Weddings can get extremely expensive. The average U.S. wedding costs $33,900, excluding the honeymoon expenses. If you don’t plan your budget carefully, you might spend more than you’re financially equipped for.
One of the ways to effectively plan your wedding budget is to choose which aspects are worth spending money on and which you can save on. That lets you allot a higher percentage of your budget for the essential elements and make sure that you won’t waste money on things that shouldn’t be your priority.
Below is a list of wedding elements to splurge and save on to help you plan your budget.
1. Splurge on the food. Save on the alcohol.
You don’t want bland, boring dishes on your wedding day. It’s okay to splurge on a reputable caterer who serves excellent food to ensure that you, your partner, and your guests enjoy a beautiful meal at the reception.
If you’re worried about the food racking up costs, you can cut back a bit by skipping the first course and focusing instead on the entrée and hors d’oeuvres.
Although open bars are a favorite of wedding guests everywhere, it’s not a necessity. It’s expensive, and you don’t want to deal with drunk family members or friends on your special day. Serve only beer, wine, champagne, or a signature drink that matches your theme.
2. Splurge on photography. Save on the party favors.
Photos are some of your few tangible reminders of your wedding. You want to look at them and recapture the happiness you felt when you said, “I do.” Professional photographers are worth spending on your wedding. You can also ask help from friends or family that are handy with the camera, but make sure they can deliver quality photos.
You can hire a professional that offers wedding photographer and videographer service packages to save a few bucks.
Wedding favors are a nice touch, but most people don’t pay them any attention. Some guests don’t even bother taking them home. Choose something affordable or make the favor yourself. Go for something edible, like chocolate, to make sure your guests don’t miss it.
3. Splurge on the coordinator. Save on the cake.
A wedding coordinator is a must-have. They’ll take care of issues on your special day. The coordinator will communicate with the vendors, lighting and audio team, and the entourage to make sure everything runs smoothly. This responsibility should fall on somebody with experience to avoid dreaded wedding mishaps, so it pays to have an expert.
On the other hand, you want to save on your cake. Although it serves as the main dessert at your reception, it doesn’t have to be an extravagant six-tier cake. You can have a small one- or two-tier cake to cut for formalities and just serve a cheaper sheet cake. You can also break tradition and serve another kind of dessert, like cupcakes or macarons.
There are countless other ways to control your wedding budget. Discuss it with your partner to decide which aspects you consider as must-haves and which are negotiable. Create a budget and focus on what matters to create a beautiful day for you and your loved ones.