You may know this by now, but wedding planning can be a frustrating experience—especially when you have a budget. There are many differing opinions on what you should have at your wedding, what you should save money on, and what you should splurge on. While some advice is worth listening to, it’s your day, and you can do what you please.
However, some tried-and-true suggestions will help you plan around your budget. Various elements, from photography to décor, help bring your wedding day to life. So when it comes to breaking down your budget, it’s important that you and your partner discuss what elements you want to prioritize. Do you want a stellar venue but don’t care to overspend on décor? Splurge on the wedding venue and save on the flowers!
To help make your wedding planning and discussions less stressful, we’re here to help. We’ve compiled a list of where to save and where to splurge when it comes to wedding day details. With this list, you and your partner can see the average expense of each component and decide what you can save for and where you’ll find a more affordable route.
Save: Wedding Flowers
Average Cost: $2,300
Who doesn’t love a good floral arrangement? Picking out your wedding florals is a fun experience. Being surrounded by so many bouquets and options is like a fairy-tale dream. However, being apprehensive about spending a large amount for your wedding flowers is valid. Instead of gunning for “celebrity” florists, seek out smaller florists. These vendors want to build their portfolios and are more likely open to negotiating prices.
You should also consider seeking wholesale flower vendors for lower prices and better quality. These vendors provide flowers for corporate events or other large retail companies. Beat the system and find cheaper alternatives for your perfect floral arrangement.
Save: Wedding Cake and Desserts
Average Cost: $500–700
While your wedding cake won’t be your largest wedding expense, you save a large sum of money by not splurging on additional dessert options. Some couples want to add specialty desserts to their spread of food, and that’s okay! If you and your partner tend to have a sweet tooth, this may be something you would like to incorporate into your reception.
However, more desserts can add about $500–$1,000 to your bill. While the idea of a dessert table is fun, unfortunately, most people won’t see it because they’re too busy eating the wedding cake. So if you can, save your money on the specialty chocolates and cupcakes and put it toward something else.
Save: Champagne Toast
Average Cost: $5–$44 per bottle
Getting the party started with some bubbly is always great, but you can get that same feel by serving a Champagne alternative like prosecco or Cava. The cost of a Champagne toast comprises three factors—pouring and service, renting the flutes, and choosing bubbly. The number of guests also has a large influence on the cost. If you have 60 guests, you’re looking at about 14 bottles of Champagne.
Saving tip: Instead of spending money on a Champagne toast, ask your guest to raise their glasses so they can toast with what they’re drinking.
Splurge: Wedding Food
Average Cost: $75 per guest
The food at your wedding should be a top priority—especially if you and your beloved are foodies. Now, you don’t have to serve Wagyu steak or lobster, but serving a delicious variety of foods can go a long way to making your reception a success. It’s important to note that specific meats and organic options may cost more, but your caterer may have more choices that will taste amazing.
Splurge: Wedding Photographer
Average Cost: $2,500
The beauty of photographs is that they live beyond the moment. Finding a skilled photographer who will capture moments beautifully is an essential part of your wedding planning. Hire an experienced wedding photographer because it is worth every penny. These photographers will capture every stunning moment, from you getting ready to your uncle or aunt dancing with your younger cousins. Cherishing these moments is worth every dollar.
Splurge: Wedding Planner
Average Cost: $1,700
You can plan your wedding, but do you want to? Splurging on a wedding planner is a smart idea. Not only will this save you stress, time, and headaches, but it could also help you save money. Wedding planners’ and coordinators’ main priority is to give you your dream on your budget. They know all the tricks, tips, and vendors that will be best for your day.
Knowing where to save and where to splurge during your wedding planning is the best way to keep your planning anxiety under control. Take these tips during your discussions to help you and your partner prioritize specific wedding details. Happy planning!