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

posted 10 years ago in Money
Post # 17
Member
77 posts
Worker bee

Our best splurge was definitely our photographer – we weren’t planning on spending as much as we did but it was so worth it.  Besides that, we were pretty much on target with what we had budgeted, but food & the dj was also really important to us.  I think I would have cut out the candy buffet – even though the guests loved it, I don’t think they would have missed it either.  I’m happy we went cheap on our centerpieces & altar flowers.

Post # 18
Member
388 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2009

This answer might change in 15 days after the wedding is over, but so far things I would say are worth the expense:

– photographer

– food and drinks/venue, I feel this is what will actually determine if our guests have a good time or not

– professional hair makeup

– favors and (non-floral) centerpieces, this is completely a personal preference and many people consider either a waste but for me they help define (and refine) a reception.

Things I’m grateful we’re not spending a lot of money on:

– cake, I don’t even like cake and due to how much I like the centerpieces and other decorations we’re having it’s not going to add that much to the decor

– real flowers, I’m just personally not a flowery kind of girl – give me dramatic candles and manzanita branches any day

– DJ, I’m spending $500 less than my friend who’s only complaint was her DJ (and I was at the wedding, she had every right to complain) and I’ve already seen my DJ in action and he’s definitely worth every penny from what I can tel

Things I already wish we wouldn’t have spent so much on:

– my dress, but that is just because I have a heard time spending a lot of money on clothes. Not because I don’t like them but because I take immense pride in finding good deals.

– accessories/decor/etc. that I won’t be using or don’t really need, I bought these things on a whim without fulling thinking out what I really wanted to do. My advice is to go into every purchase knowing that’s exactly what you want, and if you can’t commit then just pass for now.

Post # 19
Bee
122 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: June 2010 - Family Lake House

We’re debating right now whether to splurge on the photographer or just use the money for a better honeymoon.

Post # 20
Member
10 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: August 2009

I will tell ya we are budgeting everywhere possible for this wedding and above all the number one most fantastic thing we have spluged on are :

DANCE LESSONS

I never thought in a million years that my reserved, quiet fiancee would ever EVER take dance lessons with me, something I have always wanted to do…not only this but we are choreographing our first dance…it makes it so special. It is such a “unecessary” cost in a way, but to me worth it at so many levels, I really recommend it to anyone willing to give it a try! It is the first activity we learned together and may even continue beyond <3

Post # 21
Member
10 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: August 2009

OH yeah, i am glad i did a lot of do it yourself stuff for my upcoming wedding, all you need are a few keepsakes which i figured are photos and engraved unity candle for me…and we are having a bbq rehearsal dinner at our house which will save a bundle compared to a restaurant serving 30 ppl!

Post # 22
Member
174 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: July 2009

Important things we spent our money on: Photography and Food. Though our caterer was actually reasonably priced b/c we went with a pig roast fare. We also upgraded to better chairs –not chiavari, but something more comfortable than the cheapo plastic ones. I know my elderly aunt appreciated it.

Not worth it: My dress. In retrospect, I probably would have had a dress made, which would have been a splurge, but would have also been the same price as what I ended up with after alterations. oh well! Centerpieces: I made our centerpieces from flowers my sister and I hand-picked. Favors: We made a donation instead. It was a lot less hassle than a favor and I doubt anyone missed it. I know it’s supposed to be a thank you for coming gift to guests, but I’d rather feed them as thanks (and we fed them 3 times over the weekend).

 

Post # 23
Member
202 posts
Helper bee

@Chela429 I love the lighting at your wedding, that picture was awesome!

Post # 24
Member
188 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: July 2009

PHOTOGRAPHER! 

Looking back on things I think we would’ve been ok with an IPOD (well we have Zune’s) reception vice our DJ.  But that’s it… I thought it was perfect!

Post # 25
Member
73 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: May 2009

My wedding was 3 months ago – looking back here’s what I think:

1.  Splurged on photog – DEFINITELY WORTH IT!

2.  Didn’t do videography, don’t miss it at all.

3.  Upgraded food – Definitely worth it, people are still raving about the food

4.  Open beer/wine bar all night – DEFINITELY WORTH IT!  Wasn’t in the original budget, cash bar is ok where I’m from.  Friends and family were surprised and still talk about how great it was.  We were able to do this b/c of diy centerpieces (which were still gorgeous), place cards and few florals, which was perfect for us.

Only regret – not shelling out for hair/makeup consultants to come to my house.  We were running all over town the morning of the wedding and it made for some chaos!!  It would have been well worth the $$ to have them come to me.

Post # 26
Member
162 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: July 2009

The things we thought were totally worth it are:

1. Photography

2.  Food/Beverage

3.  D.J.

Post # 27
Member
2342 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2010

My Fi and I had a budget, but that’s out the door!  We splurged on our photographer!  We’re having a destination wedding in Aruba and he is from VA.  But the photos were the number one thing to…everything else we’re doing cheap!

Post # 28
Member
176 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: June 2011

I really like the look of chair covers, but I am having a hard time rationalizing the cost, especially with our budget. Do you think they are worth it or not? I think I would rather spend more on photography and entertainment.

Post # 29
Member
151 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: September 2009

What about videography? Did anyone else not have a videographer and was ok with it? I’m debating on whether or not to hire one…some people say that its the best thing they spent money on, some people have said it wasn’t worth it…opinions?

 

 

Post # 30
Member
11 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: September 2009

It is amazing how wanting to have a simple party can turn into an expensive wedding overnight! I  have been going back and forth between an expensive yet experienced photographer and one who is a third of the price because she is just starting out…

In terms of videography, I found someone to capture raw footage only. He does a great job on wedding videos but I wanted to own the raw footage and couldn’t bring myself to spend the money to have him edit it. I also have access to an editing lab and have some experience with videoediting. My friend told me that he regretted not paying the money for a videographer because he kids ask him about his wedding.  That is the only reason why I am doing it. Neither one of my sisters had it done professionally and they don’t regret it.

Post # 31
Member
2271 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2009

Our biggest expense was food and some of the guests who indicated they would attend didn’t show up and so we actually spent too much! Although the officant coducted a lovely ceremony, I think she was a mite over-priced. Spent $300 on the silk flowers and they were worth every penny. My outfit was awesome, but I wish I had not spent the money on the custom-made replica dress by Gioavooni’s Bridal because it turned out awful and I had to get another dress. And I am definitely glad we did not pay more than $250 for the photographer!

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