Splurge or Save: What’s Worth Blowing Your Wedding Budget?

It goes without saying: weddings are expensive.

From engagement photos to rehearsal dinner to the ultimate event, couples and their families invest loads of planning and dollars into their wedding day. How much to spend on what, though, varies from family to family. To be sure you don’t blow your budget, it’s helpful to choose a handful of aspects that matter most to you and are worth the splurge. Here are just a few options to consider.


Look at any gal’s Pinterest board or watch an episode or two of “Say Yes to the Dress” and you’ll know why this is the first item on the list. A bride’s dream dress rarely comes without a high cost, and, to most, it’s worth the price tag. No matter the style you’re looking for, be sure to consider how much you’re willing to spend to claim the dress of your dreams. The same can be said for the groom’s attire, or even that of the bridesmaids and groomsmen. Would you rather spend a little extra on wardrobe costs than on another aspect of the wedding? 


Lots of couples devote a large chunk of their budget to this area, too. For the sake of beautiful memories, social media and home decor, brides- and grooms-to-be seek out the best of the best photographers money can buy (or rent, at least). Whether it’s to capture that intimate first look or a formal family photo to remember grandparents for decades to come, there are plenty of reasons to justify a major photography budget. 


Catering comes with a large price tag, especially when you add in cake, a candy bar or any other desserts into the total. Self-serve buffet receptions are on the rise, but some people really value a top-notch, sit down dinner served to guests individually. Are you a major foodie? Or are you more of a eat-later-dance-now-type gal? Decide what’s most important to you; all the matters about this big day is that you and your new spouse feel loved, cherished and celebrated. People will be content with anything else.


It’s all about aesthetic, right? There’s a special feeling seeing your family and friends look in wonder at the beautiful space where you’ll exchange vows. A well-lit and beautifully decorated space sets the mood for your big day, so it makes sense that wedding venues usually claim a large chunk of a couple’s budget. A large price tag here could pay off in a handful of ways. Making a pricey decision here can directly affect other aspects of the wedding – a gorgeous venue means exquisite photos; many high-caliber venues offer wonderful in-house catering or a contracted wedding DJ or band.


Whether it’s your favorite local band or the most highly-recommended DJ you can find, wedding reception entertainment is yet another costly decision in the wedding planning process. You want to ensure you, your groom- or bride-to-be, and your guests have a blast throughout the night. Weigh your options and find out what resources are available to you (through your venue, family or friend connections, etc.). If you want only the best when it comes to the mic and music, make sure you budget in a higher price for wedding entertainment.

Wedding planning and all the decisions it entails can be overwhelming, especially when the money aspect comes in. Some things are just worth splurging for – decide what you need and love most. Be sure to lay out all your options, resources and must-have wedding wishes so you can make sure your day is highlighted just the way you want!