(Closed) What is worth/not worth the splurge? Expensive photog, venue, dress, etc.?

posted 9 years ago in Money
  • poll: What is your biggest splurge? (Choose one or more)
    Venue : (34 votes)
    23 %
    Catering : (23 votes)
    15 %
    Entertainment : (9 votes)
    6 %
    Dress : (12 votes)
    8 %
    Photography : (54 votes)
    36 %
    Videography : (5 votes)
    3 %
    Flowers : (4 votes)
    3 %
    Premium Bar : (6 votes)
    4 %
    Transportation : (2 votes)
    1 %
  • Post # 3
    452 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: October 2010

    i’ve been contemplating this…..hello monique lhuillier dream dress and goodbye wedding or vice versa:-) no, really, i thought i would be willing to spend more on the dress, but now……not so much. i know people who have paid in the thousands and those who paid 200.00 for their dress……and they all looked equally beautiful. seriously. Fiance and i decided the three most important things to us are: venue (includes catering), entertainment and photographer. i’ve figured out a classy and inexpensive way to do floral decorations. cake is going to be cupcakes from our fave bakery with a small cake on top. venue is our biggest splurge. by venue, i’m talking rental and catering. we are allowed to byob, so that saves us tons….especially since our family & friends like to party:-)

    Post # 4
    4480 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: March 2010 - Calamigos Ranch

    I went way over my original budget on photography and the venue (so far!) so I’m cutting corners on things like the dress and the invitations (doing partial-DIY project; the rest was a letterpress sale!). I thought the dress was more important to me, but then I realized that none of my guests are comparing designer gowns and they’re not going to think I’m less beautiful on my wedding day if I spend $600 instead of $6,000! But really, the only thing I’ll still have when the wedding is over is the pictures, so I doubled my photog budget (and spent quite a bit for the beautiful venue in the background!).

    Post # 5
    2561 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: July 2010

    We have stumbled across a great venue deal, or else this would be a possible splurge … but we think that an amazing photographer is really worth the splurge … the rest we can happily save on!

    Post # 6
    14183 posts
    Honey Beekeeper
    • Wedding: June 2009

    I splurged on my photographer (am now kind of regretting it…she chooses to ignore my emails and texts and calls now that the wedding’s over and the online preview is over a week delayed) but, even if she’s late in getting things up, at least her pictures are really great.

    Also our venue….and I’m SO GLAD we did. It was the biggest expensive and it was amazing. Everyone was shocked at the plantation house and all night I heard "where did you find htis place, it’s amazing?!" and on and on and on. I mean, everyone was just in awe of it. It definitely wasn’t your same ole same ole hall. The food was stellar, too, much to my surprise, considering the tasting I went to was so-so, and everyone said that the DJ was great, too! He was a requirement (came with the venue) and I was really quite happy taht he wasn’t cheesy or anything. So, all in all, the venue (which included ceremony, reception, food, DJ, and two coordinators) was well worth its price tag 

    Post # 7
    299 posts
    Helper bee

    We’re foodie people, so food is definitely our #1 issue- it needs to be of the highest quality, extremely well prepared, and local if possible. Frankly, I’ve seen plenty of beautiful cakes in this area that were extremely expensive, but tasted like crap- so rather than risk a pricey cake that looks great but falls short in the taste department, we are going with cupcakes that I KNOW are amazing and french macarons. Great photography is important to us, because we know we are hard to photograph (boy has a potato head, adn I have a moon face :P)- so while our photography won’t be super expensive, it will be important. The most expensive thing will probably be the venue, because we want something that our guests will really be comfortable in and love- and since we’re having a Halloween wedding, the decorations need to be both eery and elegant. And last but not least, my dress won’t be too expensive since it won’t be a typical white one (definately black of hot pink!), but the accessories will bump the cost up (insane jewelry, hair pieces, corset, whatnot!). I think I have the perfect shoes already, hehe- a pair of super awesome hot pink six inch Swear Alternative platform boots the boy bought me as my first really pricey gift (they’re from England, they cost a small fortune to get, are no longer made, and I love them to bits, even if they are bizarre! Most comfortable pair of shoes I own, hah!)

    Post # 8
    16 posts
    • Wedding: August 2009

    I felt the same way. I didn’t think that I’d get swept up in the whole wedding industry when I first started planning, but at some point I started to. When I faced my budget reality, I decided that I wanted to spend on the parts of the wedding that would last beyond the day. I had to get over what people thought about my wedding, and be more self-centered about it. I decided to spluge on photo/video because that was very important to us. I also splurged on stationery because it was my personal indulgence. The catering costs will be under control because we’re doing a nice lunch as opposed to lavish dinner. What I realized is at the end of the day, it’s my wedding, not an editorial layout for a magazine. I want nice things like any other bride, but I found that you don’t need to spend lootcakes on it! I figured my guests will have fun so long as we’re serving food and drink. I still haven’t figured out the dress situation, but I doubt this will be a splurge. If I do splurge, you can guarantee that the dress will be "repurposed"! I think the upside of the recession is that it’s really made me more conscious of how I spend my money. Someone told me that regardless of what kind of wedding I plan, or how it turns out, I’ll still get to be with the one I love, and that certainly brings me back to planet earth when things start getting out of hand.

    Post # 9
    2022 posts
    Buzzing bee

    Our big ticket items include venue/food and photography. 

    Post # 10
    2725 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: September 2009

    Photography has been our biggest splurge. My dress and catering probably come in second.

    Post # 11
    165 posts
    Blushing bee
    • Wedding: August 2009

    Photography!!!  I knew as soon as they shot my best friend’s wedding that I wanted Imaginative Studios as my photographer, but the price tag was probably 4x as much as we planned to spend.  It was stressing me out knowing that I would not know for sure the quality or creativity of someone else’s work.  After we ended up spending only 1/4 of my dress budget on the dress, and got a very reasonable deal on our flowers, we decided to go with them for the photog.  (And she gave us a solid discount because we knew her through a previous client)  I couldn’t be happier.  I can’t even explain the peace of mind it gives me to know that she’ll take close to a thousand pics, I love her style, and she’s so FAST about editing them and moving the process along.  My engagement photos were fabulous and she just sees things other people don’t.  I know my wedding album will catch so much more than just images of our day, and long after our wedding I’ll be able to relive some of the emotion through the photos.

    Post # 12
    1245 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: June 2009

    Things I’m happy I splurged on:

    – Venue. It was too expensive for my budget, honestly, but it was gorgeous and absolutely is what made our wedding memorable.

    – Photographer. Our photos were great and our photographer was so unobtrusive that we barely noticed him or his assistant all night long.

    – Food. We got so many compliments on how good the food tasted. I got to taste it myself and it was so, so yummy. That was really important to us.

    – Premium Alcohol. I don’t know if it was a splurge, per se, but we definitely could’ve spent that $2k elsewhere. We made it a priority, though, because among our group of friends that’s an important element to a party, and it worked out really well, so I’m really glad we did that.

    – Transportation. We rented a giant bus for all of our guests and, in light of all the alcohol and the short reception, are really glad that we did. We just got a town car for ourselves and didn’t need a bridal party limo because our reception and ceremony were in the same spot.


    Things I’m glad I didn’t splurge on:

    – Dress. I loved my dress, and I loved it even more since it cost a lot less than what I’d budgeted. Its alterations ended up being really expensive, which I hadn’t thought about initially.

    – DJ. We had a DJ and we got him for a great price; he does it on the side and he did an amazing job.

    – Cake. We did go to a professional bakery so we spent a few hundred dollars, but it wasn’t over-the-top by any means and it was delicious.

    – Rentals. We spent a TON of money on just basic things like silverware, plates, linens, etc., and that easily could’ve doubled or tripled if I’d rented nicer chairs or china. I’m glad we didn’t because most people ate then abandoned their tables to dance.

    – Flowers. We spent more on flowers than a lot of people do, I think, but it was still less than 1/20 of our final budget. They were very pretty but they just weren’t that important to me, so I was glad to save that money for other things.

    – Videography. We had a friend who does videography give this to us as a gift, and although I’m so glad that we get to see it and so grateful for the present, I’m glad we didn’t spend a few thousand on it. 

    Post # 13
    1205 posts
    Bumble bee

    I have decided that I will be splurging on the venue/catering (it’s inclusive) but not on photography and flowers.  We have several friends with an "eye" for photography and great cameras.  They will all be asked to snap whatever they see as a good shot.  I’m hiring a recent graduate of the local Art Institute to do formal posed pics for $200.00.  I’ll be DIYing all of the flowers (since it will be fall colors of rust and deep reds, the high end silk flowers look suprisingly good)  I’ll also splurge on the cake topper – one of those 3 letter monograms covered in crystals.  My dress is going to run about $300 – purchased from an ebay vendor in china. 

    Post # 14
    1732 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: September 2010

    Photography for sure.  it’s the only place where we are over budget but I see it as an investment and completely worth it.  Other than the groom, it’s the only thing we’ll have after that day and the results will be in our home for years and years.

    Post # 15
    952 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: September 2009

    We splurged on invitations. I really wanted letterpress, so we got letterpress. Our invitations were not super expensive by some standards, but I frequent a lot of wedding communities and I know I spent more than most of the girls there!


    Post # 16
    150 posts
    Blushing bee
    • Wedding: June 2010

    I would have said that my biggest splurge was photography, but I am in the middle of signing a contract for an amazing photographer at a really reasonable price–so it looks like catering will be our splurge. The least important things to me are the dress and the flowers. I think I could be wearing something from my existing wardrobe and I’d still be thrilled and feel special–but it was pretty fun to shop for a dress. 🙂

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