(Closed) Top 5 most/least worthwhile wedding expenses?

posted 10 years ago in Money
Post # 47
49 posts
  • Wedding: September 2013

Top 5 expenses: 

– Alcohol — we ended up being able to go straight through a distributor friend, so we did get a discount, but we ended up spending about half as much on drinks as we did on food, and it was TOTALLY worth it. Everyone had a great time, and we were able to have a bunch of friends over the next night and keep the party going. So fun. 

– Food — our food was great and everyone raved about it. Worth it! 

– Venue — our venue ended up being pretty pricey. Originally, I wanted something in the park that was next to nothing, but the cost of rentals would have broken our budget. I ended up paying a little more for the venue, but it was so worth it because we barely had to rent anything. 

– I would say photography, but that was gifted to us. But pay for photography! That’s the only thing that lasts! 

– DJ — I actually wish we would have spent more on this. We hired DJ’s who were very good, but not wedding specific (heftier price tag). I kind of wish I had because things would have gone more smoothly.


Bottom 5 expenses: 

– My dress — SO glad I got something inexpensive. I spent more money on my shoes and accessories than my dress. The dress was very pretty, but by the end of the night it was dirty, had been stepped on and had red wine stains from someone dribbling on me. If I had a $1,000 dress, I would have freaked out. 

– Flowers for the table — I got a quote from the lady who did our bouquets and it was like $200, but I didn’t want to spend that much, so instead, one of my bridesmaids and I went to the grocery store the day of the wedding and bought $60 worth of flowers for the tables, and it ended up being lovely: 

To be honest, we didn’t spend very much on anything else, so I only have that! 

Post # 48
4687 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: June 2013 - Upstate NY

Most important

1. food and booze- people want to eat and drink GOOD stuff!

2. photographer- personality was really important to us. Don’t underestimate your photog’s behavior on your bg day

3. DJ/ MC – he ran the show

4. sweet, short, simple ceremony

5. venue location- relatively easy and accessible to guests. we got married on a Friday so we wanted to minimize disruption to everyone’s lives


Stuff I didn’t give a shit about:

1. cake- Really? why do we even still do cake?

2. flowers- no one cared. no. one. cared.

3. ceremony decor- see above

4. centerpieces- you just need a little color, a few fresh flowers.

5. DIY signs, photo collages, cutesy shit- See above. No one cared.

Post # 49
9681 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

We are having a very small wedding. We splurged on: a photographer, a honeymoon, dinner, a suit, and my hair stylist/makeup artist. We didn’t worry about favours, alcohol, cake, flowers, or invitations.

Post # 50
509 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2016

married, but doing a vow renewal

More important

Food, we want plenty of yummy food

Venue-must be unique and big


Clothing- i want a pretty dress

Transportation-want a vintage look car

Not important



make up/hair


and everythinh else…


Post # 51
1896 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2014


1) venue! (all-inclusive Disneyland!)

2) supplies to make veil (I think I could just walk down the aisle naked wearing only my veil and be happy!)


1) my wedding planning book (I’m using maybe ten pages out of it, plue every planning tool you could ever want is online for free somewhere)

2) bridal magazines (I feel bad about all the trees that were spent trying to sell me stuff I don’t need and make me feel bad about my weight, my beauty, the cost of my wedding (or lack thereof), my etiquette, and the list goes on… throwing them out was the best thing I ever did).

Post # 52
926 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

Top 5

– Videography

– Photography

– Great venue with great food

– Ceremony musicians (This was sooo worthwhile for us. Live musicians added to the atmosphere and magic of the whole wedding experience)

– Dress (Shallow I know, but I would have regretted it if I didn’t get to wear a gorgeous dress on the one day I could go all out)



– Invitations & save-the-dates (I don’t place much value on anyone else’s so I treated mine the same way – I just DIY-ed them so I wouldn’t be heartbroken when people tossed them)

– Decorations if your venue provides them (I fussed over having extra centerpiece mirrors and flowers on the tables when the standard candelabras by themselves would have been fine)

– Suits (Unless your groom/GMs work in corporate environments, you probably don’t need to buy suits. Hire them instead and save some $$

– Transportation (It pains me to say this as I LOVED the cars we used, and the service we received was perfect.. I will always remember the sweet man that drove our car as a big part of our day, but if costs had to be cut, this would be where I would do it)

– Jewellery (especially Bridesmaid or Best Man jewellery. We had bling necklaces and earrings, which my Maid/Matron of Honor would never generally wear. She gave them back to me afterwards because she didn’t want them, lol. Make sure you don’t spend a fortune on these!)

Post # 53
9542 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2013

Most worthwhile expenses

  1. Rentals: I absolutely loved that we were abe to do a backyard wedding. The rentals really added up and were our largest cost (tent, tables, chairs, bathrooms, generator). But the homey feel and family picnic vibe that we were abe to acheive was well worth it.
  2. DOC – since we had a backyard wedding, so this was particularly important for us. But mostly I wanted enjoy m wedding day without stress or having to remember anything. And that’s exactly what I got. I was able to have fun and visit with m guests while my DOC made sure everything was runing smoothly.
  3. DJ – we went with a mid-priced company that was well reviewed and the dance floor was packed all night long!
  4. Open bar – We knew we wanted an open bar all night and it was much appreciated by our guests. But we were able to buy our own alcohol, which was a huge price saver
  5. Food – we found a great caterer who did more corporate catering, so they were much more reasonable and the wedding focused caterers that we found – and the food was hot, plentiful, diverse and yummy!

Least worthwhile costs/things we cheaped out on and it was fine!

  1. Cake – we asked a dozen friends and family tomake a dessert and had a buffet and it was big hit. Lots of variety, lots of opportunity to involve friends and family, and ti was free!!!
  2. Invitations/STDs – we went with cheap VistaPrint options for these and they worked great. Especially if you’re going for a more casual wedding – you don’t need a fancy invitation
  3. Flowers – this is kind of mixed. I made all the flowers out of paper. So pretty cheap. But a ton of work. It was more work than DIY arranging fresh flowers, but I could do it months beforehand. I was happy with our choice, but it wouldn’t workfor everyone
  4. Bathroom baskets – I went a little overboard with this. But in the end we’l use most of it. So not the end of the world.
  5. We didn’t do favors, Out of Town bags, or a late night snack and nobody missed them!

Post # 54
1004 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2013


1. Venue: Our location was so beautiful on its own, it required just simple decor to look great.

2. Photographer: Memories preserved, and moments captured that I would never have known about otherwise… priceless! I will LOVE sharing these photos with my children and grandchildren.

3. Chairs: Our venue had ugly metal chairs that they would let us put outside for the ceremony, but we rented white chairs instead. It looked so much better!

4. Food/Drinks: Our food was not especially expensive, but it was GOOD! We did not have a bar, but provided beer and cider for our guests. Definitely a worthwhile expense.

5. Flowers: I know this is not on many people’s lists, and I was not sure it would be worth it… but they flowers were so beautiful and added so much to the photos and “experience” for the guests, that I think they were very worthwhile. We did not have that many. The flowers on the table centerpieces were bulk and put into vases by myself and my bridesmaids. My favorite part was the giant flower orb that Mother-In-Law bought for us, which hung from the gazebo above our heads during the ceremony. It was gorgeous!  The key to making flowers worthwhile is judiciously picking which floral items to purchase from a florist, and which to do without/make yourself. For example, instead of buying arranged flower wreaths for the doors, I make my own with fake flowers. Same impact, nobody was close enough to care they were fake, and cheaper.



1. STD’s: we actually decided not to do these, even though I could make my own for a fraction of the cost. Just didn’t seem worth it.

2. Fancy Invites on Expensive Paper: I don’t have that kind of $$$, to buy all those heavy, folded, gilded, embossed, multiple envelope deals. Most people lost them after opening, or threw them out, and still ended up forgetting to rsvp, or called me to ask about details that were in the invite. I’m glad I desgined/printed my own and saved a lot of money. I made them “fancy” by adding wax seals by hand, and writing the addresses in calligraphy. I got a lot of compliments on them, too!

3. Hair/makeup: for me, not worthwhile, because I am capable of doing them well myself. If you aren’t good at hair/makeup, it is probably worthwhile. I would still try to find a family member or friend to do it! Looking elegant doesn’t have to require a stylist or a complicated updo. It WAS worthwhile to buy new makeup and nicer products than I normally purchase, because I got to use it for months afterward!

4. Dress: I’m all for searching for a dress that makes you look amazing, but I think anyone can find that for under $2000. Even 2 grand is more than I would ever spend! I got my dress on sale for $450, plus $80 alterations. Win! I found MANY dresses that I loved between $1000-$2000. I really like JCrew bridal, but even those were a little more than I wanted to spend, so I didn’t, and I still looked great!

5. Honeymoon: We didn’t go anywhere, other than spending most of the week at a nearby lake, in a friend’s (vacant) house. We spent a very modest amount of money eating at all the nicest restuarants, visiting wine, cider, and mead venues (all local!), hiking, visiting museums, driving through the mountains, and spent a day in a quaint nearby town that is known for arts and artisan crafts. We may have a “real” honeymoon/vacation next summer on our anniversary.



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