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Emily
Dedicated August 2022

Budget priorities?

Emily, on May 3, 2021 at 1:19 AM Posted in Planning 2 53
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Hi everyone! Happy wedding planning! Just curious about what you all prioritized to spend the most money on? My fiancé and I live in a fairly expensive area and chose to splurge on our photographer and videographer, but we're planning to go low budget on florals, cake, and centerpieces. How did you decide what to prioritize?

53 Comments

Latest activity by BreezyBry, yesterday at 1:35 PM
  • Catherine
    Devoted March 2023
    Catherine ·
    • Flag
    Catering first then photography. I’m super picky with food so I know for me at least, nothing else matters if the food isn’t good lol. Plus I know that’s what people remember for a long time afterwards. For decor, centerpieces etc we’ll be doing a lot of diy. Cake is important but also pretty low on the list. FH doesn’t even like cake and I can’t imagine spending half a thousand on a cake lol
    • Reply
  • Fred (Frédolino)
    Expert April 2022
    Fred (Frédolino) ·
    • Flag
    Hello Emily.
    My Future wife and I chose to splurge on photography (we're having 2 shooters), food, and ... The wedding bands.
    We chose to go low budget on forals, decor for both the ceremony and the reception.We are are going with fake flower except for my bride's bouquet. Non floral centerpieces. No hard liquor, no signature drinks, the cake is naked and "flowerless". My FW bought a trainless dress, and she's going with shoes she already owns.

    We're hosting an adult-only wedding with an exception for 2 flower girls (but money is not the reason why we made this decision).

    Things we are skipping altogether: ceremony programs, the guest book, the videographer, paper invites and RSVP (we're going with the digital option), the escort cards and some extras: photobooth, candy bar,favors.

    • Reply
  • KiwiDerbyBride
    VIP May 2015
    KiwiDerbyBride ·
    • Flag
    Catering, and open bar - beer/wine/soft drink only, which is common here. It was important to us that our guests were properly hosted.
    • Reply
  • Rebecca
    Rockstar August 2019
    Rebecca ·
    • Flag

    Catering and photography. People remember if it's bad food, and they remember if it's good food.

    Photography was for us.

    Saved on flowers, dress (sample sale!), and a lot of the little stuff.

    • Reply
  • Sarah
    Beginner October 2021
    Sarah ·
    • Flag
    We spent most of our budget on our venue and catering. We were thankfully able to have contributions from my dad and his new wife which was great when it came to picking a venue in the woods, and would be for two days with only 30 people. We did focus a lot on diy for decor which was helpful for the budget and for stationery, I mainly either designed it myself and also chose to put most of our details on our wedding website (we chose Zola for the easier to use UI interface). We have decided to not have a photographer due to the cost in our area (nobody charges less than $5k) and chose to save our money for our honeymoon which hopefully will be next year in Japan.
    • Reply
  • Jai
    Rockstar May 2020
    Jai ·
    • Flag
    We decided what to prioritize by discussing what was important to us such as; food,and photography. Saved money on my dress by buying it during a black Friday sale,.
    • Reply
  • M
    February 2021
    Marie ·
    • Flag

    All-inclusive wedding venue, photography/videography, and food. That's how we did our budget. Smiley smile

    • Reply
  • Ava
    Super May 2022
    Ava Online ·
    • Flag
    Our top 3 splurges are food/booze, entertainment, and florals. Food/booze was important to us because we are both foodies and we wanted to ensure our guests were well-hosted. Entertainment because it enhances overall guest experience. And florals because I adore fresh flowers and how they fragrant the air, and the huge impact they make on the overall aesthetic.
    • Reply
  • E
    Expert July 2023
    Eniale Online ·
    • Flag

    For the wedding: food. We had a very strict, limited budget (college kids) so I found every way to cut on everything else, food ended up the only real priority. Got very lucky on everything else - the venue I fell in love with was a historic art museum that was not-for-profit at the time, so it cost me $600 to rent the entire place for the day. We got married on a weekday, so most vendors were willing to give discounts/low rates. We happened to find an amazing photographer who was just starting out, so she was very inexpensive (she now charges over $3k for her services - we still got her amazing quality back then, but for a fraction of that). I knew a lot of cost-cutting tricks with flowers. Our baker was my husband's colleague. Our food was the priority, and it paid off, because everyone raved about the food for years after.

    For the vow renewal: food, décor, venue, music.
    Food is still the most important to me, because years after our wedding, my husband and our guests still say it was the best food they've ever had at a wedding. Conversely, we have a friend who all of our mutual friends (and my husband) still talk about how awful their wedding food was. The only person who adamantly defends the food is the wife/bride, who says whenever it comes up that she picked what she wanted to eat that day and she thought it was delicious. I suppose that's fair, as she was the one paying for it, but I personally care a lot more that our guests enjoy the food.
    Décor and venue, I'd lump together. I want amazing florals, because I chose to skimp on this for our wedding (what we had was beautiful, but as minimal as possible), and we now have a good friend who is a florist who I know will pull out all the stops for us. Also wanted a really unique and interesting venue (we picked a science museum that guests will have access to the exhibits during the event).
    Third is music. We're hiring a live band. I feel like everyone has been to a ton of weddings with DJs by our age, so I want something different.

    • Reply
  • Nicole
    Devoted August 2022
    Nicole ·
    • Flag
    We're prioritizing catering and photography. It's important to us that everyone enjoy the food and drinks on the day, and then important to us we have beautiful photos to look back on.
    • Reply
  • Kari
    VIP May 2020
    Kari ·
    • Flag

    You need to prioritize what is important to you. For us, a beautiful setting, great food, and a wonderful photographer were big priorities, and those are the areas where we spent the most money. Less important to us was having a bunch of customized stuff and fancy decor and stationary. I also really didn't want to spend a fortune on a dress I'd only wear once and got my dress pre-owned at a fraction of the price (and I LOVE it). We hired an inexpensive DJ with great reviews, and I'm going to do my own hair and makeup.

    We also made it a point to hire local vendors who use sustainable practices whenever possible, because we figured if we were going to spend a lot of money we wanted to keep it in our community and provide it to vendors who support our values. Our food is farm-to-table, our flowers are in season and grown locally, and we are trying to minimize our impact with things that can be reused and repurposed and aren't just "for the wedding".

    • Reply
  • Melle
    Legend June 2019
    Melle ·
    • Flag

    Food!

    for me i really wanted good food and spending on really good food for that many people meant shelling out a lot of money

    • Reply
  • Britney
    Beginner October 2022
    Britney ·
    • Flag

    Videography: I wasn't too sure about this one because I assumed everyone would have their phones and could just record it right then and there for us, but I talked to some of our friends and family and they recommended we get a professional that would actually get the before, during and after moments as well as would give us the option to edit and add any music we'd like.

    Catering: I was told this wasn't a major thing to worry about because people won't really remember what they eat all they'll remember is the actual wedding but I know if I eat something nasty I will remember lol so this is one of those that I am trying to put high on my list of prioritize without breaking the bank.

    As far as for the flowers and decorations those are all things you can make yourself, find on etsy, thrift shops, anywhere that really isn't asking too much money for it.

    The bridesmaids dresses you could literally find at any website like Macys, Davids Bridal, even Shein or Pretty Little Things and some places may even let you rent as well or you could ask your bridesmaids to pay for their own dresses which could help.

    Hope this helps in some way>

    • Reply
  • M
    Dedicated September 2021
    Marianne ·
    • Flag

    I'd say we're prioritizing things that we think guests would remember the most and are important to us, and the venue and catering was the only thing we're paying more than we anticipated. Most other aspects we're paying what we expected to based on local and national averages (photographer, DJ, etc.). We're saving money on florals/decor (professional florist only for personal flowers, DIY-ing the rest along with a small amount of decor), my dress (bought on sale for 1/3 the price), and stationary (using Minted all-in-one invites instead of a full suite). We're also not having a videographer (not important to us), additional rentals (like a photobooth, lighting, etc.), a separate ceremony musician (DJ will suffice), or wedding planner (our venue provides a day-of coordinator).

    • Reply
  • Autumn
    Savvy December 2021
    Autumn ·
    • Flag

    I def think flowers can be low budget while still be pretty! Grocery stores can have really amazing floral arrangements for cheap.

    • Reply
  • Emily
    Dedicated August 2022
    Emily ·
    • Flag
    View Quoted Comment
    We were thinking of doing fake florals like the ones from Ling’s Moments! That way we also have the flexibility to make bouquets weeks ahead of time. 😊
    • Reply
  • Autumn
    Savvy December 2021
    Autumn ·
    • Flag
    View Quoted Comment

    Thats super smart! I am doing fake flowers for my toss bouquet and small things of that nature to cut down on cost.

    • Reply
  • Meghan
    Rockstar October 2019
    Meghan ·
    • Flag

    We spent most of our money on videography, photography, and venue. Flowers, cakes, and décor were really not important to us. We picked a gorgeous venue, so we wanted to highlight that.

    • Reply
  • Michelle
    Rockstar October 2022
    Michelle ·
    • Flag

    The guest experience (delicious plentiful food, drinks no one has to pay for, a great dj) and photography.

    Your guests will remember if they were hosted properly and graciously (and they do talk when they aren’t) and aside from your new spouse, all you will have is memories and photos.

    There are countless ways to cut costs without cutting quality, even if many disagree. Many of the ‘tips’ on how to save as given by the wedding industry don’t save any money at all. What are you looking to cut costs on and need help doing so?

    • Reply
  • Emily
    Dedicated August 2022
    Emily ·
    • Flag
    View Quoted Comment
    We’re prioritizing the same! I think we’d love to cut costs on DJ but we also want a professional that’s done a lot of weddings before, so we’ll probably still spend a decent amount. We’re cutting costs on cake, flowers (buying fake vs real), other decor (getting minimal flowers & thrifting), and maybe the dress.
    • Reply

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