(Closed) wedding costs – what was worth it and what wasn’t?

posted 12 years ago in Money
Post # 3
7 posts
  • Wedding: March 2010

I’m also in the middle of wedding planning and would like to know what wasn’t as important during/after the wedding as you thought it was during the planning process. At this point, I definitely know I want a great photographer. That is one thing I did not want to compromise since our pictures will be what we look at to remember that special day.  

Post # 4
8375 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2009

our big splurge was our venue (included ceremony, reception, food, DJ, basically everything but liquor) only b/c it was a majority of the cost of the wedding.

I didn’t overspend on anything, but i can tell you that i’m really glad I didn’t spend more than $150 on cake and $200 on flowers. I did Sam’s Club sheet cake with a small, fancy bakery cake and silk flowers mom and I did ourselves. I also DIY’d my invites b/c as much as i love pretty paper, i’d rather spend my $400 elsewhere.

our other splurge was our photographer, who does great pictures but isn’t the most professional. Boo. So definitely splurge on a good photog! You don’t want one who takes your money then forgets about you in lieu of other paying clients.

Post # 5
33 posts
  • Wedding: June 2009

Post-wedding, I am very glad we spent money on the photographer and makeup artist.  I don’t regret any purchases, but I’m glad we did cheap, non-floral centerpieces, and DIY flowers.  

Post # 6
441 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: March 2009

Up-lighting in our reception hall really made the difference.  Everyone raves about the colors and how it fit our style and theme.  We spent almost $1000 but it was worth every penny.  Plus the pictures look fabulous!


Post # 7
144 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: October 2009

I don’t feel like we have spent too much on anything, although we are a bit above our original budget.  Those little things REALLY add up!  But our biggest splurge (20-25% of the budget so far!) will be the videographer.  We kind of figured it was worth it since it will be something we can watch for years, and we didn’t like any of the more affordable videos we watched.  Obviously I still have a couple months to go but I’m not spending much on flowers, our venue was also relatively affordable.

And that uplighting is AWESOME!

Post # 8
1449 posts
Bumble bee

Our biggest cost to our budget was the venue/food but we had alot of people so it added up.  Not including the venue or food Id say my biggest splurge was upgraded satin linens in our colors and the chiavari chairs.  They are expensive but they were so worth it to me, it completely changed the look to the room if I were to have used the banquet chairs that were not appealing at all.  Plus I have always wanted the chiavaris.  Another splurge was the photobooth.  It was a huge hit and we had people use the pictures to put in our guestbook so its such a fun thing to look at after the wedding!

Post # 9
564 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2010

For us, well me, it’s our photographer! which we are still trying to get money for, i hate how tight money is.

Post # 10
367 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2009

i don’t think we overspent (by ny standards at least) on anything too much but the biggest expenses will be the photographer and food/venue. the photos will last a lifetime. i (and many of my friends and fam) are foodies – i LIVE to eat! so having great food was a must-do!

Post # 11
52 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: May 2009

We budgeted our wedding down and I can’t really think of something I regret spending money on.

The makeup was definately worth the money for airbrush.

Getting a good photographer was also worth the money.

Lots of items were DIY.

I did spend more on my dress than planned….$1100 when I wanted to find something under $800. And the grooms suit was custom made for $700 and we planned to buy a designer suit for about $500. But both were worth it.

Post # 12
294 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2010

@bobbypinpearls….I hear you about money being tight.  It’s exhausting, always worrying about it!


Our biggest indulgence so far is in a caterer (our guest list is ginormous thanks to FH’s massive family).  The caterer includes china, so it sounded higher in price than others but the china being included actually made it cheaper in the long run.

Post # 13
499 posts
Helper bee

I think it’s really important to spend money on:

1.  A good photographer

2.  A good videographer (so you can remember the event)

3.  Good food (People will always remember how good or bad your food tasted)

4.  A good DJ (otherwise people will get bored and remember how bad it was if you don’t get a good DJ).  I regret not spending more on a better one, but we put a lot of work into it by spending 2 hours listening to songs we thought would be good for the wedding.


Things to spend less on:

1.  Centerpieces – Be creative and make one yourself

2.  Shoes – Who will really see them if they’re under your dress…I mean really (just make sure they are comfortable but don’t pay a fortune on them)

3.  Favors – You don’t need to spend a lot on favors.  Keep it practical.  You can find a ton of favors at Michaels for $2 each.

4.  Chiavari chairs – I still don’t remember what the chairs looked like at the last wedding I went to.  I really wanted to get them, but the chairs that they had at the country club looked amazing when the lights were dimmed and there are candles on the tables.

5.  Wedding cake – I found a cake for under $200.  You can as well if you shop around.  I found a bakery that won awards on theknot.com and was affordable at the same time!!!


Post # 14
15 posts

Photographer, hands down!  We were so lucky in so much that many people worked in lines of work where we simply bartered or they simply said, I would like to give you “x” as my wedding gift to you.  That help tremendously, but we did spend a lot of money on the photographer.  It was worth it.  He and his assistant caught so many precious moments, not only between me and my new hubby, but between us and our guests as well.  So worth the money and I have used my photos over and over again as post wedding thank you gifts and people (as cheap and/or silly as it may sound) truly enjoy having a wonderful photo of your special day!

Post # 15
632 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2009

Like most my big splurge is our venue/food. Its rediculous actually! I honestly thinking back now with only 9 days to go would change alot and not have it as ‘extravagant’ as we are. something more casual etc.

I went to a backyard bbq wedding and I wanted to die because of how much I loved it and wished my was as laid back and causal as it was….but sure enough I didn’t go that route!

Post # 16
3793 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: July 2009

Let’s face it, great photography can make up for lacks in virtually any other area.  (It helps if the details are great… but still). 

If I were to do it again, I’d make the same choices: photography, then food/venue, then everything else!

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