EVERYTHING in a Wedding is Essentially Thrown Away

Anyone else heard others say I don't want to waste money on invitations because people just throw them away? Why is it that you only ever hear that about the invitations? Why not the flowers or the decorations or the tablecloths? Well, I'm here to tell you, that {almost} EVERYTHING for a wedding is essentially thrown away, maybe not physically thrown in the trash, but hear me out.

My point in this blog is to make you realize that wedding invitations are the door to your wedding. The invitations are the first thing people see that give them that glimpse into what kind of wedding you are having from elaborate to casual from glitzy to country and more! This piece (or pieces) of paper holds so much information and power to get your guests excited to attend your wedding.

The average cost of a wedding in the United States is $26,720.* Couples, on average, spend between $25,481 and $42,468 in Lincoln, NE. This does not include cost for a honeymoon. You plan on spending your hard-earned money {or your parents' money} on everything from your dress to the reception location to the food to the flowers so why not put as much of that money into some beautiful invitations to tie it all together?

Here is some explanation of what I mean by essentially everything is thrown away in a wedding and the average cost couples are spending on these items in Lincoln, NE:


JEWELRY - PURCHASED and KEPT {This is one thing that you will keep so make sure to get something nice!}
Average spent on couple's rings = $4,921

BRIDAL GOWN - BOXED UP {Essentially worn once, most likely never to be worn by your daughter or granddaughter so may as well consider that thrown away.}
TUXEDO - RENTAL {Some choose to buy a nice suit they can wear other times, but most will rent a nicer tuxedo. They even have tuxedos now that are cooler for those having weddings outdoors.}
Average spent on attire/accessories = $1,821

HAIR/MAKEUP - WASHED OUT/OFF {Essentially thrown away because it only lasted 1 day.}
Average spent on hair/makeup = $162

FLOWERS - THROWN AWAY {Except maybe your bouquet and your husband's boutonniere.}
Average spent on flowers = $1,983

RECEPTION LOCATION/VASES/TABLECLOTHS/NAPKINS/OTHER DECOR - RENTED {You don't get to keep that beautiful museum/barn/hall or the decorations so consider that $$$ thrown away.}
FOOD/CATERER/CAKE - EATEN {Yes people eat it, but do they REALLY remember what you served at your wedding?}
Average spent on venue/catering/rentals = $15,311

MUSIC (DJ/BAND) - RENTED {Nothing kept from this unless someone recorded a video.}
Average spent on a DJ/band for the reception = $2,168
Some add more to this by hiring a quartet to play at their ceremony instead of a piano/organ if they aren't getting married at a church.

WEDDING PLANNER - RENTED {Essentially you are renting a person or team of people to help guide you to the best of the best in the wedding industry and possibly helping with setup/tear down of your wedding day so you're not buying anything tangible from them.}
Average spent on wedding planner = $1,650

PHOTOGRAPHY/VIDEOGRAPHY - RENTED {This is a tough one because you are paying for someone's time to take photos/record your ceremony, but you may also be paying for some prints or converting that video to a DVD.
Average spent on photographer/videographer = $3,959

INVITATIONS - THROWN AWAY {Some family members and close friends may keep them.}
Average spent on paper goods {save the dates, invitations, programs, etc.} = $1,117

Another point to consider if the number of guests you are inviting. A single guest could add between $144 and $175 to the overall cost of your wedding. The best way to save money on your wedding is to limit the number of guests.

  • Number of guests less than 50 = $11,211 - $18,686

  • Number of guests between 50 and 100 = $17,072 - $28,453

  • Number of guests between 100 and 200 = $27,264 - $45,440

  • Number of guests between 200 and 300 = $35,163 - $58,605

  • Number of guests more than 300 = $68,033 - $113,388

I would also like to point out that it isn't just other couples spreading the word about invitations being thrown away ... there are others within the wedding industry that do not value the invitations either. Your invitations are such a necessary piece to the whole day, but people don't realize that we designers put just as much (and sometimes more) time into our work as the florists, the photographers, the caterers, the DJ, the hair/makeup artist, etc.

Others will say how everything listed above {and probably some other things I forgot to mention} are necessary because it is for the DAY OF the wedding and the invites aren't seen DAY OF. But that makes no sense whatsoever because most people will be using that invitation and other pieces to guide them to your ceremony location, possibly a hotel, and then the reception.

And there is other stationery that we designers help with that is seen day of - think programs, menus, welcome signs, seating charts, place/escort cards, drink signs, and more!

So the next time you hear someone say how they don't want to spend a lot of money on invitations because they are just thrown away ... send them my blog post ... maybe we can change the way people view invitations!

I hope I've made some sort of impact about the wedding industry and how we are ALL an important part of your day and would love to all be treated equally! But until I hear more people placing a higher value on their wedding stationery ... you can just find me over here holding back tears every time I get an email saying a couple has chosen to order their invitations online because they want to save money. For those that say this, please read my blog about why you should choose custom invitations and how ordering your invitations online really doesn't save you that much money.

*Cost of Wedding