Unless you have an unlimited amount of cash (lucky you), you have to be strategic when it comes to your wedding budget. Yes, it’s a beautiful day and very exciting, but you also want to set yourself up for your future. There will be a day after your wedding, and likely many more, so you want to spend responsibly and know what to splurge on.
Yes, they’re going to last you a long time, and you want to love them. You should love them! However, just because you didn’t hurt your wallet buying your men’s wedding bands doesn’t mean you chose poorly.
When you factor in the average cost of wedding and engagement rings, it’s easy for couples to spend thousands. However, you can really set yourself up well for your wedding and beyond if you dial back on the rings. If you want to make a big show with expensive rings for your tenth anniversary, you’ll likely be in a financial state where it makes more sense to do so.
No, your friend with an iPhone cannot do as good of a job as a professional photographer. Yes, they will be able to take decent photos and videos, but they will not come close. Yes, you will be upset that you assumed a professional photographer wasn’t worth the money.
Take your time and find a photographer and/or videographer you love. You want these memories to last a lifetime. Getting a shit ton of photos airdropped to you from Brad after the wedding isn’t gonna do that same thing. Or, worse, getting told he forgot to take off the lens cap.
If you only splurge on one thing, make it this and thank us later.
This is going to sound counterintuitive because most wedding budget templates say to spend around 40% of your budget on the wedding alone. So yes, if you want to spend 40% of your budget on your venue, that’s fine. Do not, however. We repeat: Do not. Spend less than that.
If you use half of your budget just on the venue, you’ll end up serving Jack Daniels out of Dixie Cups at a picturesque location. If you’re cool with that, though, hey, splurge away.
Whether you go band or DJ, go with someone who knows what they’re doing. Your little cousin, the SoundCloud rapper, is a wildcard. Do not trust your little cousin, the SoundCloud rapper, to DJ your wedding. If you do, that professional videographer you hired will get a 4K video of it, and you’ll have it forever.
You want the soundtrack to your wedding to match the overall theme. Working with a professional is going to produce professional results. This, just like the photographer, is where you get what you pay for.
Note that we didn’t say food. You can still serve great food, but wedding cakes can get wildly expensive. Yes, some couples still talk about their wedding cake years later. That’s just an experience you can live without, though. With the price of the cake and the venue’s cake-cutting fee (yep, it’s a thing), you’ll eat more of your budget (ha. Pun) than you realize.
Splurge: Tipping the Vendors
Go big and do it beforehand. Yes, you should tip regardless. It’s just a polite thing to do in recognition of good service. However, if you show your vendors some love ahead of time, they’re going to be more inclined to go above and beyond.
Yes, your vendors will be great regardless. They’re professionals. Still, there’s always room for a little something extra, and it’s a worthwhile investment in the overall experience.
Yes, you want the place to look nice. We aren’t saying go barebones. You want to have a beautiful wedding and why wouldn’t you? However, if you have the option to go as DIY and homemade as possible, it’s in your best interest. You’ll save some good money that can be reinvested into other areas of the wedding or just become a good emergency fund.
Splurge: Wedding Planner
Look, a wedding planner is always optional. If you can handle it yourself, awesome. If it’s not in your budget, it’s not the end of the world. However, if you have the cash to swing for a wedding planner, do it. Please, for your own sanity, do it.
Wedding planners pay for themselves in the fact that you won’t go (as) insane during the wedding planning. Yes, you’ll still have to do work, but it will be a much lighter load. Plus, you won’t have to take PTO to plan your wedding, so you’ll quite literally be making money back when hiring a wedding planner.
Save: The Date
See what we did there? Save the date? Fine. The point is, your wedding is going to be incredible. From pure DIY budget affairs to all-out celebrations, weddings are beautiful when the right intent and effort is put into them. You want the day to be special, but there are going to be many special days afterward too. Budget accordingly.