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10 Expensive Wedding Traditions You Could Easily Skip

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    Illustrated By Mallory Heyer.

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    In 2016, the only hard-and-fast rule of weddings is there are no rules. Want to wear black instead of white? Go for it. Want to skip the hotel blocks and invite your guests to camp out in a field? Do it.

    Whatever direction you ultimately choose, the wedding-planning process usually begins with research. And thanks to the internet, the material is endless. Before long, you may start to feel overwhelmed by the sheer number of tasks involved with getting married, not to mention the costs.

    The good news is that there are also a lot of things that you absolutely do not need to do for your wedding — despite what you may read in bridal magazines or see on Pinterest.

    Ahead, 10 things that you should feel totally okay skipping on your wedding day, whether you're trying to save money, time, or just your sanity.

    This month, we're asking you to toss out everything you thought you knew about spring cleaning and give every corner of your life a refresh. The inspiration for a happier, clutter-free you is right this way.

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    Professional Dancing Lessons
    According to every rom-com, all engaged couples take professional dance classes to prepare for their reception. But before you rush to sign up at Alvin Ailey, ask yourself one question: When's the last time you went to a wedding where anyone did the waltz?

    If you're genuinely worried that your moves aren't up to snuff, watch some instructional YouTube videos while practicing in a mirror. Boom, you can dance.

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    A Large Bridal Party
    There is nothing wrong with being flanked by a dozen of your sisters — whether biological, sorority, or spiritual — at all times on your wedding day. But just know it is not mandatory. If you don't have a large group of close friends or a giant extended family, you're not required to pretend that you do just because you're getting married. Having lots of bridesmaids comes with its own special costs (both mental and financial) and having just one or two attendants to help you on the day, or foregoing a bridal party altogether, is absolutely fine.

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    An Engagement Party
    If you want to have an engagement party, by all means, do it. But don't get sucked into the idea that you must have multiple pre-wedding events (engagement party, bridal luncheon, bridal shower, bachelorette party, rehearsal dinner, not to mention a morning-after brunch) just because Martha Stewart tells you to. If you don't really have the budget — or the inclination — skip it and never look back.

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    Engagement Photos
    I know plenty of intelligent, rational people who have suffered from diamond ring-induced psychosis. The primary symptom is posting 130 professional photos of yourself and your partner blowing kisses at each other on a rowboat and captioning it with something that isn't even a little bit ironic. Please don't do this.* It's making me feel weird.

    *Do it if you want to.

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    Send Printed Invitations For Every Event
    There is something undeniably nice about sending wedding-related correspondence by post rather than email. But it is also expensive, much more difficult to track, and less convenient for your guests. Don't let my mom anyone tell you that it's tacky to use email invites, particularly for peripheral events (like that engagement party I just advised you to skip). Save the paper for the real wedding invitations.