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Where to Splurge and Where to Scrimp When Budgeting For Your Wedding

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Wedding Budget

Planning a wedding is stressful. While you might wish you could buy every thing your heart desires, the truth is that most of us dream on a budget. So where should you spend your money, and where can you cut costs? This guide of places to spend money versus places to scrimp when planning your wedding can really help you out.

Let’s start with the top 3 places you really should spend your money:

1.) Photographer

Your wedding lasts one day, and while that day is awesome, when it’s over, it’s over, and you might wonder where all your time, money, and energy disappeared to. Your wedding photos are the one thing you get to keep at the end of the night. Looking through wedding photos with my husband was one of the best things we did after our wedding, and I can’t wait to one day share those memories with my children.

Of course, in this age of smart phones, everyone there will act as some sort of photographer, and it can be tempting to want to scrimp here. I’m so grateful my dad pulled me aside as I was planning my wedding and told me that the one thing he regretted about his wedding was not splurging on a good photographer. Your family and friends will do their best, but unless you have a professional photographer coming to the wedding, those photos are filler, and you’re still going to want some professionally-done shots where the lighting is perfect and you’re caught at your most slimming angle.

2.) Music

Music can make or break your reception. If your music is good, your guests have fun and stay longer. Our guests stayed all night despite being a mostly-older crowd, and the comments at our wedding were that it was one of the most fun weddings they’d been to in a long time.

If you want to try something unique at your wedding, try a wedding singer like the one at A wedding singer will set you apart from the DJ crowd, or even the live band crowd, and make your wedding something to remember.

3.) Thank-you gifts

Weddings are not all about you. At the end of the day, you’re going to want to thank the people who got you down the aisle, from the maid of honor who take your late-night, tear-filled phone calls to your parents who supported you emotionally (and possibly financially).

You want your thank you gifts to really show your appreciation, which means putting a lot of thought and a little bit of money towards them. You’ll feel better about presenting them when you know that you splurged for some nice quality items.

Next, let’s talk about the top 3 easiest ways to save money on your wedding:

1.) Decorations

Pinterest is a life-saver when planning your wedding, and if you take advantage of some of the great DIY-ideas available, you can save a lot of money on your wedding by putting in a little extra time. I’m not a crafty person, but I still managed to have an awesome Harry Potter themed wedding on a pretty tight budget by pulling ideas from Pinterest.

If you’re really smart, you’ll do what I did and have a couple of craft nights with your bridal party. As the saying goes, many hands make light work!

2.) Clothing

If I had known how much a tux rental cost before the big day, I wouldn’t have insisted my guys get so dressed up. I mean, I loved my husband in his tux, but it wouldn’t have ruined anything to have him in a nice pair of slacks and a solid dress shirt, and splurging on a nice bowtie would still have been way cheaper than the tux rental.

The same is true of wedding dresses. You can get some great dresses on sale if you watch for sales online. And make sure you shop around for alterations. By going outside of the store I bought my dress in to do my alterations, I saved tons of money!

3.) Flowers

This may come as a shock to you, but I didn’t have any real flowers at my wedding. My husband and I have some major allergies, so it didn’t seem worth it to me. Instead, we made flowers out of the pages of Harry Potter books. Youtube tutorials helped, and though it was time consuming, it actually wasn’t that hard and the results were fantastic.

Even if you want real flowers, there are ways to do them cheaper. Make sure you buy flowers that are in season, and consider arranging your bouquets yourself to save a little money.

So that’s it: The top places to spend your money versus places where you can scrimp.

Of course, your mileage may vary. The important thing when planning your wedding is to decide on your priorities, and to figure out what you already have for resources. For example, my husband’s sister is amazing with hair. So while I could never have done my own hair for the wedding and definitely would have spent some money on hair if I hadn’t had her help, knowing I had her as a resource saved me a bit of money and my hair looked gorgeous for the big day.

Finally, don’t be afraid to ask for help. I would never have been able to pull off my mostly-DIY wedding if it weren’t for both of our families pulling together and helping us get things done.