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Wedding Costs: Where To Save and Where to Splurge

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 2 7

Let's face it: many of us dream of having the most beautiful and lavish of all weddings. A fairytale wedding, if you well. However, at the same time we don't want to spend too much on making the magic happen. There are many parts of a wedding that need to be considered. The good news is, there are some parts of your wedding that you can afford to cut back on. There are some parts of your wedding, though, that you should consider spending more on in order to make the most of your budget for your wedding. 

Here are parts of your wedding you should consider splurging on:

Wedding Photography

Sure, you could have a friend or family member take pictures for you, but consider that these pictures are what will last for a lifetime while, sadly enough, your wedding will only last for a day. A professional photographer will help make sure that all of your special moments are captured. You don't need to necessarily get the most expensive package, but look for packages that give you good value and can capture moments throughout your entire day rather than simply at the ceremony. Also, getting an extra set of pictures digitally as an added bonus gives you the opportunity to send off pictures and print pictures for friends and family.

Banquet Food

Since the beginning of time, people have centered around food as a form of celebration. Today, that rule still applies. Guests will largely base the quality of the wedding by the food. Even if you have a special recipe, such as grandma's secret brownies, that everyone thinks tastes great, it is difficult to large-scale manufacture food. Often making food in batches of 100 makes the food taste different from making it for a family. Thus, preparing food is tedious and can be difficult, which is why it is best left to the professionals (unless you  yourself are a professional and have your own catering company). 

Wedding Dress, Makeup & Hair

When it's your big day, you'll want to look the most beautiful you can be. One of the most noticeable things, if not the most noticeable part of a bride is her wedding dress. If you buy the wedding dress that you truly want rather than substituting in a cheaper one for budget, chances are that you won't feel as good or confident. This is your big day, so pick the most beautiful dress for you! Of course, 

there are also smart ways to go around this, such as looking at discount stores and looking to sales. Expensive does not necessarily mean beautiful. However, if you do find the perfect one and it's not as cheap as another one, you shouldn't let the price deter you away. 

It can be tricky doing your own hair and makeup, or even getting a friend or family member to do it for you, especially if you have a particular look in mind. Once again, it's good to trust a professional to do your hair and makeup to make you shine on your wedding day and in your photos.


Here are parts of your wedding you should consider saving on:

Wedding Cake

You don't necessarily need to have a great big wedding cake. To save more room in your budget for the things that count (see above), consider getting a smaller cake that is beautifully decorated and ornate. It'll look just as beautiful as a big wedding cake, but in the end is cheaper. Besides, in the photos the size of the wedding cake doesn't really make that big of a difference.

Another option is to get multiple sheet cakes. Sheet cakes are much easier to make and transport than tiered takes, which means the baker will likely give you a larger discount. Sure, it's important that the cake looks nice, but once you eat the cake, it's really the taste that matters.

Wedding Invitations

You probably won't save too much on invititations, but it helps. You can go to a crafts store and make your own wedding invitations (which is even better, since you can customize them exactly that way you wish to), rather than getting a professional package for it. Also, to cut costs and time on sending out cards, you can also put some parts of them, such as gift lists and thank-you cards online on a wedding website rather than individually sending out cards.

Guest List

When you think about inviting guests to the wedding, often it can be tempting to invite every person you know. However, each person can add a significant amount to the wedding budget. Think about who would be the most excited about going to your wedding and invited accordingly. Don't feel the need to invite the significant other if you are not familiar with him or her. Start with friends and family and then look outside to think of how much the person or people would be impacted by you getting married. If you don't know this person or the person would not be affected much (i.e. you and your future spouse don't hang out with this person anyway), don't be afraid not to extend an invitation.

A Closing Note

We all want a beautiful, nice day for our wedding. There are great ways that you can spend your wedding budget so that you spend it on what counts, and save on what you can afford to spend less on. The most important part is that overall you are happy with the decisions being made on your wedding. Think: if you were to look back on your wedding day 20 or 50 years from now, which parts would you remember the most? Which would impact you the most? This is a good way to look at how to spend your wedding budget in the most efficient way possible. Weddings can cost as little as $5,000 to as much as $40,000 or more (the average couple spends a little over $20,000), but it's really up to you and your fiance to decide. 



Apr 10, 2012 5:39pm
Very good and precise tips on how to save on wedding costs. Thumbs up!
Apr 10, 2012 10:39pm
May 15, 2012 4:12am
Great information. Everyone getting ready to get married should read this first. Congratulations!!
May 15, 2012 12:00pm
Thank you for putting this list of great suggestions together!


May 15, 2012 10:20pm
Good wedding tips! More money in the bank for after the wedding too.
May 15, 2012 10:46pm
Great tips on how to save on wedding costs. Anyone planning a wedding will certainly find this article helpful. Congratulations on being featured. Thumbs Up!
May 16, 2012 2:23am
Great tips. I will make sure when i get Married that i have a lovely day, but i won't be breaking the bank doing so. There's nothing wrong with having a great day, and it not costing a fortune.
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