3 Big Things To Splurge And Save On For Your Dream Wedding

March 29, 2017

Your wedding is one of the happiest days of your life, and of course you want it to be as beautiful as possible! But believe me, a beautiful wedding doesn’t have to mean going into debt! When Caleb and I got married in March 2016, we spent under $3,000 on our wedding, and that included EVERYTHING from clothes to flowers to invitations. I’m here to tell you, you can have a beautiful wedding on a budget! To make that happen, first you have to prioritize. From my own experience, I want to share with you 3 big things to splurge and save on for your dream wedding!

3 Big Things To Splurge And Save On For Your Dream Wedding

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Trying to decide what to splurge and save on for your wedding? Here are some tips! Click To Tweet


Photographer: I’m a little biased here, since I am a professional photographer, but I think this is absolutely the most important thing to splurge on for a wedding. After all, it is such a special day, and you’re going to want to remember it forever. Sure, you can pay your little sister $20 to take a few pictures after the reception, but in 10 years, you’ll look back with regret. Spend some time researching photographers and figure out the look that you want for your pictures. Find one that matches your style and splurge a little bit; it is SO worth it! (P.S. If you’re in the Kansas area, check out Smile For Sophie Photography. She photographed our wedding, and she’s the best!)

3 Big Things To Splurge And Save On For Your Dream Wedding

Honeymoon: A year into marriage, I look back and what I remember most is not the wedding. It’s not the confetti exit or the pictures on the bridge. It’s the week that I got to spend vacationing with my new husband, having adventures and spending all of our time together. If you’re going to splurge on something, splurge on the honeymoon. It is so worth it to have that special time together as husband and wife.

3 Big Things To Splurge And Save On For Your Dream Wedding
Visiting these sand dunes was the highlight of our honeymoon!

Food: This one is debatable, since it depends on when and where you have your wedding and reception. At our wedding, we had a simple reception with just cake and finger foods, but we still budgeted a good amount of money for food. Why? Because these incredible people all came out to support us on the happiest day of our lives, and they deserve some food for that! 😉 Whether you’re doing finger foods or a full meal, I do think it’s important to splurge a little bit and feed your guests well. Plus, you get to eat, too, and that’s awesome!

3 Big Things To Splurge And Save On For Your Dream Wedding
Along with these delicious cupcakes, we served finger foods and punch for our guests!
Your dream wedding doesn't have to be expensive! Save money with these tips! Click To Tweet


Invitations: Back away from Etsy. Invitations don’t have to be over-the-top to be beautiful and meaningful! We took an afternoon and designed our own invitations, then ordered this paper from Amazon and printed them ourselves. We added a little twine and had some of the cutest invitations ever! 🙂 You can also design your invitations online using a template and print them yourself. And if you’re really looking to save, skip the save the dates. We did, and it didn’t make a difference in the least.

Cake: You don’t need to pay a baker thousands of dollars to design a cake perfectly replicating your first date. You. Just. Don’t. Chances are, you know someone who is an excellent baker and can create a beautiful cake for you at a fraction of the cost! For us, that was my sister-in-law’s aunt. Our cake was delicious and much cheaper than ordering one from a bakery. Another great money saver can be to serve cupcakes instead of traditional cake.

3 Big Things To Splurge And Save On For Your Dream Wedding
We had a little cake for us to cut, and cupcakes for our guests!

Decorations: Yes. I know. I remember the wedding aisles at Hobby Lobby. They’re full of all these decorations that are *sooooo* cute and of course you NEED all of them for your wedding! I mean, what wedding is complete without a $200 arch, $792 in flowers, and an aisle runner made of pure gold? Plus, they’re pretty much always 50% off, so that means you can buy twice as much, right?!? WRONG. DIY decorations are the way to go! Trust me, there are so many tutorials on Pinterest that you can find a way to make absolutely anything you want! I really wanted an arch for our wedding, so we went out to Caleb’s parents’ land, chopped down a couple of trees, and he built us the perfect arch! 🙂 (This is also a great way to include those family members that really want to help; put ’em to work!) 😉

3 Big Things To Splurge And Save On For Your Dream Wedding
See that beautiful arch that my awesome husband built?
Happy wedding planning! Come see what you NEED to splurge on and what isn't worth the money! Click To Tweet

Now it’s your turn. Would you add anything to these lists? What did you splurge/save on for your wedding?

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  • Abby @ WinsteadWandering

    March 29, 2017 at 9:40 am

    I agree with every word, especially the photographer part. I knew from the beginning I wanted an amazing photographer, and I knew exactly which team I wanted to use. My dad had plenty of snide comments (“for that price, are they going to cater the thing, too?”), but in the end he admitted he was wrong and agreed they were worth the price. Aside from the marriage itself, the photos are all you have left of that day.

  • Amanda | Maple Alps

    March 29, 2017 at 10:07 am

    Great! The photographer was the most expensive thing we “bought” for our wedding – and we do not regret that ONE BIT! We LOVE looking back and remembering our special day. We also saved on our wedding invitations by going digital – we figured no one really keeps wedding invitations anyway. Great post!

  • Holly | Legally Crafty Blog

    March 29, 2017 at 10:28 am

    I completely agree with this advice!! I had so much fun making many of our decorations and we were able to get a really reasonable template from Etsy ($18) for our invitations and got them printed for cheap! A little DIY embellishing and they worked great! Your wedding looked beautiful!

  • Sarah Althouse

    March 29, 2017 at 10:31 am

    I splurged on my photographer and food and saved on the rest too!

  • Misty

    March 29, 2017 at 10:56 am

    Great tips! I plan to share this with my son and future daughter-in-love! Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  • Jerusha

    March 29, 2017 at 11:11 am

    Yes!!! It’s been 13 years since we got married (also had our first baby just after our 1st anniversary!). We spent $4k for everything and wouldn’t have changed a thing. Except looking at more modern weddings, sometimes I think of things I wish we’d done!

  • Sharon Samuel (SS)

    March 29, 2017 at 11:13 am

    I completely agree with this list! Food, honeymoon and photography are definitely things to make sure that you pay good money for, since they are all so important! Great post for people who are engaged and wondering where their money would be best spent in.

  • Mihaela Echols

    March 29, 2017 at 12:17 pm

    Thats what we did! we went on a beautiful honey moon. Had amazing pictures and did diy wedding. It was perfect! You pictures are beautiful.

  • Rose

    March 29, 2017 at 4:55 pm

    I could not agree more! We prioritized the photography, food, and honeymoon as well and looked for cheaper options for everything else.

  • Southern & Style

    March 29, 2017 at 6:46 pm

    I totally agree, I would add that a videographer was also a splurge for us because while I love my pictures-I also wanted to be able to look back and hear how we sounded and see the moving shots of the day!

    xoxo, SS

    Southern And Style

  • Megan

    March 29, 2017 at 8:00 pm

    I love your wedding dress! It is stunning. Also, I feel like I am almost as excited as you are to meet your baby <3

  • Maya

    March 29, 2017 at 9:25 pm

    Such a beautiful wedding dress! Great tips, it’s so easy to want to go big and spend spend spend!

  • Kristin

    March 29, 2017 at 10:00 pm

    OH YES! I agree particularly with the photographer! We had something very undesirable happen with out photos and I wish now that we had been wiser.

  • Rachel R Ritlop

    March 30, 2017 at 6:53 am

    This is such an awesome post!! I totally agree with splurging on your photographer! I also saved on my paper goods and made them all myself! It was a huge help!

  • Joy

    March 30, 2017 at 8:56 am

    $3000 is SO impressive!! My parents (mom) basically planned our whole wedding (we wanted to elope). We definitely splurged on the venue (a historic villa overlooking Lake Michigan), photographer, and food. My mom made our table decorations, my husband designed and printed our invitations, and we found some cheap DJ on Craigslist who did a terrible job hahahaha. We had a morning wedding and brunch reception though, so everything was much shorter in length and very non-traditional. It was beautiful. I’m glad we splurged on our honeymoon instead!

  • Kaycee

    March 30, 2017 at 11:07 am

    The one thing I wish I splurged on would be a videographer… my parents convinced me that a family member could do it, and she did a great job, but she missed several parts of our ceremony. I know people don’t usually rewatch their wedding, but I’m such a sentimental person.

  • LeAnn Rodriguez

    March 30, 2017 at 7:44 pm

    Your wedding looks absolutely beautiful and as it should be! While I didn’t have a typical wedding for either of my two weddings, I couldn’t agree more about a photographer and food being key elements!

  • Rosey

    March 31, 2017 at 4:30 am

    Thanks for the suggestions! I still need to plan my wedding but the one thing i think i will for sure splurge on is my honey moon. I will be having a smaller than average wedding so i’m sure that won’t be a problem 🙂

  • Rebekah

    April 2, 2017 at 5:30 pm

    I totally agree with the photography and the honeymoon! I do wish we would have spent more on our decorations. We did the majority of it ourselves, but Pinterest wasn’t around, at least that I was aware of, when we got married. Haha!! Now I feel like a old married lady. 😉

  • Laura

    April 2, 2017 at 6:49 pm

    I totally agree with photography. For any couple though, you have to decide what is important to you and focus on those things.

  • Summer @ Coffee With Summer

    April 3, 2017 at 10:51 am

    I agree with almost everything! My husband didn’t have a fancy honeymoon or anything, because we wanted the money to be put into our wedding and appreciating our guests. But honestly, we’re glad we didn’t splurge on a super nice honeymoon…why go to a resort or somewhere gorgeous, if you’re going to spending a lot of time in your hotel room 😉 haha just being honest! I know it’s not like that for everyone, but we’re glad we didn’t waste money on a trip.

  • Lisa

    April 3, 2017 at 10:59 am

    I pretty much agree with this list! Absolutely on the photographer – those will be the captured memories of your wedding for the rest of your life.
    And I totally agree with the cake as well. I made our decoration cake, and then we just got sheet cakes from Costco (less than $20, and everybody kept commenting on how amazing they tasted!). Cake was not worth a splurge to me!

  • Courtney

    April 3, 2017 at 11:12 am

    I agree with so much of this! We chose to prioritize our honeymoon and were so glad we did. We spent 9 days in California exploring Yosemite and it was everything we hoped for! I know some people have made awesome decisions to save on their honeymoon and it was totally worth it to them, but for us, we were glad. It even started a passion for national parks and sparked our goal of visiting every major US national park in our lifetime!

  • Lisa Elaine

    April 3, 2017 at 12:35 pm

    I loooved this article!! and found it to be so helpful. Going to add to favorites for when I need the reminder!

  • Danielle

    April 3, 2017 at 12:41 pm

    These are wonderful tips for brides to be! I splurged on my honeymoon and rings and photographer!! I got my invitations through vista print, my mom did the food, and I made a lot of my own decor. Also, I bought my table clothes and chair covers and rented them or sold them out to others after my wedding 🙂

  • Clarissa

    April 3, 2017 at 2:57 pm

    Love your photos! And I’m so glad I’m on track, lol. We splurged for the photographer and we have quite a bit put away for the honeymoon — everywhere else we’re trying to cut!

    -Clarissa @ The View From Here

  • Megan

    April 3, 2017 at 3:03 pm

    I’m a big advocate for spending on the photographer! Also a videographer – these days an edited wedding vid can be 10-15 minutes and capture all the biggest moments of the day! I say it’s worth it!

  • Colleen Wool

    April 4, 2017 at 1:29 pm

    The pictures are amazing. I love your wedding dress.

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