some great wedding night lingerie.
Handing out cards indicating who people are in the wedding party may give the audience something to do while they wait for the service to finish, but they're one of those pieces of the wedding that really serves no other purpose. If you opt out of the programs, however, make sure to introduce each member of your wedding party later in the day.
Ring Bearer (And Other Young 'Uns In The Ceremony)
Asking your nephew to carry your rings down the aisle for you and your wife-to-be? Adorable. Waiting while said nephew cries his eyes out at the top of the aisle, refusing to walk? Less adorable, for everyone. Same yourself, and your sibling, the pain of including little kids in the ceremony, and find other ways to include them, like a dance.
This is very much a matter of personal preference, but so few and far between are those who can come up with a witty or truly heartfelt sentiment on the spur of the moment that a guestbook is often just filled with "congratulations!" or "wishing you the best!" Save the time, and keep the cards instead.
Those tiny little pieces of paper will surprisingly add up to big(ish) money in your budget. By getting rid of them, and using something like a large board for everyone's names and table numbers, you'll not only save money, but space as well.
Raising yourself up above the rest of the crowd so that everyone in the room can see you is a lovely idea -- but the bride and groom tend not to spend too much time at the table, and there is a lot of politicking that can happen around who can sit there. Place yourselves those you want to sit with, and avoid the whole problem.
Cakes like this are beautiful, photogenic, and hardly ever eaten by anyone. They can also cost big money and drive you crazy trying to figure out which icing goes with which cake flavour. Make it easier on yourself by opting for a dessert or candy table -- even then, you can still have a cake with a false styrofoam base for show.
A lovely idea, to give guests a little something to take home to remember your occasion. But unless it's an edible option -- and a delicious edible option at that -- that's one thing you can scratch off the to-do list. After all, have you kept any of those candles with the couples initials engraved on them?