We may be dating ourselves by saying this, but we remember when the only real wedding must have was one’s betrothed and someone official to take the couple through the vows. Nowadays, if the bridal rags have it right, practically everything related to the wedding is considered a must have by someone.
Part of that is confirmation bias, of course. A wedding DJ will almost always tell you that a wedding DJ is an absolute must have. We tend to look at wedding jewelry as a must have, but at the very least we’re not suggesting every bride drape herself in every possible accessory. The father of the bride typically sees the father-daughter dance as a must have. It makes a lot of sense, if you think about it, for the bride to see her bridal shoes as a wedding must have and for the mother of said bride to see her special day ensemble as a must have. In general, though, the firm must haves have been pretty cut and dry.
Until marketers started turning everything under the sun into a must have. Save-the-dates? Are, in our opinion, a must have only if you’re trying to coordinate a destination wedding. Wedding favors? Lovely if you like them, but entirely unnecessary from an etiquette point of view. Fresh flowers? Plenty of weddings have gone off without a hitch with NO flowers. You get the idea.
One recent must have we’ve seen advertised as absolutely non-negotiable in wedding magazines and on websites is designer reception lighting. Yep, designer lighting costing anywhere between $500 and $5,000. Is it gorgeous? Absolutely, when done right – which means you’re closer to the four-figure side of things than the three-figure side of things. But is it necessary? We’d argue no. Not a must have. This is one of those wedding reception enhancements that we will ooh and ah over when we encounter it at a wedding, but we’re certainly not going to think any less of a wedding budget that doesn’t include designer lighting as a line item.
So if you can’t swing the cost of a lighting designer for your wedding or just don’t think pin lighting or a multi-color display will do much to beautify your venue, then feel free to spend your bridal bucks elsewhere with our expert blessing.