So, you are planning a wedding, the biggest day of your life. It should be exciting, fun, and it shouldn’t completely break you. Some people spend absolute fortunes on their wedding and don’t blink an eye while other people try to plan their big day within a conservative budget. You don’t have to go all out with every aspect of your wedding day. There are some items in your wedding list that don’t have to cost a lot of money and won’t affect how awesome your wedding will be. Your guests won’t even realize that you saved money in certain areas.
It can be super easy to spend too much on your wedding even when you have a budget. Sometimes, the bride and groom don’t even realize the money they could have saved until after the wedding is over. There are certain things that you should splurge on for your big day, while there are other things that you can save on. Save before the wedding is over so that you won’t have any regrets after the fact. Check out these 15 Things Worth Splurging On For A Wedding (And 15 Ways To Cut Costs).
30 Splurge: Upgrade Your Flatware, Glassware, and Plates
When it comes to splurges, event planner Kristen Jensen states that you should splurge on things that your wedding gets will get up close and personal with.
“Your table settings are a must-have because your guests interact with them. They touch, move, eat, and drink with these items and they make a huge impact on your guests.
Even if you can’t afford huge, lush floral arrangements, these settings will fill in where your flowers can’t. And, they will game change the overall big-day design.”
29 Save: Don’t Get Married on A Saturday
The weekend is the most expensive time to get married, so you are spending extra just because it’s a Saturday. It’s the most popular time to get married, that’s why. Talk to your event planner and compare prices with different days. If you can swing the wedding on a day during the week, you would be surprised how much money you will save. If you save money on the day, then you can get that dress that you really want.
28 Splurge: Get A Great Photographer
The pictures you have of your wedding day are going to be one of the only things that you have when the celebration is over. When it comes to hiring a good photographer, you want to make sure you have someone great. Wedding photographer, Heather Phelps-Lipton says,
“So, as both a married person as well as a wedding photographer, I’d say whatever you do, don’t skimp on the photography!”
You want to make sure you have awesome pictures of the happiest day of your life.
27 Save: Wedding Programs
Yes, it’s the paper products that you hand out to guests at the wedding ceremony. A lot of people splurge on them because they want something nice for their guests to take home. But if we are really honest, most if not all your guests will probably throw them out after. Okay, maybe your mom won’t, but everyone else will. Event planner Kristen Jensen says, “I really hate to say this because I just love a good paper product. But, it’s the big item most people throw away at the end of the night.”
26 Splurge: Wedding Planner
If you can’t hire a wedding planner for the whole event, then you might want to consider hiring a day-of coordinator. That way at least you know things will go smoothly on your wedding day.
“It can be stressful to try and manage all of the wedding planning and/or your wedding day by yourself. Couples that I have worked with have often regretted not hiring a planner or day-of coordinator.
Why not put your mind at easy and let a professional handle all of the details? Yes, there is a cost, but trust me, it will be worth it,” says Omari Fennell, DJ.
25 Save: Don’t Buy Your Wedding Attire
We can understand if you want to keep your wedding dress, but the rest of the attire for the wedding should be rented because it will save you a lot of money. “The services that offer online tux, bridesmaid, and wedding dress rentals are great.
Unless you are very sentimental, why not just rent your special outfit for the day and send it back? In most cases, you will not wear it again,”
says Omari Fennell, DJ. It’s unlikely that you will pass down clothing to your children, styles change so much over the years.
24 Splurge: Wedding Linens
The linens you choose for your wedding are going to be one of the first things that guests notice when they arrive at the reception. It also shows off your personal style and showcases the whole evening.
“As a wedding designer, I truly feel that linens make all of the difference in the look and feel of the 'I dos.'
They can add warmth and they can really show your style,” says Event Designer, Laura Lorraine. It’s something that your guests are going to notice especially during dinner.
23 Save: Have A Longer Engagement
If you just got engaged, then there is no rush to get married. It’s an exciting time so a lot of people don’t want to have to wait too long to seal the deal. But if you extend your engagement a little longer, then that will allow for both you and your partner to save up more for the wedding you really want. You are planning to spend the rest of your life together so is there really a rush to get married.
22 Splurge: Get A Stunning Venue
The venue is where the party happens and it’s the place where your guests really get to enjoy themselves. Sometimes it’s the venue and the party that guests really remember at the end of the night.
“The biggest part of your wedding will be your venue — so make it good. If you have to work a few extra hours to upgrade from a subpar ballroom to a stunning mansion or city loft, buckle in and get down to business, you’ll be so happy you did,”
wrote Wedding Wire. Plus, if your reception venue is beautiful, imagine the photos!
21 Save: Wedding Favors
It’s hard not to spend money on favors because they are so darn fun to put together, but it’s also not a very important part of the wedding. Event planner Laura Lorraine says,
“I’m going to have to go with favors. Yes, they’re cute and 'thoughtful' but for the most part, guests don’t care and quite a few of them actually forget them when they leave.
It’s an extra cost that you can put toward something else like in your linen choices or florals.”
20 Splurge: The Wedding Ring
The wedding ring is something that is going to be with you for the rest of your life, so make sure it’s something you love. “One thing to consider is that your wedding ring will be one of the lasting elements from your big day.
We always recommend purchasing the best metal your budget will allow, because you will wear your ring every day!
Jewelry of heirloom quality can be passed down to the next generation. Choose a classic design you love that expresses your personal style,” says Jess Williams, Custom Jewelry Designers.
19 Save: Elaborate Centerpieces
Some people tend to go overboard when it comes to their centerpieces. Yes, there are many gorgeous settings, but they really don’t need to be huge. Custom jewelry designer Jess Williams thinks the bride and groom could easily save money this way. “We think nearlyweds can totally save on elaborate centerpieces. You want to be able to see the people at the wedding!” Get something that is small and elegant and save your money for other things.
18 Splurge: Bridal Jewelry
When it comes to your bridal look, you want everything to be perfect. It's your big day after all and you deserve to look just the way you've dreamed you would.
“You can use jewelry to add sparkle, elegance, or for the bolder brides, you can use accessories to tie all the colors of your wedding together.
Whether you choose to go simple with minimal bling or you go with sparkling statement pieces, the perfect jewelry and hair pieces can make or break your 'I do' style,” says Allison Heinecke, an accessories designer.
17 Save: Choose Artificial Flowers
Flowers on your wedding day are one of the biggest expenses you can have. You could cut a lot of your wedding costs by having artificial flowers made of different materials like silk, tissue paper, broaches, or a mix. Many people love the look of real flowers but they eventually die and you won’t have anything left from the wedding. If your flowers are artificial, you could keep them as a memory from your big day.
16 Splurge: Amazing Food and Drinks
The one thing guests will talk about the most at a wedding is how good the food was.
“You don’t want to risk feeding your guests dry chicken or less-than-impressive salads at your reception, so spend some time hunting down the right caterer and don’t feel bad about investing a little extra on your food and drinks.
Catering typically eats up the largest chunk of the wedding budget (a whopping 38%), so it shouldn’t surprise you to see a hefty bill. Trust me, all of the compliments you get from your guests will make it all worth it.” wrote Wedding Wire.
15 Save: Schedule Your Wedding During the Off Season
A great way to negotiate a lower rate with your venues and services is by booking your wedding during what’s considered to be the “off season.” Sure, a lot of people want to have a summer wedding, but something can be said about the beauty of a winter wedding. If you plan your wedding in March, November, or January, then you will likely be able to get a lower rate. Discuss it with your vendors when you sit down and talk with them.
14 Splurge: Wedding Website
This is certainly a new thing brides and grooms are doing. The wedding website is a one-stop information place for your guests.
“A reliable wedding website with online RSVPs — this will be a go-to for your guests to get all of the information they need,
like travel and accommodation details, dates and times of your various events, information about your registry, how to contact you with last-minute questions, and anything else,” says Taryn Westberg, stationer and wedding website provider.
13 Save: Save-the-Dates
You really don’t need to send out paper products of save-the-dates and invites. We live in the digital era now and spending money on these things really isn’t necessary.
“In this modernized world, sending paper save-the-dates and invites to each and every guest is not necessary.
Many guests actually appreciate receiving a digital information rather than a paper one, since digital invitations are convenient, portable, and quite pretty. I am always a little sad when I toss a paper wedding invitation into the trash (and they all go in the trash eventually),” says Taryn Westberg, stationer and wedding website provider.
12 Splurge: Your Wedding Dress
If you've been dreaming about a particular gown since you were a little girl, then that’s what you should have on your wedding day.
“Rule one of your wedding day: Dress to impress. Seriously, this is probably one of the only times in your life that you’ll get the chance to sport a bespoke tuxedo or glittering ballgown — so embrace it.
Spending the money to get something tailored to fit your body perfectly is 100% worth it,” wrote Wedding Wire.
11 Save: Don’t Invite The Entire Community
A pretty simple way to save money on your wedding is to trim down the guest list. Do you really need to invite your favorite high school teacher or every one of your co-workers? Sometimes, we feel guilty for not inviting certain people, but this is your day after all. Don’t invite everyone your parents want there. If you don’t actually know these people, then there is no reason to have them at your wedding.
10 Splurge: Hair and Makeup
Hair and makeup is pretty important when it comes to getting the look that you want on your big day so don’t just hire anyone. “Mario Dedivanovic and Jen Atkin are almost as well known as their celebrity clientele because of how great they are at their jobs (if you’ve ever watched one of Kim K’s Insta stories you know just how indispensable they are). You may not be able to fly them in from Los Angeles, but you can find your own killer glam squad for your big day,” wrote Wedding Wire.
9 Save: Beauty Treatments the Day Of
Not only is it unnecessary but you are taking the risk of getting an allergic reaction on the day of your wedding.
“Do not splurge on any specialized beauty treatment you haven’t tried before! This can be facials, microdermabrasion, chemical peels, fillers, or other treatments that will affect your skin.
Unless you try these things far in advance of your wedding, there can be serious reactions that cause the exact opposite effect and leave you with lots of issues your makeup artist needs to fix on the day of,” says Megan Garmers, makeup artist and hairstylist.
8 Splurge: Your Dream Honeymoon
It’s not just about the wedding, you have to remember that there is a honeymoon after. Some people spend so much money on their wedding that they can’t take a honeymoon after.
“Don’t forget to put a bit of your budget aside for some post-wedding fun. You want your honeymoon to be the vacation of a lifetime, and, after all that planning, you definitely deserve a bit of R&R.
Keep in mind, if you can’t afford to splurge right away, you can always postpone your honeymoon for a little while.”
7 Save: Get A Cheap Photo Booth
You don’t have to go all out on a photo booth, you can even make your own. “Make sure the quality of the snapshots and the prints are acceptable as a take home goodie for your guests. There’s no excuse for crappy photo-booth strips, even from budget booth companies.
Ask your photographer if he or she would consider setting up a live photo station with an associate for an extra fee and get the props yourself.
Having an actual photographer interact with guests makes the photos that much more fun,” says photographer Rhee Bevere.
6 Splurge: Get A Good DJ
The last thing you need is someone who has terrible equipment or who won’t take requests of your favorite songs. Sometimes, it pays to put a little extra money toward the person who is controlling a lot of the fun at the reception. DJ Omari Fennell says, “Since we are a DJ company, it is expected that we would say it is mandatory to have a DJ. Yes, this is universally true.”
5 Save: Have A Daytime Reception
Another great way to save money with vendors is to have a daytime reception. Obviously, the more popular time to have your reception is in the evening and that’s what most people are doing. But you can probably score a much lower rate by having the reception during the day. That way, vendors can book two weddings in one day and they make a lot more money so they are likely to give you a better deal.
4 Splurge: Draping and Backdrops
The reception itself is a key place to spend your money because it’s the thing that guests are going to pay attention to the most.
“Many people forget that there are areas that guests will focus their attention on all night long, such as the cake table or sweetheart table.
Yet often the cake is in a corner, next to a door, or there’s a blank wall and not eye-catching at all. To fix this, up-lighting can help, but I think draping can truly transform a room,” says Janel Keen, an event and floral designer.
3 Save: Have A Signature Refresher
This signature drink is called the “Love Potion,” now how cute would that be on your wedding day. The great thing about having signature drink at your wedding is that you can cut down the costs a great deal by having guests sip on the drink of your choice. It’s best to just have a couple of drink options. It’s just one way that you can cut down the costs of your wedding.
2 Splurge: Wedding Shoes
We’re not talking about getting expensive designer shoes, unless you really want them. It’s more about your feet surviving the day.
“You might not need Jimmy Choos (unless you want them), but investing in comfortable, good quality shoes is highly encouraged.
To get the most bang for your buck, go with a pair in a neutral shade, like nude or gold, you can wear again (say, on your honeymoon and to your cousin's wedding next spring),” wrote The Knot.
1 Save: Ditch the Fancy Wedding Cake
Some traditional wedding cakes can cost upwards of $1,000 depending on how many guests you have. It’s all the rage these days to have something other than a wedding cake, like cupcakes. Instead of going for a custom wedding cake, why not try something different? You can do a smaller wedding cake or cupcakes, you also have the option of not having a cake at all. There is always a dessert table so the cake is really an unnecessary expense.