The Buzz is a Weddingbee series created by the hive, for the hive! Each week, we’ll head to the boards and ask a series of three questions—one geared toward pre-engaged, one toward engaged, and one for newlyweds. We’ll look to you to quickly provide your expert advice, and compile a selection of great answers into blog posts. Learn more here, and contribute your ideas for future “Buzz” questions you’d like to see answered!
Married bees: What was the big-ticket item you were hesitant to spend money on for your wedding, but in hindsight were totally glad you did? What made it “worth the money” in the end?
You guys delivered on this question, letting us know what your big-ticket wedding budget items were, and they fell into a few categories. Here’s how it broke down:
Mrs. Glasses (wedding date: October 30, 2010)
We had a backyard wedding and I am glad I my mom talked me into getting a wedding arch. It made our casual wedding feel more…wedding-y. I was hesitant because we would definitely have to re-sell it, but in the end it was easy using the Weddingbee Classifieds section!
megz06 (wedding date: July 6, 2012)
The uplighting. They forgot to add one color in the day of, but that aside, it was the BEST money we spent because we didn’t have to spend hardly anything on decor (everything was kept plain and simple) and the venue looked super professional and fancy. The lit the walls, table, and cake table.
Aquaria (wedding date: February 13, 2013)
[Our splurge was uplighting too.] It completely transformed the room. We had the color changing lights and everyone loved it.
honie309 (wedding date: July 28, 2012)
My chairs and draping!!! OMG the difference was as if we weren’t in my hometown.
NowDontLetsBeSilly (wedding date: August 17, 2013)
I’m not sure how much it cost (it wasn’t cheap, that’s for sure!), but our florist seriously knocked it out of the park. I let my mom deal with it 100% because I didn’t care too much (especially at that point), and they seriously created something I could have only dreamed of. Our arbor was just so so perfect. Sorry, have to brag and add a photo (not a great one, but no pro pics back yet!).
I don’t know how “big ticket” it was, but I decided kind of last minute to add a photo booth, and I am SO glad I did!! It was an extra $650, but it was worth every penny!!
beautifullyboheamian (wedding date: February 8, 2014)
We spent $3,500 on our band who has played at celebrities weddings and $3,500 on a photographer who does wedding magazines. Entertainment and photos were more important to us!
icetea (wedding date: June 22, 2013)
The photo booth and our DJ. Both were huge hits and made for great keepsakes (photo strips from the photo booth) and videos of our guests having a blast dancing.
futuremrsmp (wedding date: September 2011)
We splurged on a jazz band to play during our cocktail hour. It wasn’t a necessary thing, but was a nice additional touch.
MrsCamaro (wedding date: May 4, 2013)
Glad we splurged on a photo booth. The package we got came with unlimited use by our guests for four hours for $850. The company also sent someone to run it and make us a scrapbook with a copy of every photo taken by our guests. I knew I wanted one as soon as the idea first crossed my mind, and I put it into my budget when I first started wedding planning, but the last month or so we were coming up with random things here and there that we had forgotten to incorporate into our budget, so I almost cut out the photo booth completely. SO GLAD we didn’t because our guests enjoyed it tons and we enjoyed looking at the scrapbook afterward. Just wish DH and I had gotten the opportunity to use it more.
mixtaperomance (wedding date: April 21, 2012)
Definitely the photo booth! We almost didn’t do it because it was pricey, but our florist had just gotten it in and gave us an awesome price. We couldn’t help it. It gave us a great keepsake and our guests had a blast with it!
littlemisst08 (wedding date: February 9, 2013)
My cathedral length veil. I spent about $300 (oof!), but it was so worth it. A long veil was one of the few things I dreamt of whenever I thought about my wedding, and the detail on the veil seemed made for my dress.
I saw it in the closet this past weekend and put it on for the heck of it. DH just looked at me funny.
Cory_loves_this_girl (wedding date: February 23, 2013)
It probably wouldn’t be considered “big ticket” to most people, but about $1,000 of our $3,000 wedding went toward my dress, alterations, and veil. It was a large potion of our budget, but I wouldn’t change a thing about it. I had never felt as beautiful as I did on our wedding day, and DH still talks about how much he loved my dress!
Rachel631 (wedding date: July 13, 2013)
Food. It was worth every penny.
Food and open bar. People are still telling me it was the best food they have ever had at a wedding.
BulldogBride (wedding date: August 17, 2013)
The food and linens. We had our reception in our local township hall, which is very plain and white inside. The tablecloths gave it totally different feel and look. Well worth the extra money. Everyone kept saying all night how good the food was. My mom was talking to someone who wasn’t even at the wedding and they said they heard how good the food was. We went with a small restaurant/deli nearby where everything is fresh and homemade. Definitely worth the money. I would have paid more.
abbie017 (wedding date: March 16, 2013)
Photography. We more than doubled our original budget when we found our photographer. We loved everything about her portfolio and couldn’t imagine not using her on our wedding day. The photos came out phenomenal and I have not regretted spending the extra money for one second!
littlebeanpole (wedding date: July 20, 2013)
The photographers! Our package was $2,500, which was a fair expense for us, especially because we initially considered just paying my aunt a small sum to take photos. They were so professional, and while I’ve only seen one of their photos so far, it was beautiful and completely worth it. (Also, my aunt did take pics and put them on Facebook and both DH and I look super weird in most of them.)
PacificMrs (wedding date: May 3, 2013)
The photographer for SURE! Ours was amazing and she also included a little highlight video for free, which since we eloped was important to us. We spent $250 for an hour and a half, and it was the most expensive part of the ceremony, but the photos are AMAZING and I would hire her a thousand times over again.
housebee (wedding date: April 26, 2013)
Full open bar and photography. Our pictures were definitely worth every penny and everyone had a great time at our wedding. Months later we’re still getting compliments, and being able to revisit those memories through our photos is priceless.
Mrs. Giraffe (wedding date: May 2011)
I know everybody says photographers, and I’m glad we splurged on our photogs. Truth be told, photography was our biggest out-of-pocket expense.
But what I’m really glad about is videography. I’ve mentioned it here before, but my grandpa passed away four months after our wedding. In hindsight, he may have known (as he always said “I just have to make it to Mrs. G’s wedding”), but the rest of the family had no idea about the seven brain tumors he had. I was so close to my grandpa, so losing him (even two years later) has been so hard. Having his voice and actions on recording are priceless for me.
I know that by some accounts, our $1,200 for videography isn’t quite a “splurge” (I know some people pay $5,000-plus, and we hunted for the cheapest good quality we could find), but since I was initally against it (I thought video was a waste of money), we decided to hire a videographer after all our wedding bills were paid. That meant I was adding a $1,200 bill to an account that was already tapped out. But it was SO worth it.
OoOTifsterOoO (wedding date: October 5, 2012)
The day felt like such a blur and I hardly remember anything…but thanks to the videographer, each moment is forever captured! I feel like I get to relive it each time I watch! I’m soooo happy we got it.
But my answer is not really fair, because it was a gift from my SIL/MOH who works in the industry. So although it wasn’t something we planned on getting (it took some convincing from her) we didn’t have to splurge at all. We are so very grateful for her incredible gift.
Mrs. Blue Whale
Videography!! I was able to relax during all of the big moments because I didn’t have to focus on committing them to memory. And I’m also so glad we spent a little extra on a better quality videographer. Mr. Whale can’t stop talking about how good our video looks.
In fact, if I could change anything at all about the wedding, I would go back and get the next package up from our videographer. Our video is so wonderful that I just want more. If it was possible, I would totally pay an extra $700 right now (today!) if I could go back in time and get the package that was $700 more. That’s how much I love our video.
bruinchick4 (wedding date: August 16, 2013)
Our videographer! They cost me over $5k…but so worth it. I was initially not going to have a videographer until I came across mine and saw some of his videos, and then I was sold. He cost more than another other videographer I looked into, but totally worth it to me for the quality of work.
bailey12 (wedding date: May 25, 2013)
I am so glad that we hired a videographer. We kind of paid somebody on impulse at the beginning of planning and then just forgot about it. The video may not be unbelievably great (we only spent $500), but it is so amazing to watch. To be able to see our reaction as we got married. To see the amazing joke that was made after our infant nephew started crying and had to leave the church. Everything about is is wonderful and can’t be expressed in pictures. Sure, I may only watch it once a year. But watching it just that one time when we first received it was worth it to me. You will be surprised by how many things you can’t remember clearly. Now I can watch that video to remember. I’m so glad that we paid for it even if we were on a really tight budget (about $8,000).
Mrs. Starfish (wedding date: October 2010)
I absolutely love photos and was fine spending money on a great photographer, but I didn’t really care about video. I don’t like seeing myself on film. One of my bridesmaids really pushed us to get a videographer. I’m so glad she did! We love watchng our wedding video. As beautiful as our photos are, watching the video is such a different experience, which I didn’t expect to appreciate so much. If you have any doubts about splurging on a video, think about it twice and ask to see a friend’s video. Watching a friend’s video helped us feel more comfortable with the splurge.
RunsWithBears (wedding date: September 29, 2012)
Does the honeymoon count? We went to Moorea and Bora Bora and were definitely a little unsure if we wanted to spend so much. But we went and it was the BEST. DECISION. EVER!
I’m also very glad we got the larger limo so that all of our bridal-party dates could join us. We weren’t that hesitant about spending the money, but it was so much fun to have everyone and our bridal party was so thankful their SOs got to come. It was also great because our photographer got to ride with us and she was able to capture some fun moments in the limo.
ecjohnson (wedding date: July 13, 2013)
It wasn’t big ticket, but last minute we bought yellow sunglasses for all of our guests as a fun prop since our ceremony was outside facing the setting sun. Guests ended up popping out the lenses and wearing them on the dance floor all night. They were worth every penny!! So much fun!
TakeTwo (wedding date: October 3, 2015)
We spent the most on our honeymoon. It was an exclusive resort on a lake up north. I had a fantasy of enjoying a romantic fall getaway with someone I loved. Our suite was amazing; we had a large jacuzzi in the room as well as a hot tub on our private balcony. My husband and I loved kissing in the hot tub under the stars. There was a wood-burning fireplace along with custom designed furniture. We made good use of our king size canopy bed, along with the steam shower. My husband and I enjoyed gourmet food and wine every day as well.
When we renew our vows, I will buy another dress with some of the funds coming from the sale of my original gown. That will be the big-ticket item the second time around.
Mrs. Dragon (wedding date: September 22, 2012)
Our wedding was quite low-budget, and outdoors. We waffled on renting a tent, which was one of our biggest expenses, but ultimately decided that having that protection from any kind of weather issues would be worth the cost. I’m SO glad we got it! It rained heavily the morning of our wedding, but the tables were kept dry under the tent. And even though the sun came out for our reception, the tent allowed for a bit of extra warmth and shelter from the wind once the autumn evening temperatures kicked in.
bailey12 (wedding date: May 25, 2013)
We decided to get a DOC at the last minute. I was worried that I would stress out on the wedding day, so we hired somebody about two months before the wedding. I am so glad that we did. The entire week before the wedding it said that there was a 0% chance of rain on the day. The morning of there was actually a flash flood. The DOC helped tear everything down (we weren’t at a wedding venue where people would do it for us), called a local church 24 hours ahead of time and got the ceremony moved there, told all of our vendors and guests where to go, and set up the new ceremony location. I would have absolutely died without her. Having her allowed me to have a bridesmaids’ luncheon and relax in peace. Surprisingly enough I wasn’t even stressing out!
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