After the wedding… viewing your budget in 20/20 hindsight

posted 2 years ago in Money
Post # 2
2583 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2017

misslucy :  I feel like I did a TON of research beforehand so I was quite frugal and only booked things in my allocated budget. I also used an excel spreadsheet to keep track of everything so that I wouldn’t overspend. 

I’m really happy with what we chose to splurge on (individual small pies for dessert with local cherries and locally churned vanilla ice cream, frosted shot glasses that said l’chaim in English and Hebrew for drinking and as favors, a custom built Chuppah with real greenery, local flowers for bouquets and groomsmen bouts).

I am also incredibly proud of the things we chose to cut the cost for (semi-experienced photog and videog that had day-jobs so were considerably less expensive, non-floral centerpieces and silk florals for the Chuppah, Venue hunted for months and found one that was only $2500 including tables and chairs in the perfect location, bought our own wine for the evening, my dress was on sale for $760, secondhand Bagley Mishka shoes).

As well as the things we chose to go without: transportation to the venue (I took an Uber), cake plus the pie, other favors, and other things that were so unimportant I can’t even remember them.

Overall we had the wedding of our dreams but only paid for one we could afford. 

Post # 3
3426 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2017

misslucy :  wish i spent less on: my hair. spent about $250 on unnecessary extensions, and about $300 on stylist who was ill prepared for the humidity. i’m really good at doing my own hair, and wish i had just done so.

what i would have spent more on: florist. florist did 95% of everything, but there were a few arrangements/decor pieces I decided to purchase flowers for myself, and it was just so much added stress. in retrospect, i would have gladly spent about $500 on flowers and not had to deal with it.

no regrets in budgeting. we spent about $8k on photo/video and it was worth every penny.

Post # 4
82 posts
Worker bee


misslucy :  Spent less money on the dress and venue. I just had to have the best… Ugh! If I could do it over again I would have found an all inclusive venue because the little details add up quickly. I remember pricing an all inclusive venue in the very beginning and ruling it out because it just seemed too expensive. I ended up spending $10,000 more with my “cheaper” venue than I would have spent had I gone with the all inclusive venue.

Dress is another thing. I competed in pageants all of my life so I knew the dress had to out shine all of my previous dresses. That’s hard to do without spending a pretty penny. I’m not sure if this is because of my previous experience wearing dresses every other weekend for years or if it really didn’t matter but at the end of the day I didn’t give two craps about my dress. I never really even paid attention to my dress the whole day/night of my wedding. I could have been wearing a cheap dress and felt the absolute same. What really made me feel special was the hair and make up and my groom so the dress just didn’t matter as much to me. Like I said though that may be because I was just use to pretty dresses and I’ve had that “princess” feeling all of my life in pageants. To someone who hasn’t really ever had the oppurtunity to have that feeling may be very different and worth splurging on a beautiful dress. Looking back that wasn’t worth the splurge.

Splurge! Spent more money on photography! I went the cheaper route with my photographer and ended up HATING the majority of my pictures. I didn’t get a formal picture with just my parents, a picture of my mom zipping up my dress, only a few pictures of my husbands face during the first look and a million of mine during the first look. I’ve seen my husband in a suit before… I want to see HIS face not mine. Your mind will be in a million places at once so having to direct your photographer will not seem important and shouldn’t have to. The rest of the pictures just look half completed and down right unprofessional. I graduated with a communication degree in journalism. Thank goodness I have photoshop experience with that degree because I’m currently going through my pictures and editing them myself. I can’t express enough how important a good photographer is. It truly makes a difference so please SPLURGE on photograpy!

Enjoy your day! It goes by SO fast. 

Also, there be a moment where you’re standing in your dressing area and you look at a clock or someone will say it’s almost time. You’re nerves that you thought are under control will start spiking. You’ll have a moment of sheer panic. Remember in that moment to just breathe and take it all in because it goes by so quickly. You’ll blink and suddenly wake up leaving your wedding as a married woman. It’s truly crazy how fast it goes by. Good luck and congratulations! 

Post # 5
321 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2017

misslucy :  I may be a boring response, but I have zero regrets on spending.  Our photography was $500 (starting out photographer, we knew her and she offered a bit of a discount) and we did not want a whole day of photos – no getting ready shots, etc.  Our venue was free (beautiful reception/event room that needed no decoration), ceremony site was $500 at an arboretum, IMG_9735.small

food and drink was about $1200.  Those are the biggies but we have no regrets!  Our wedding was chill, no dancing but we also payed a pro musician to play music during the reception.

My dress was $60 – no regrets.  Floral was about $110, no regrets.

Perhaps my regret was not getting my older son a better suit jacket but…..he HATES shopping and we were running out of time.  We bought it at a thrift store.  100% wool and nice but a bit big.  Nothing like “Look I am wearing Daddy’s clothes!”

My only other regret was not insisting on more product in my hair and industrial hairspray.  It was still very humid and my hair is VERY soft and does not hold well.  It went a bit limp, but oh well….

No limos, no props, no photobooth, no programs, just a short ceremony, excellent food and drink and family and friends.  Nothing trendy, just us….getting married.

I would 100% recommend getting your face waxed as makeup will go on and stay on better.  I usually have my eyebrows done but I had my upper lip and chin done and makeup looked great.

No regrets, I would do it again in the same way!


Post # 6
743 posts
Busy bee

I married my husband about 19 years ago, then had what I call a anniversary wedding for our 15th anniversary….no broken vows, I swear! 🙂

I would have loved to have spent more on flowers the first time, but didn’t because there weren’t any flowers to spend money on. 🙁 I got my bouquet roses I ordered, but that was it.  due to some typhoon somewhere, there where no fresh flowers or plants anywhere in town for at least another week. So we made some nice moss centerpieces. In the end we came in under budget, still can’t believe that.

Both weddings had a lot of DIY, and my first dress came from a consignment shop when I didn’t like any of the latest fashions. All dress had gone sleeveless and simple, and I wanted long sleeves and bling. So I got a designer gown for a fraction on original costs. My dress was sewn for 2nd wedding, it was cake and drink for reception, very small, very pretty, so not much spent.

I cant really say I regret my budget either time, since I kept it small to keep it more simple.Less worry and headache, just my style! They money I was going on the second wedding got put away in savings when I changed my mind about a bigger celebration and made it super small.

The money went to a down payment on our house, so no regrets. It doesn’t have to be expensive  to be memorable and beautiful.

Post # 7
3451 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2017 - Poppy Ridge Golf Course

I wish we’d spent the $7k on a fantastic destination elopement.

Not much regret with the amount spent since we researched, kept it simple without extra fluff and it was very reasonable for our location. $7k included everything, down to my shoes. Photographer $1200, dress $258, 60 guests, plated dinner, cocktail hour and reception, cookie cutter golf club venue rental (although it was lovely) blah blah. Having the wedding on a Sunday kept costs lower than average.

Post # 8
321 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2017

No regrets, we spent less than $3000 (not including rings or honeymoon) and I would do it all again.  11am ceremony, lunch reception, no dancing (lots saved there) and excellent food and drink.  

No bridal party (well my two sons and his cousin was best man) so less money and no drama.  Low floral $$ as we only needed one bouquet and a few boots.  

Would do it all again in the same way!!

Post # 9
7199 posts
Busy Beekeeper

We had an amazing wedding, and I think we spent well. Splurged in food, bev, venue. All were great. $30k, 65 ppl. Honestly looking back I’d rather have eloped. Soo much money for 1 weekend.

Post # 10
1238 posts
Bumble bee

leelee93 :  I found your comments about the dress very reassuring for me. I bought a nice simple dress that feels like and looks like “me” for quite cheap (good quality, doesn’t look cheap) and was wondering if it doesn’t look bridal enough. But my thought process is that good hair and makeup and bouquet will make it look bridal and to be honest I didn’t think I’ll be paying attention to it while wearing it. So your comments of what made you feel good on the day really helps! And I’m splurging on the photographer too (it’ll be 30% of the whole budget lol).

Post # 11
1103 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2015

Haha I told my husband that I wanted to get married in the courthouse but he wanted the big wedding. I don’t think we ever discussed the budget but I did make sure that we didn’t spend too much on any one thing. Our cake and DJ were refunded due to issues (cake was wrong color and DJ didn’t play songs in correct order) so this was nice to have back. Husband shortly after wedding said he wishes he had listened to me so then we could have put that money towards our home purchase. 

I wish we had spend less on the room since we did not spend a lot of time in it, hubby booked a very private room with a personal pool that was never used. 

Oh and I bought my dress at a consignment shop! It was a sample dress that had nothing wrong with it for about 65% off, big win there 

Post # 12
1739 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2017

Our wedding was amazing and so beautiful. I would have spent more on decor and florals but we spent a ton on it already. Nothing I would have spent less on. I loved every part of our wedding. 

Post # 13
1006 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: December 2014

I just wish we had done a small destination wedding. We didn’t go crazy with costs but by the time everything adds up and you have a largish guest list the price gets out of control. I wouldn’t have done anything differently with my wedding as I did everything with a budget in mind whilst still keeping all the important bits but looking back it was so much money for one afternoon  of our lives. If that had gone on our mortgage or home renos it would  have been more useful. I actually wish we had decided to have a suprise wedding at our engagement party. It was such a good night and we just did it in the background for about 3,000 for 120 guests. I kept joking that we should just get married during it but thought i’d regret the ‘big wedding’ but once it was over I never really thought about the wedding much even though it was such a big deal at the time.

Post # 14
1924 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2017 - Pearson Convention Centre

We had the wedding of our dreams. What I would have saved on would be guest favours we had two favours per guest. First we had a cupcake on a dessert plate with each guests name that we used as a place seating then we did salt and pepper shakers per couple 

Leave a comment

Find Amazing Vendors