(Closed) Wedding planning: what did you splurge/save on?

posted 4 years ago in Reception
Post # 16
832 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: March 2018

We splurged on food and alcohol – that was our starting point for developing our budget.

We saved on decor (I made pretty much everything), flowers (paid a total of about $250 for silk flowers for bouquets/boutonnieres and didn’t use florals in centerpieces), men’s attire (all the guys, including my husband, got their suits off the rack at JC Penney for $100 a pop!), and stationery (bought from shutterfly/basicinvite which are always having sales, opted for an all-in-one invitation style to cut down on extra add-ons, didn’t use programs). 

For the most part, everything else was pretty much what we planned to spend. We went a little higher than we wanted on photo/video, but we think what we got is worth it.

Post # 17
212 posts
Helper bee

Splurging on photography/videography, decor and food.

Saving on invites and transportation. The rest in reasonably priced in between 😀 

Post # 18
1913 posts
Buzzing bee

We splurged on venue (it was like $50-$55k or something). Florals and decor ($10K). 

I saved on seating charts, transportation, coordinator, dress, makeup and hair, didn’t do a cake. We took an Uber back to the hotel after the wedding. 

Photography and videography were pretty reasonable too: $2600 and $2400 so $5000 total. 

I live in a VHCOL. 

Post # 19
3274 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2018


DJ – getting a playlist together and borrowing PA from a friend

Photobooth – combo of WedPics and a Polaroid camera (and we get to keep the camera)

Accessories – wearing jewellery I already own and negotiating a free veil with my dress

Invites and paper – pro graphic designer friend of Fiance for the design so printing is the only cost plus postage.

Splurge: rings, photographer, dress (I went way over budget), suit (FI is having a lounge suit made to measure).

Our venue is neither splurge nor save. We could have spent more and we could have spent less but this was a good price point especially as it’s a hotel with exclusive use. Similarly with flowers we could spend less but could spend more. We’re looking to repurpose some of the church flowers at the reception so whilst it’s twice my brothers flower budget (he’s getting married two months before me) it’s not as high as it could be given everything we want.

Post # 20
839 posts
Busy bee

Not yet married, but in the heart of planning!


– Band

– Venue, food, and drink

– Videographer

– Dress

– Shoes

– Wedding suite for night before and of wedding

– Planner

– Decor- flowers, rentals, etc.


– Photographer- not cheap by any means, but compared to some of the others we looked at they were a steal and our engagement photos turned out beautifully

– Transportation

Neutral: (needed to be done and costs were about average across vendors we looked at)

– Hair and makeup

– Photobooth

– Invitations

Post # 21
1390 posts
Bumble bee

Splurged on the venue and catering. I still shudder at the cost.

Saved on the photographer–we are getting married in January, which is his slow season and he offered a nice discount.

Saved on a DJ- We happened to luck out here. Fiance really really really wanted a certain DJ and we booked him, and it just turns out his rates are great.

Saved on save the dates- we used Minted. I liked them so much we will probably use them for our invites too. 

Will almost certainly save on shoes–I’m probably going to wear regular flats. They’ll be comfy and will double as regular-wear shoes after the wedding.

We won’t be having transportation, as the ceremony and the reception are in the same place, and the hotel is right next door.

Post # 23
17 posts
  • Wedding: January 2019

I’m splurging on:





photography and video


saving on:

bouquets and botoniers 




guest favors

engagement pictures



Spending average on:




I’m having a destination wedding in South America so the prices are very different from the US

Post # 24
67 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: September 2018

I am saving on:

  • STDs/Invites (invites were single-cards referring people to wedding website)
  • Shoes (shoes of prey v. designer)
  • Wedding favours (none)
  • Videographer (none)
  • Ceremony decor (minimal)
  • Programs (likely a single sign or none)
  • Rehearsal dinner and wedding brunch (none)

My big splurges are:

  • Food/alcohol (top shelf open bar, a raw bar, pie/donut bar in addition to cake)
  • Reception decor/florals
  • Calligraphy on escort cards/table numbers
  • Proving transportation (buses) to and from wedding venue
  • Photographer
  • Hair/make-up services for bridal party
Post # 25
20 posts

View original reply
jellybellynelly :  hi there, may I know how the process for getting a custom made dress from China is like? Did you fly over for fittings? 

Post # 26
727 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2018 - Farm

View original reply
dresssobsessed :  

     I splurged on:

·         Food/alcohol

·         Reception and Ceremony venue

·         Photographer

·         Videographer

I saved on:

·         Dress

·         Shoes

·         Ceremony décor (Silk flowers, lanterns, and birdcages & candles DIY)

·         No programs

·         Save the dates (vista print 50% off sale)

·         Hair & Make up

·         Favors – made salt scrubs with essential oils everyone loved them and we didn’t have any left.

·         Invites (vista print 50% off sale)

·         DJ

·         Bouquets and boutonnieres  (silk flowers DIY)

I splurged on food and photography but I hired an event planning company that provided a few services for us and we were able to save money that way. We found an event planner that provided; food, servers, bartender, photography and cake. I only hired her as the day of coordinator and my fiancé and I did the decorations and things ourselves.

I found my DJ and videography from a Facebook wedding group in my area.




Post # 27
46 posts
  • Wedding: November 2019


Plan on splurging on food/venue, photographer (many people regret  not having had a better one), and possibly the dress. 

Saving on flowers, DJ (I am making the list, mostly), tux, and decided not to have a bridal party! 


Post # 28
484 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2018

Food and alcohol can make or break an otherwise great wedding so that is where we went all out.  It was very important to me to have delishous variety of food and it was very important to my husband to have an open bar with alot of varitey as well.  Guests had a good time because their bellies were full of good food and they had plenty of alcohol to choose from.

Post # 29
2312 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: March 2019

So I am not planning a wedding quite yet, but I am in a different camp, where I have been a guest to a ton of weddings (especially lately) and I will tell you what I notice splurges on: Bar, venue, music, photography. I cannot tell you anything I’ve ever had to eat at a wedding, and I don’t even remember if they were good or not! My advice and future plan is to get something edible and move on. The only wedding I remember the food was when my friend did a backyard wedding and had the BEST BBQ! I wanted to take home a whole pan of that brisket it was so damn good! 

Post # 30
65 posts
Worker bee



– videographer

– photographer

– venue + wedding planner

– officiant (we got a celebrant that’s 3x times the price of a commisionner)

– make up (the best in the area)



– flowers (silk ones, saved us $2200)

– invites from vista print

– decor

– limo

– favours

– food (went with buffet to save)


Middle Ground

– DJ

– Alcohol (open bar but we can bring in our own alcohol)


Having said that, we did basically go over budget in everything except invites.

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