(Closed) For those who are already married…

posted 10 years ago in Recaps
Post # 3
8 posts
  • Wedding: May 2009

I know you were looking for someone already married and I’m only engaged, BUT my mom has been a wedding cake vendor my entire life, so I’ve been around the business since I can remember.  For what it’s worth, I’ll say something totally unhelpful:  it completely depends on your priorities.

I’m spending the most on photography and the dress – that’s because this is the only real opportunity I feel I’ll ever have to take amazing pictures in a gorgeous dress.  Food is fabulous, but there are no vendors in my small town to blow your mind.  Venues I think are what you make of them.  I think good photographers can capture amazing moments wherever you choose to have them.  Those are my reasons, and again, my ceremony’s not til May, but I hope this helps anyway.  (and my mom’s making my cake, so there’s no chance of me prioritizing that expense!)

 Brides who care more about atmosphere spend more on flowers and venues, and those who remember tastes spend the most on their food…It’s all up to you 🙂

Post # 4
754 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2008

Best Expense:  FOOD!  Just remember, the only thing people will remember about any event is the food.  I speak as an event planner.

Wish I would have skimped on the flowers.  I now realize that I could have done centerpieces so much cheaper if I would have compromised and added some non-floral elements.  I could have been just as happy with less. 

Post # 5
159 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: May 2008

This is a great question. I wish someone would have posted about this before I got married in May. So, I will give you my thoughts on this…

The things we splurged on when it came to cost were our invitations (custom designed letterpress) and our photographer.

I planned so much for so long and had an amazing wedding day. It was SO much work and it all went by SO fast. I had a great day but it wasn’t until I got my professional pictures that I realized what an amazing day it actually was and that all the hard work, stress and expense was really worth it.  

I have spent hours pouring over my photos, sending them to relatives, posting them online, giving them as gifts, etc. and m so glad we spent what we did because the results could not have been better. I can’t stress how much I think a great photographer, including additional hours and prints, etc. is worth it. I can’t go on much longer about this without sounding like a nut (maybe its too late) but really…get a great photographer you work well with and it might cost you a lot but the rewards are well worth it.

And, just cause you asked, we skimped by not hiring a videographer. I have heard stories of people that regret not hiring one but I so DO NOT regret it. I am actually really happy we did not hire one. Money well saved!

Good luck with your budget and your vendors. I am sure you’ll figure it all out perfectly.

Anyone else splurge on their photographer?? 

Post # 6
97 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: May 2008

We splurged on the photography. It was our most expensive expense, and was 1/2 of our budget.

Post # 7
68 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: June 2008

We splurged on our DJ and open bar.  While no one got ridiculously drunk, and that was not the point, we didn’t want our guests to have to pay money to have something to drink at our reception.  We also wanted our guests to have a great night dancing, so we found the best DJ in our area and hired him. 

I’m going to disagree with Niki on the best expense being food.  Unless you serve some absolutely fantastic, over the top meal, people won’t probably remember it.  Now I’m not saying go super cheap and get any person you can to do it, but as long as the food is good and edible, it will be fine.  To give you an example, we got our food for $9 a plate by having a local grocery store do it.  The food was pretty good, not fantastic, but good.  Everyone ate it and was full… and that’s the point of the meal, right?  To make sure no one goes home hungry?  And middle of the road food will accomplish that for you, at least in my opinion.

I also agree with Niki on the fact that I wish I would have skimped on flowers.  Sure, they look nice in pictures, but other fillers would have cost me less and still would have looked as nice.

Post # 8
148 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: December 1969

Photographs. I splurged big time on the photos. There are some things that I didn’t really splurge on though that I realized later make a huge diffrence to the guests, like food. We got so many compliments on how it was some of the best food they had ever had at a wedding. We got lucky too cause I really didn’t give it that much thought when it came to picking the menu and I never went for a tatsing.

Post # 9
1061 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2008

Oh Empyle, I disagree; people definitely do remember the food. How bad the food was at a wedding 2 years ago is still the butt of my family’s jokes. =/ (Don’t worry, the bride doesn’t know! Or care!)

Post # 10
132 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: November 2008

It really depends on your priorities and budget also partially where you live.  I think wedding business is hiked up more in certain areas.  We spent the bulk of our budget on our venue/food which I think will be well worth it!  Next was band and photographer fell in shortly after that.  I did hire a videographer though I really didn’t want to.  All my friends talked me into it.  I hate sitting myself on video because I always sound funny and don’t like the way I dance so I have a feeling we won’t watch it too much.  I did find the cheapest one I could though.  For invitations though I LOVE letterpress I did spend a minimal amount on invitations.  We actually just tied the bows on ourselves.  My feeling is even though they set the tone, 95% will throw them away.  I still am obsessed with my invites but that is just my take on them.

Post # 11
2695 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: February 2008

It is all a matter of what is important to you.  that said: 

Best splurge: A Day of Coordinator.  I loved her, loved having her.  Just make sure you do your homework and get someone good – a bad DOC is pretty useless.

Other expenses I am happy we put money towards: Great food, open bar the entire night, awesome band and a bus to take people to and from the reception.  I did a candy buffet which was more a labor of love than an expense, but seeing the pictures of adults attacking it and how much fun they had made it all worthwhile.  We had a really good photographer, but I don’t think we splurged and I thrilled with the results.  We also had a videographer – on the cheaper side, but a great guy who mainly does documentaries and weddings on the side – and the videos came yesterday and I can’t wait to watch the whole night again!! yipppee!!!Oh and we treated everyone to hair & makeup – it was great treating my best friends to all that, so I was happy we were able to do it.  But, if that wasn’t in the budget, it would have been ok to skip it.

We really didn’t spend a ton on flowers, which I am happy about, as I barely noticed them.  I might have even spent less.  Our venue had a great view onto a valley though, so didn’t need much decoration.  I loved my dress, but probably could have been just as happy in a less expensive one.  We also didn’t spend much on invitations or STDS – I thought they all came out great, but I am just not one of those people who think it is worth a lot of money – no inside envelope, limited enclosures, etc.  I am happy we limited the budget here, and I could have even more. 

Post # 12
7 posts
  • Wedding: June 2008


My best wedding expense was lighting.  It’s usually not a necessary item on a bride’s list, but for me, the splurge was money well spent.  The entire ceremony was so romantic because there were uplights on the two front ceremony floral pieces, and a warm light that covered the entire front area, plus candles all the way down the aisle.

The reception had pink uplighting all around the perimeter, and a few dance floor templates in a tree branch pattern to give some dimension the dancefloor.  The picture below is of my wedding reception before everyone came in for dinner.  I really think that it can make any room look beautiful and dramatic.

Good luck!!!

Post # 13
96 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: June 2008

The best money we spent was on our DJ.  He provided music for our outdoor ceremony, as well as the reception.  He was expensive compared to most but his service was outstanding — we loved him!

We hired a high-end caterer so the food was by far the biggest  expense.  It was over-the-top and just painful — not worth the price.  I know our guests enjoyed the food but I was just sick knowing the linens alone were $800 for 60 people. (My husband chose the caterer). 

We did not have:

  • an event planner 
  • a DOC
  • limo
  • videographer
  • photo booth
  • engagement photos

Post # 14
228 posts
Helper bee

Our best splurge was our photographer and our venue.  The farm with woods all around, lake in front, and Blue Ridge Mountains in the background was the basis of our whole wedding… I loved it =)  And our photographer was fantastic- completely captured our personalities and mood of the wedding.

I also disagree about guests remembering food.  Sure, people will remember if it’s horrible, but that’s about it.  Normal good food will appeal to more people than fancy, tiny servings anyway =P

We didn’t have a florist, DJ, coordinator, or videographer.

Post # 15
438 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2008

yeah, I think the only thing your guests will remember is the food, as long as its good….that being said, they will remember it if its bad too!  They don’t care about the details, at all.  The only thing I have had people say to me was it was so beautiful, and then they go on about the food.  We definitely had amazing food though.  But, I have also been to a wedding where everything about the food was crap, and everyone I was with (destination wedding for us) complained about it.  You definitely don’t want you guests to have to stop at mcdonalds on the way home from your wedding because the food was unedible.  I think rice and beef are the hardest things to serve at a wedding.  rice is always over/undercooked, and most people like their steaks a certain way – when you go to your tastings, if you want either of these, try them first!  For ours, they were both amazing.

If you want to know the best thing to splurge on for yourselves, definitely photography.  Its the only thing you will have to commemorate the day.  A videographer is great too, especially when the whole day is a blur and you don’t even remember your vows – its nice to go back and watch it.

Flowers are obviously nice, but if they know what they are doing, any kind of flower looks good.  You can definitely manage to get away with spending less on that stuff.  As a guest, the invites are a complete waste of time and money.  No one cares!  And keep in mind they really do just get thrown out.  Those are simply for your happiness.  What you and Fiance wear is very important, but you can totally find a dress cheap.  And the music is important, but really, all they have to do is play what you want them to play, so pick someone who clearly enjoys what they are doing, listens to you, and is on the same wavelength.  Don’t get someone who wants to be the life of the party and put on a show.  DJ’s can definitely be affordable.  Music will make or break the night….so aim for a particular direction.  We wanted an upbeat happy cocktail hour, so we had a jazz band.  Then we wanted a mellow, romantic dinner, so the dj played that type of music.  Then we wanted a party!  We made sure he wasn’t into the cheesy wedding crap, and everyone was dancing all night.

SOme things are more important to different people….but I think everyone will agree that your photos are the most important.  Just don’t get caught up in all the extra crap….none of it matters.

Post # 16
7 posts

Our top priorities were food (including cake) and music, in that order. We got lucky with a very affordable but completely amazing DJ, and two of our talented friends made our cake (which was delicious) so we ended up putting 2/3 of our budget into catering/drinks. Two years later, we still get compliments about the beef tenderloin and the good booze.

Since we approached our wedding reception as a really fun party to throw for the most important folks in our lives, we wanted to wine and dine them well, and I think we did that.

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