1. Blocking hotel rooms - When we were planning our wedding, I kept getting on A.P.'s case about blocking hotel rooms for our guests. 1/3 of our guest list was coming in from out of state (and in some cases, out of the country); I wanted there to be hotel rooms available. For my centerpieces, I bought some apothecary jars from Liz and Felix. While A.P. and I were at their apartment picking the stuff up, A.P. got to talking with Felix about blocking hotel rooms. He suggested we skip it. He said most people really just want a cheap room and a hotel suggestion, and if people think the deal you've gotten them isn't good enough and choose to book their own hotel anyway, you may be on the hook for paying for the blocked/unused rooms. So what we did instead was to make sure there weren't any giant conventions in town (in which case, we would have blocked at least some rooms), and then we listed a bunch of hotels in a bunch of different price ranges on our website. We also told people we were staying at The Omni the night of the wedding. And let me tell you, most people booked wherever the hell they wanted.
The other thing is that blocking rooms used to be so that you could hang out with other guests, but we were just at a wedding and stayed in a blocked room. There were some guests in our hotel, but most weren't, and we certainly didn't hang out with those that were staying in the same hotel. I really feel like unless this is something you know will be an issue (only one hotel in a small town and it's on the weekend of some festival), I say skip this detail. Most people like to find their own hotel in their own price range anyway. Be kind and offer your guests suggestions, but don't feel obligated to block.
In lieu of a full bar, personalize the small one you are offering with custom labels. Aren't these cute?
2. A full bar - I am NOT advocating a cash bar. Nor am I advocating BYOB. But paring down your bar to beer and wine is not the worst thing in the world. We attended a wedding this year that had beer, wine, and a signature drink. It wasn't ideal (my go to is usually gin and tonic), but guess what? We survived. Having an open, full bar is great, but let's face it, it can also make a huge dent in your wallet. This is not a detail you need to sweat or go broke over.
3. Out of town guest packages - I can't believe this is even a thing. Seriously? I know it's nice, but really, it's so unnecessary. DO NOT MAKE YOURSELF CRAZY OVER *THIS*!! It's so not worth it. If you are having some kind of destination wedding, maybe. But if you are just having a regular old wedding and people are coming in from out of town, I say skip it. People will do without. That being said, there are other easier ways to thank people for making the trip. We did a loose, relaxed brunch (though if you remember, I wish I'd made it later) for out of town guests only. We figured we always have time to hang out with people who actually live in the same city, so we kept the brunch to out of towners only as a way to get to spend some additional time with them. I say skip the packages (and the time consuming effort that goes with them) and spend the time with your guests instead.
Bouquet Toss/Add'l Bouquet - I think I speak for all single (and I mean really single, not in-a-relationship/hopefully not single for long) girls when I say that the bouquet toss is condescending and terrible. One of my favorite moments in Sex and the City is where they go to Miranda's designer's wedding (the one where Carrie writes/reads a poem and Big takes a call) and the bouquet gets tossed and lands right in front of them and they walk away. I loved that! You know why? Because the bouquet toss is a big middle finger to your still single friends. You're asking them to out themselves as single and alone at an event filled with couples. Then you're asking them to humiliate themselves and actually fight for a chance to maybe, superstitiously, kind of, but not really be the next bride. As if some of them even want that life! Puh-lease! TERRIBLE. Save yourself the money, skip the extra bouquet, and more importantly, save your girlfriends the humiliation: forget the bouquet toss.
5. Bridesmaids/Groomsmen - I know this will be one many of you will fight me tooth and nail over. But let me tell you something. Skipping this will save you headache and hurt for years to come. YEARS. For one thing, you're not asking your friends to humiliate themselves and wear an unflattering dress that they will wear once. You're also not asking them to spend more money on you. And there are other, much more meaningful ways to include people in your big day: giving readings, toasts, etc. Plus, there's nothing worse than asking someone to be a bridesmaid or groomsmen only to have them not really be a part of your life anymore a year or two later. It's mega, mega lame. (And trust me when I tell you that will totally happen. A.P. and I are finally making our wedding album and there are sooo many people who, for one reason or another, we don't talk to anymore. DEPRESSING.)'
What are some details you will skip/wish you'd skipped?
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(Beer label photo via Pinterest; Sex and the City still from The Chicken Dance via here)