A big, beautiful bridal bouquet being held by a bride.

Wedding planning tips are something we’re pretty familiar with. Over the years, one thing we’ve come to understand is that most people drastically underestimate the cost of a wedding. Though, that’s why wedding planners come in handy. 

We’re aware of where costs can be cut, where budgets should be allocated, and how much things really cost at the end of the day. Whether you’re working with a planner or not, it’s important to get an idea of what is important to you that you will not compromise on and what you’re willing to cut out or be a little bit more flexible on.

These things, we like to call “Splurge or Save.” While everything is of different importance to different couples, we’ve come up with a list of common aspects of your wedding that you should splurge to help you navigate your budgeting.

If there’s anything on this splurge list that isn’t important to you and your partner, even better! Add it to your “save” list and be on your way. 

Here are some things we suggest you carve out a little bit of budget for along with an explanation. 

Wedding Dress

It’s all about the dress. A bride’s dress is one of the biggest focal points of a wedding. Not only do you want it to be beautiful and suited to you, but you want it to fit like a glove and not restrict your movement in any way.

Therefore, splurging on your dress and alterations will make a huge difference in your comfort and confidence on your wedding day. You don’t want to look back at photos and remember that itchy seam or unflattering angle, you want to remember you feeling your absolute best and having the time of your life, uninterrupted. If you splurge on your dress, you can save on your accessories, no problem. 

Food

People will always remember the food. While it doesn’t matter if it’s a buffet or a plated meal, it does matter that it’s delicious and that there’s enough for everyone to feel full and satisfied. Beyond the main dinner, there are several periods throughout the day that your guests may get hungry, so it’s important to have snacks at the cocktail hour and late in the night to make sure no one is leaving to go get a bite to eat.

While food is often one of the biggest costs during wedding planning, it does make or break the guests’ experience. If you’re splurging on food, you can always save and skip on the premium booze (no one will notice!). 

Photography 

Photography is huge. Be picky when choosing your photographer, be sure you get along well with them as they will be at every moment of your wedding. Beyond the photographer, your photos will be the only thing you have left after your day is over apart from the memories. To preserve your wedding day in the most natural, beautiful, “you” way possible, it’s key to pick a photographer whose work you love and who understands you and your vision. Shop around a bit and get ready to splurge for the best possible results. 

newlyweds at the alter.

Music

Whether you’re hiring a band or a DJ, you want to make sure they are the best of the best so you and your guests will have fun all night long. Nothing will kill a mood like bad or poorly-suited music at the wrong moment. While reputable bands and DJs are more expensive, they will hugely impact the energy of your wedding and are certainly worth the splurge. 

Lighting 

Beautiful lighting can elevate the ambiance of a room. Whether you have your dream venue and you’re looking for that extra, magical touch or you’ve cut costs on decor or a venue, lighting adds something dreamy and special that will make both the day-of experience and the photos that much more beautiful. 

Commissioner / Preist / Officient 

While this is one many people don’t consider, we believe it is of the utmost importance. This person is standing up there with you and speaking in front of all of your loved ones. The words they choose, their demeanour, and the way they engage with you and your partner will greatly impact the energy in the room. If you’re willing to splurge on a commissioner/priest/officiant, they will often take more time to get to know you and your love story to cater their words to you specifically. 

Hair & Makeup 

We’ve all looked back at prom pictures and cringed at our hair and makeup choices; that’s the exact feeling you want to avoid when planning your wedding hair and makeup. Splurge for artists and stylists who have a lot of experience and can help you pick your look if you’re unsure. Also, splurge for a trial and even a second trial if it wasn’t exactly what you’d envisioned. You want to feel your best, don’t let regrettable hair or makeup ruin your wedding day confidence or memories when you look back at the photos. 

newlyweds kissing on a wooded trail.

Transportation 

When we say transportation, we don’t mean a limo to get the wedding party to the ceremony. We mean busses or shuttles to get your guests to and from where they need to be. If your venue is far from the hotels, it’s important to account for how everyone will be getting from A to B, especially if they’ll be drinking. If you plan for everyone’s safe and simple transportation ahead of time, it will relieve some serious day-of headaches beforehand.