You're probably reading this because you LOVE talking about budget (we kid, we kid). More realistically, social media is telling you that every little thing about your wedding needs to be perfect and impressive and you need to indulge in every tiny detail to have it that way...but your budget says otherwise. We hear you. You can’t splurge on EVERY detail – and you shouldn’t! Some things are just not as important as others. So how do you know what’s worth splurging on and what’s better to save on time, focus, and money?
Every couple spends their wedding budget differently – it all depends on how a couple prioritizes which details are more important and, therefore, will take up a bigger slice of the budget pie. And while no wedding budget is the same, we do have suggestions to keep you sane with whatever budget you have:
Photography – Splurge
The photos are the ONE thing you get to keep from your wedding and look back on! Therefore, it only makes sense to make sure you’ll be extremely happy with how your wedding photos look. It might be tempting to have your cousin who happens to own a nice camera shoot all your pictures for free, however, investing in a good professional photographer can make a huge impact on how you reflect back on your wedding day for the rest of your life.
Invitations – Save
Think back for a minute - do you really remember what any of the invitations looked like from the weddings you’ve attended? Or do you think you even cared what it looked like when you opened one? Chances are, you don’t. So don’t bother dishing out extra money for invitations that are letter-pressed, have gold foil on them, etc. Let’s be real, your guests will probably look at this for two seconds and toss it in the trash soon after…! They aren’t going to admire the intricacy of some fancy invitation as much as you might wish they would.
The Venue – Splurge
Your wedding venue is one of the biggest (literally) and most important aspects of your wedding – it sets the tone, theme, and style to your entire nuptials! You definitely won’t regret having a venue that made all your wedding photos look stunning! But avoid overpaying for a venue…you should find value in what you’re getting along with it.
Wedding Favors – Save
Wedding favors are another thing that could easily end up in the trash. Depending on what you gift your guests, they might not want it or they might forget to even take one home in the first place! It isn’t worth it to spend a lot of money on wedding favors if you don’t even know that your guests are going to like it or will use it.
If you can’t decide on what kind of favors to give, consider making a donation to a charity in lieu of purchasing traditional wedding favors, and then make an announcement at your wedding that this is what you chose to do. This method could actually save you money (if you donate less money than you would’ve spent on favors) and you know it definitely won’t be thrown away!
Chairs and Linens – Splurge
There is a lot you can do to a ceremony site or a ballroom to dress it up and make it look gorgeous! However, one of the biggest visual focal points in either of those settings will always be the dozens/hundreds of chairs. Even with other florals and décor, the chairs will still always have a way of standing out, and the wrong chair can definitely be an eye sore. Upgraded chairs (like a chiavari chair) are a SIMPLE change that can really up the ante in the elegance and appeal of your ceremony site or reception space!
In addition, a small upgrade to some floor-length linens will make your reception room look much more formal and elegant. Short linens will expose the legs of the tables, which will draw your eye – especially in photos.
Bridesmaid Proposals – Save
The idea of “proposing” to your bridesmaids is a very Insta-worthy trend. It’s easy to think in those very beginning stages of planning that you have that kind of money to spend, but down the road, you’ll probably wish you had that money back to put towards something more important instead. You can totally still find cute ways to ask your girls to be your bridesmaids, but keep it simple. You’ll be gifting those girls again on your wedding day anyways!
Bar – Splurge
Offering a hosted bar at your wedding will make your guests all the merrier – and not to mention, it’ll make for some hilarious dance moves! Having a hosted bar means that YOU cover the cost of the alcohol so that the drinks are free for your guests, which is sure to be a crowd pleaser!
And if you’re offering a hosted bar, you may as well make it worth it! Upgrading to premium liquor is, again, a simple change that adds an elegant touch and leave your guests impressed.
Signs – Save
We’ve all seen that trendy ‘Welcome’ sign written in white calligraphy on a wood board at the entryway to the ceremony site, but it’s not a necessity. As with any kind of wedding sign, a lot of your guests won’t see it…or they won’t really care. You can find custom signs at an affordable price on Etsy, but keep in mind that you’ll also have to pay to get an easel to set it on. In addition, the trendy thing to do is to drape extra greenery/florals over the top of the sign, which would be yet another expense to add onto your florist bill.
It can sometimes be cheaper to have an electronic design printed out, however, the cost for these signs can still easily add up – you first have to pay for the digital copy by the designer, then pay to have it blown up and printed out on poster paper, and then purchase a large frame for it to go in. They’re small expenses individually, but they add up! And for such a small detail…
DJ/Band – Splurge
The music and dancing are what make your event FUN and what play an important role in how you and your guests will feel at your wedding - not what was pretty, but simply how good your wedding made all of you FEEL. Invest in a killer DJ or live band that will keep the party going!
Think back on the weddings you’ve been to and pinpoint which details you still remember or the details that really stood out to you while you were there. Do you remember the beautiful venue or the personalized cocktail napkin under your drink? Do you remember the signs that were displayed or how much fun you had in the photo booth? Do you remember how touching the ceremony was or what the groomsmen’s boutonnieres looked like?
It’s SO easy to get sucked into the perfection of every tiny detail (thanks Pinterest), but when you’re feeling overwhelmed with how your budget is stretching to cover all the costs, remember what actually matters. You’ve got this!