Wedding Budget: Splurge Vs. Save

Give your wedding—and your wallet—a happily ever after.



J. Cogliandro Photography

You said yes! Once you’re blissfully engaged, it’s hard not to get carried away with ideas for your dream day. Unfortunately, it’s only a matter of time before you’re forced to address the not-so-glamorous side of wedding planning: The budget. “I tell my clients, when it comes to budget planning, pick the three most important things,” says Christy Subler, owner of Anna Christine Events, about how to prioritize. “Think about the experience you want to have.” For example, if a roaring dance floor is a must, then spend money on a great band or DJ, lighting and an awesome venue. Luckily, there are simple ways to dial up or down the costs, no matter what type of fête you want.

Cake

Make it a focal point of the night on a prominently placed table. Make sure it has lots of tiers and embellishments that reflect your wedding and sits on a beautiful cake stand.

Think small: Decorative cupcakes, colorful macarons, and/or a petite cutting cake can be sweet alternatives. And that way your guests can choose their favorite dessert.

Tabletop

“Large, multi-level centerpieces with lots of flowers and candles have a huge impact for your guests and for your photos,” says Subler.

Pare down tables with candles—they create a chic, yet clean finish. Also, try repurposing bridesmaids’ bouquets or ceremony flowers by using them as decorative accents.

Invitations

“Invitations set the tone, so if your wedding is going to be formal, it’s worth the splurge,” advises Subler. Laser-cut or something custom-made gives off a stunning first impression of your big day.

Look online. You’re likely to find a great selection of designs that you can customize. Plus, it gives you more control over just how much you want to spend.

Entertainment

Whether it’s a 10-piece band, an impersonator or surprise guest, hiring specialty performers guarantees a night to remember (and one your family and friends will be sharing on social media).

Sometimes a good DJ with a great playlist is all that’s needed to keep you and your honey and your guests happy and rocking the dance floor all night long.

Food & Drink

Whether it’s a flair bartender doing bottle tricks or a live-action chef station, interactive experiences bring an immediate wow factor. For the foodie couple, a multi-course meal or dual-plated entrée make it a feast to remember. Or curate your own tasting by pairing craft beers or wine with different culinary creations

“You always want to make sure you serve good food, but limiting the options saves money,” says Subler. Slash additional fees by nixing a bar and simply setting out beer and wine for your guests to serve themselves.

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