Weddings are expensive. Way more expensive than I thought before I started wedding planning. Since most of us don’t have an unlimited wedding budget, difficult decisions have to be made. It’s important to take a hard look at your priorities and decide where your money should be allocated. While we all have different priorities, there are some areas where your money will go a lot further and where I would recommend splurging. Here are the areas (in my opinion) for where to splurge and where to save on your wedding!
-Photographer: This was a really important splurge for me! For years down the road, our wedding pictures will be an important and happy reminder of our amazing wedding day. I wanted to make sure we had the best we could afford! In ten years you won’t be looking at the invitations you used or personalized napkins, but you will still be looking at those wedding pictures!
-DJ/MC: Though some people might argue with me, I think the DJ should be a high priority. Yes, you could just hook your iPod up to a speaker for the reception. But a DJ does so much more than just press play! Our DJ handled all the music transitions for the ceremony, announced the wedding party at the reception, played the music all night, etc. He was also able to read the crowd to make sure he was playing the best music for our guests. The DJ makes sure the night goes smoothly. An iPod can’t do that.
-Food: Food was really important to Dave and I at our wedding. Partly because we just love good food so darn much. Weddings have a stereotype for bad weddings and we did NOT want to fall into that stereotype. By the way, the steak at our wedding was amazing.
-Dress: I know people go both was on this one. And part of me thinks that if my mom hadn’t offered to buy my dress, I would have gone a cheaper route. But then I think that it wouldn’t have been THE dress and I wouldn’t have loved it as much as I seriously loved my wedding dress. Ultimately I’m glad this was a splurge.
-Honeymoon: This is going to be the first vacation you take as a married couple. Take advantage of it! It’s the only part of the wedding that will be 100% about you without guests to feed or entertain. If your budget is limited, I would cut the wedding budget and put it toward the honeymoon!
-Favors: Trust me, your guests aren’t coming to the wedding for the favors. Yes, it’s nice to offer a little gift to your guests. But remember that you’re also buying them dinner, drinks and entertainment all night! It’s completely possible to find fun favors for $1 or less each. We were able to get personalized sunglasses for about that cost!
-Paper Products: I know these are really important for some people, but let’s be honest. They’re going to be thrown in the garbage, with the exception of the ones you save yourself. There are so many easy ways to find affordable or even free wedding invitation and save the date templates online. When it comes to programs and menu cards, don’t print one for each guest. Just have a program sign at the ceremony and menu sign at the reception.
-Decor: With all the things you can DIY for your wedding, I saw no reason to spend a lot of money on decor! I thought about weddings I’ve been to in the past and to be honest, I never notice things like centerpieces, flowers, etc.
-Linens: I promise no one cares about things like table cloths or personalized napkins. Most venues probably offer these for free. If they don’t, just go with the cheaper option.
-Hair and Makeup: First let me say, I think the wedding hair is super important! But I also think most of us have a cheaper option available to us. One of my oldest friends is a makeup and hair wizard and did both mine and my mom’s for the wedding. Explore your options before splurging on this one.
-Cake: This is the one part of the food I wouldn’t splurge on. I think it’s becoming more popular for couples to have a small cake to cut for the official cutting, then have a sheet cake to serve the guests. We did this, but cupcakes instead of a sheet cake. As long as the cake still tastes awesome, there’s no reason you can’t go sheet cake!
-Drinks: I definitely think it’s important to provide some drink options for your guests, but a full open bar isn’t necessary when you’re on a budget. It’s more than okay to stick with beer and wine, and maybe throw in a signature cocktail!
Where did you splurge and save on your wedding?
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