“Seven Items Your Wedding Guests Don’t Care About” by Oregon Elopement Photographer Black Salt Photography

7 Items Your Wedding Guests Don’t Care About

There are many things your wedding guests just *don’t* care about seeing at your wedding. I know, I know. You’re having the wedding to celebrate your love, but you’re also kind of trying to throw this bomb-ass party for all of your friends. You want it to be amazing, to be spectacular. You also want to be able to keep your firstborn and not start this union with a bunch of credit card debt. Allow me to relieve some of your stress by saying this: GET RID OF IT. Get rid of all the superfluous items nobody really cares about!

You can come to your own conclusions about each item and each couple is unique. You both bring your own traditions and beliefs to the party and you should respect that. But if you look at an item and neither of you are like “Yes, I want that”, put it in the No pile. Marie Kondo your wedding. The entire day should spark joy for you.

1. Flowers

I know this sounds radical, but your guests don’t care about being surrounded by the freshest blooms and most expensive centerpieces. They don’t get to take them home, and if they knew how much they cost, they would probably tell you to skip it too. Now don’t just omit florals from your entire day. I love flowers and I want you to have them. But use them consciously. I recommend your bouquets, boutonnieres, etc. be made from real flowers, but you can use silk or fake greenery everywhere else. See more about how to have a greenery-filled wedding on a budget here

*See what you should do with your real flowers after your wedding here.

2. Fancy Linens

Girrrrrrrllll, don’t nobody care about that fancy linen you’re looking at. Chances are they’ll be scared to stain it and be tripping on it all night long anyway. Nobody likes sitting at a table where the linen drapes over your legs the whole time. Besides, there are *so many* ways to have gorgeous naked tables now. Pinterest is your friend!

Also, super fancy napkins with designs and applique DON’T WORK! They will not feel nice against your cheeks and they won’t make your hands feel any cleaner. Go for something in between your grocery store paper napkins (#wasteful) and the fancy ones. Your rental vendor should have plenty of options to choose from. 

3. Signing In

Ah, the guest book. Where did this tradition begin and why have we all been so brainwashed into thinking we like it? Do you really think you’ll ever look back at the guest book? No! You’re much more likely to reminisce with the pictures you took with your guests that day, not their messy signature.

If you really insist on having some sort of guest book, I recommend doing something alternative. At my wedding reception, I handmade our guestbook paper and bound it together. We asked our guests to write their favorite quote on the pages for us. The quote didn’t have to be wedding related at all and reading through them is like having a little piece of each friend. Some other ideas are signing a piece of a puzzle to display, a photo, or highlighting a favorite part in a book.

4. Useless Favors

Nobody likes junk or feeling pressured to take it. Your guests won’t want a key, tiny little thank-you cards with your photos on it, or cheaply themed chocolates. It’s generally recommended that if you’re going to have favors, make them edible. At least that way your guests can eat them there instead of taking the item and forgetting about it at the bottom of their purse for months. If you don’t want something edible, then try to come up with something that represents the type of people you’re inviting. My husband and I opted to make candles from scratch (I know) and gift those as favors. This flies in the face of what I just recommended to you, but it was so on-brand for us and they were a hit! Of course, we still had people who didn’t take them and two full years later our guest shower is still displaying about 12 gorgeous candles in teacups and mason jars.

5. Programs

Your guests came to your wedding to experience it. They don’t need to know every little detail that is happening and the program will go directly into the trash as soon as it’s over. You can easily guide your guests along by having the officiant announce what will be happening next after you’ve walked out or you can tell a select few chatterboxes you’ve invited and they will spread the word for you. Not having a program also allows you more flexibility in case something goes wrong or you want to switch up the order of events.

6. Fancy AF Invites

There are so many different invite printing vendors now that you can have almost any style you want. The fancier you get with the etched glass or gold foiling will quickly run up your tab, and while yes, that is pretty, it just isn’t necessary. Your guests really only need the invitations to tell them when and where to be. Some of them may hang your invite up on their fridge for a few months, but many will just throw it away. Same goes for the save-the-date. Your wedding invitation IS the save-the-date. You don’t have to send two unless you’re Emily Gilmore. 

7. Grand Exit

So you’ve planned your whole ceremony and reception and it’s going to be amazing but…how do you leave? Do you set a time to leave the party? Do you make a big deal of it? Grand exits probably started when the couple would exit the church doors and drive away in their car with tin cans banging out the back. We’ve progressed beyond that now, but just like any dinner party, leaving is the awkward part. Unfortunately, I don’t have an easy solution for you because it all depends on the vibe of your day and where you’re going afterward. My husband and I knew when we wanted to leave our reception because we were getting up at the crack of dawn the next day. The time limit helped us ensure we spoke to everyone that came that night and *hopefully* allowed our guests to feel comfortable leaving at any point afterward.

There you go! Seven big items you can knock off your list of must-haves. Hopefully it helps you save a bit of money and sanity along the way. If you’re unsure how your guests may feel about something, ask your bridal party. You chose them for a reason, right? Put them to work!

Black Salt Photography is an elopement photographer and intimate wedding photographer based in Portland, Oregon. Photographing in the surrounding PNW areas and traveling often for destination love stories. Specializing in intimate candids and editorial portraits to craft a one-of-a-kind wedding day for every couple. Her moody photography style plays with natural light and shadow, laced with raw emotional moments, to create an authentic narrative experience. She photographs you as you so you’ll love your photos authentically.

Destiny definitely stood out amongst other photographers because we absolutely loved how involved she was from the very beginning. She really wants to get to know you- which makes for really intimate photos! She asks tons of questions, which is awesome because you feel like you know her before even meeting her! And once you finally do, she is so so sweet!!! Destiny is so great at communicating and being really involved in every detail! She captured every emotion and detail perfectly, whenever I look at our wedding pictures, it brings back every feeling on our special day. TEARS!”

Planning your elopement doesn't have to be as overwhelming as it seems at first!

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-say goodbye to stiff, formal posing

-embrace the intimacy of your wedding day

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-have a meaningful ceremony

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If you're thinking you want to elope,

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