When it comes to budgeting for your wedding, unless you're a wedding expert or have previously had a wedding, it can difficult to understand how the budget breaks down and how much you should allocate towards each category of spending. Let's face it, you're a beginner in this area and even the most financially savvy couple can find themselves diving into the unknown when it comes to where to start and knowing what to expect. When thousands of dollars are at stake, it can and most likely will be stressful to know where to invest your dollars.
It's important to establish what your top 3 priorties are straight out of the gate before getting started. Though you and your fiance may have different ideas of what is important, determining the non-negotiables is a great place to start. From your wedding dress and the flowers to food and beverage, invitations, entertainment and lighting - because trust us, ambiance is important - there's no wrong place to start.
With that said, it's hard to know where you and your guests will see the spend or notice the cutbacks. Our wedding experts have shared their wisdom as to what they feel is worth the investment.
"Always "splurge" on the food to be served at your wedding! The food served at your wedding ultimately sets the overall tone for your guests experience. From that welcoming signature cocktail, to the main course; to my personal favorite the "dessert." All play a key role in to either "enhance" or "reduce" your guests overall experience at your wedding. From the look of the food to the taste...it is equally important."
~ Brittany Gubbels, The Cake Rendezvous
"Figure out what is your financial comfort zone and what all you want included for your wedding day. Then, allot the parts of your budget to the areas that are most important to you and be willing to compromise on the rest.
It is also important to do your research and look at the vendors that are highly recommended. What have other couples said about their service? What kind of value do they bring to the table? What are their guests saying about the vendors they went with? As a live music entertainment service, we often hear from our couples before they book us that they want to have memorable experiences for all those involved in the wedding. Splurge on the things that will help make memories."
~ The Downtown Collective
"Choose your look well in advance, and be sure to hire a professional hairstylist and makeup artist, because "they are the experts." Go to your regular stylist and bring an image of the look you have decided you want. Have a consultation with your stylist about your goals, and make sure to schedule a trial run prior to the actual wedding day. This is worth the time and resources, as you will have many portraits completed on your special day. Even if the bride thinks they are a guru with a curling iron and a master with an eye shadow palette, your pros will ensure that your makeup stays put all day and that every strand of hair is in place. "
~ The Weddings Team, Garbo's Salon and Spa
"Splurge on memorable experiences for your guests. Welcome your guests to the reception with a champagne or signature welcome drink display, customize your bar or DJ booth, hire unique entertainment for your cocktail hour (such as a string quartet, live jazz musician, or beer burros), or create a cigar and whiskey lounge. These are the things that will stick out in your guests' minds and keep them talking about your day for years to come!"
~ Sarah Meduna, Styled in White Events
"Splurge on your dream photographer. These moments are forever. I'm talking your children's children oohing-and-awwing-over-your-dream-day-forever! At AJP we not only freeze time, but we artistically capture the love, the magic, the memories in a way that will withstand time and tell YOUR love story to forever be remembered. Skimp on favors. These are cute, but often-times forgotten, left-behind, and not remembered. Pour this savings into your top 3 vendor priorities!"
~ Angie Miller, Angie Miller Photography
Splurge on your dress!!I know, we may be bias here, but the dress is something that is defintely worth splurging on. Your wedding dress will be in every picture, will be the centerpiece of your wedding aesthetic and is one of the things from your wedding you can preserve for all the years to come. The right wedding dress should make you feel your best self, radiate confidence and make you never want to take it off!"
~ Jaimee Anderson, Ellynne Bridal