(Closed) Married bees- what was worth it and what was a waste of $

posted 6 years ago in Reception
Post # 46
4807 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

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Calijcab23:   Great idea!  

Worth it – Most of all, our photographers were worth it. Then, really good food – the guests loved the food.  Our Day-of Coordinator took all the stress off me on the big day.  

Not worth it – my dress.  As much as I loved it, I wish I had purchased a simple, easy to wear sparlky white or ivory evening dress which didn’t have to be altered, and would have been more comfortable to wear.  And I wish I had worn comfy shoes.

Cake.  Everyone loved the dark chocolate covered strawberries.  The cake was good, but just not worth it at all.  

And I wish I had asked that there be no children at the ceremony.  It would have been so easy to have entertainment/a sitter for them – our ceremony was only about ten minutes long.  One of the kids ruined our ceremony.  Thank goodness I didn’t have a videographer.  



Post # 47
159 posts
Blushing bee

Worth It:

-the flowers that I originally thought “weren’t worth it” that I ended up loving


-keeping it on the smaller side. We had about 75 guests and were able to speak to every single guest and spend actual time with people. A smaller wedding also meant we were able to pay for everything ourselves and have zero wedding debt (yay!).

-videography – which we didn’t have 🙁 My husband didn’t think it was necessary and now even he regrets it.

Not Worth It:

-personalized cocktail napkins. TheKnot had a sale, I bought 300, thinking people would use more than one. No. Nearly 6 months later, I use them for dinner napkins and for lunch at work, and I still have a box left.

-wedding website. At least for me, I still got hotel questions and “what time does it start” and “where is it again” questions, despite the effort I put into making sure our website had all the details people would need. Oh well.

-Favors. We originally were not going to have any favors (to my mom’s horror), but at our last meeting with our venue (a winery), they mentioned they could give us a fantastic deal on wine glasses, so we kinda decided last-minute to just get those. Everyone loved having something cool to take home and I’ve gotten so many texts from friends and family saying “drinking from your glass, thinking about your wedding!” Ordinarily I’d so a big NO to favors, but I think if you can do something meaningful and legit useful, they can be okay.

Post # 48
2632 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

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Calijcab23:  Can I just say…as much as I loved my wedding, sometimes I wonder if it would have been more personal and romantic, and just BETTER to elope. Ya a fancy elopment sounds good. 


So here is a list of things I think was worth it with a wedding or elopement!

Worth it:

The Dress (it’s your wedding ladies, as much as you want to be practical, get a fancy ass dress..beause, unless you go to galas all the time…this will be the only time you can in your life). Even if you elpoe ladies, use the extra pocket money to go all out!!!


THe Grooms tux . We bought it custom made. Heck he gets more use out of his tux/suit then I do out of my dress. My advice, buy don’t rent. 


The photographer…get a good one, even if you elope.

Videographer… this ends all debate “is it worth it?”. YES it is, you get to see your wedding and how it happened , becuase you will not remember everything. If i eloped or had another wedding, this will be on my list again. 


HONEYMOON!!!!! Ladies, if you are debating between adding 20 more guests from your parents work or paying for a ultra lux honeymoon, with a suite, private dinner, spa, and some extras on the side….ALWAYS CHOOSE THE HONEYMOON!!!!! I cannot stress how much the honeymoon is important! It saddens me that MANY of my friends were far to interested in throwing a big wedding, that they had to wait to go on a mediocre honeymoon, or their honeymoon right after the wedding was subpar.Almost all my friends mentioned they would go on one good honeymoon later, about 30% of them do…you know life and babies get in the way. So always choose your honeymoon above a bigger wedding! ALWAYS!

Post # 49
9389 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

Worth it:

1. Amazing 9 piece brass band. I would have paid triple they were that good!

2. Great food and open bar.  

3. Super cool venue – friends and family are still talking about it months later.

4. Rolls Royce for me and hubby to drive from church to reception. I LOVE old cars and it was nice to have that alone time with him after the ceremony sitting in the back of an amazing car sipping champagne together. It’s 25 minutes alone with him I’ll cherish forever. 

My not worth it list is mostly things I didn’t spend money on anyways and am glad I didn’t:

1. Expensive decor. If you get a venue with personality you can save sooooo much on decor and flowers. 

2. Videographer. This is totally a personal preference but I don’t regret not having one.

3. Favors. Luckily we didn’t spend a lot but per usual most people didn’t take them. Luckily they were matches and I was ok with having extras since they are small and useful!

I am lucky that there is nothing I really regret spending money on for my wedding – and nothing I wish I had splurged more on. Could I have saved a little more on my dress and accesories? Probably, but I am the only daughter my mom will get to do this for and she wanted me to have the best of everything so if it made her happy then it was worth it. 

Go with your instincts. If you think something will not add to you or your guests enjoyment of the day then skip it. And really keep your guests in mind – for example most of them would rather have an open bar with no favors and minimal flowers than over the top everything with a cash bar. 


Post # 50
3767 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: August 2013 - Brookfield Zoo

I loved everything about my wedding, but there were definitely some things we could’ve done without/saved money on….

Not worth it:

  • Fancy guest book – I even ordered extra pages!  But not everyone signed it, or they didn’t take up much space so maybe 5 out of 50 pages were used.  Sad!!
  • Dance lessons… for as long as we took them.  We ended up taking dance lessons for a long time, including getting a super fancy choreographed first dance.  It was awesome and impressive, but could definitely have done without.
  • Late night snack – after dinner and cake, at some point we had a late night Chicago-style hot dog snack thing come out.  It was a fun add-on, but not necessary.

Pricey but totally worth it:

  • A great photographer and a great videographer – I’m all about memories so this was the most important to me (after getting married… ha ha)
Post # 51
9538 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2013

There were a ton of things that we decided weren’t worth it before the wedding, but I’m going to focus on things we actuall did (or attempted to do). 

Things we debated on having that were definitely Worth it:

  • DOC!!!!
  • Venue
  • Shuttle to and from hotel (none of the hotels had one so we had to figure it out ourselves)
  • Signature cocktails (we thought about doing just beer/wine but I think people really liked the cocktails)

Not worth it:

  • Making all the bouquets out of paper. I actually made all the flowers out of paper, but the bouquets were easily the most time consuming. I should have just bought them off etsy. Or used an easier flower design. The bouts and centerpiece flowers weren’t as time consuming and were probably worth it. 
  • Making a giant list of songs that I like for the DJ – ultimately I just gave him a general feel of our tastes and let him play whatever he thought would be best and he totally rocked it. The dance floor was packed all night. 
Post # 52
244 posts
Helper bee

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KC-2722:  thanks for the details! this sounds awesome. we def just want to have a fun party and i could pretty much care less about anything other than people, food, drinks, and music hahah. i also like the idea of going til 2:30a..this is how my friend group is already oriented! when i see receptions that need to end at 9 or 10 I realize i will then have to figure out where we will go next…

what type of venue did you have it at? what day of the week? (we’re considering fri or sun if it could save us any money.) do you think the final food costs were any different than a dinner?

Post # 53
1212 posts
Bumble bee

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KC-2722:  you had the wedding I’m hoping to hope.

Post # 54
49 posts
  • Wedding: December 2014 - St. Charles Borromeo / The Liberty Warehouse

Worth it: Day of coordinator.  Knowing what I know now about all the small details that accumulate and how burnt out I would get toward the end of planning, I wish I made the choice to hire a DOC sooner rather than later.

Not worth it: Cake.  I wouldn’t say it wasn’t worth it because it was delicious, but we didn’t need to spend as much as we did since not all our guests had cake (they were too full from dinner) and we were sent home with an entire untouched sheet cake.

Post # 55
6492 posts
Bee Keeper

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Worth it:






Kind of not worth it:

Bridesmaids dresses (they looked amazing, but, we spent a lot ($1700) and I wonder if we should maybe have gone down the replica route instead

Not worth it:

Stationery. Even though I DIYed everything apart from the invitations, our total cost for stationery was around $1300 excluding postage; if I’d had timeto DIY the invitatoins that would have saved a nundle, and we could also have gone with a cheaper design

Post # 56
4695 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

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modernboho:  Yeah.. Our family and friends love a good time! Taking it as late as the venue allowed wasn’t surprising. We had it at an upscale restaurant in our city. Our criteria for a venue was somewhere that had experience doing cocktail-style weddings, could host ceremonies on site, and allowed DJs.

Just for reference this was our venue: http://www.sassafraz.ca/weddings/weddings.aspx We used their upstairs event space. It was big enough that there was a ton of space for a dance floor and enough for everyone seating without crowding the room.

We had ours on a Saturday night. The final costs were significantly higher than a sit down dinner would’ve been, its a myth that cocktail style is cheaper. Our venue also charged per drink and we hosted a full open bar.. You could save a lot of money by going with somewhere with an open bar package.

It was exactly on budget but, would probably be considered very expensive to some.. For food/ drink it worked out to be $280 per person. You can definitely do it cheaper, it really depends on what type of food you pick and the alcohol you serve.

Post # 57
9 posts

Love this thread! It’s definitely given me a different perspective on things as I plan my wedding (yes, I’m second guessing my personalized napkins that I’m convinced everyone would notice).

Keep it coming!


Post # 58
918 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

duplicate post

  • This reply was modified 6 years, 4 months ago by danier. Reason: duplicate post
Post # 59
918 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

Worth it:

The dress.  Mine was around $1500, alterations included.  It may have been more than I wanted to spend, but I was comfortable wearing it all day and I felt gorgeous.

A great photographer.  I love photographs and displaying them around our home, this was really important to me.

Coordinated flip flops for you and your bridal party.  Everyone ripped off their heels as soon as the ceremony was over.

Open bar and good food, if you can afford it.  Our guests LOVED their meals, and then we tore up the dancefloor until the wee hours.  My grandmother was there until midnight!  You wouldn’t believe the number of people who refer to our wedding as the party of the decade!

A great DJ.  DH and I LOVE to dance, as do our friends and family.  We obviously communicated our musical tastes very well because (with the exception of one country song), we were dancing all night.


Not worth it:

We opted to not have any flowers at the church.  The church had bows we could use, free of charge, which we set out the day before our wedding at the rehearsal.  This also meant nobody had to coordinate the transport of flowers from the church to the reception.

Spending much on your cake or topper.  Our cake was gifted to us (my friend makes them), and it was beautiful and great for photo ops, but it was hardly eaten.  We have more than half of it in our freezer!

Save the dates.  We didn’t send them and I have no regrets.

Spending much on favours.  The cost adds up quickly, so it’s easy to get out of control.  I was fortunate, my Maid/Matron of Honor made edible favours in cute wrapping.

Bachelorette party.  It just didn’t seem necessary.. we had a stag and doe which was a LOT of fun.

Post # 60
316 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

Great idea!

Worth It:

  • Not buying a wedding cake and instead buying six smaller gourmet cakes from a local bakery (Dilletante in Seattle) that don’t have fondant and actually taste incredible. People were raving about this!
  • Wearing flat shoes during the ceremony and reception so that my feet didn’t get sore and I didn’t end up going barefoot
  • Photo Booth – we DIY’d this, but the photos are great!
  • Great photography

Not Worth It:

  • Skimping on extra hours at the venue to save a few hundred bucks – we wanted more time with our guests before leaving! We left at about 9:45 (wedding was at 4) so the cleanup could begin, and there were still a ton of guests there dancing. We would have gladly stayed longer if we could.
  • DIYing invitations – Honestly, these took the most time out of all our wedding stuff. I would gladly pay a few hundred extra dollars to not deal with it had I known how long it would take!
  • …honestly that’s about it!

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