Spend, Splurge, Save

When it comes to planning a wedding, everyone has a budget. In the end, we were right on budget. The spending didn’t break down exactly the way we thought it would, though. Here’s where we saved and where we splurged.

Places we saved money:

  • Flowers— The only flowers we had at our wedding were bouquets for me and the bridesmaids. We bought flowers from Whole Foods for a total of $113 and made our own bouquets the night before the wedding.
  • Reception décor— We didn’t have floral centerpieces, so instead, we decided to go with candlelight. For our 12 tables, trips to Ikea and the Dollar Store gave us a gorgeous look for around $150 total. Eliminating floral centerpieces saved us over $1,000.
  • Rings— Even though these are one of the only things you’ll have from your wedding forever, we didn’t feel the need to spend a lot on our wedding rings. With a lot of internet shopping, I found the band of my dreams at a shop in New York City for less than half what it would’ve cost at a local jewelry store.
  • Hair and makeup— My friend did my hair for free, and I did my own makeup. I probably spent about $50 on new products, but I use it all regularly.

Places we splurged:

  • Venue— Technically, I’m not sure this counts as a splurge because we worked it into our budget very early on, but our chapel and reception venue were both pricier than we’d initially planned. We couldn’t be happier with our choices, though. Both places were absolutely beautiful and really highlighted our amazing city for our guests.
  • Trolley— We both really wanted a trolley to transport us around the city for photos, but we had no idea how much it would cost. In the end, we went over-budget on this item, and it was totally worth it. Riding around on the trolley was one of my favorite parts of the day.
  • Paper— Our letterpress invitations weren’t the most economical option, but as a paper-lover, they were a priority for me.
  • Photography— We went a tiny bit over-budget on our photographer, but photos of our reception were totally worth paying for a couple hours of overtime.

Where did you splurge and save?


Mrs. Treasure

Wedding Date:
September 2012
Gallery of the Day
Sunrise, Sunset

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  1. Member
    lovelyduckie 756 posts, Busy bee @ 11:51 am


    Food and Booze, found a place that allowed us to bring our own caterer and booze. The meal is going to be around $20/plate plus gratuity (and don’t worry it’s DELICIOUS). And everyone will have more than enough to drink for under $700 on us.

    Venue, we found a venue that allows for a whole day of use so both ceremony and reception will be at the same place. We can even get ready on site. But the largest draw was the reason above (food and booze). PLUS it doesn’t require a police officer to be hired for the night, and included someone to manage everything the day of for $1800.

    Photographer, even though I definitely check this off in the SAVE section I don’t think we sacrificed anything with the photographers we found $1900. We really wanted photographers that gave us a lot of time and didn’t force us to buy prints in their package. We’ll get the rights to 600 edited photos digitally and 8-9 hours.

    Chairs, renting the fanback chairs (not quite the wood garden chairs I dreamed of). AND we’ll be re-using them for the ceremony and reception $2.10/chair


    Engagement Ring, he spent more than I wanted him to but I LOVE IT. He really made the right call here.

    Wedding Dress, I bought a really nice designer gown that’s me DREAM DRESS! I plan on re-selling afterward but it’s def a splurge.

    DJ/Dance Floor, originally we were going to skip dancing but decided it might be awkward if we didn’t. Plus we needed someone to play music for the ceremony and sort of schedule the whole night, $600 for the DJ and $280 for the dance floor.

    Centerpieces, I’m collecting blue mason jars off eBay to fill with flowers. On average a quart sized one runs me about $5 a piece and the pint sized are about $4 a piece (plus shipping). I’m also going to be buying a wood slab to put them on. I plan on re-selling these like the dress but I expect to at least lose the cost of shipping when I re-sell.

  2. mspony Bee
    mspony 9265 posts, Buzzing Beekeeper @ 5:35 pm

    We definitely splurged on photography and my dress, but we save by eliminating videography and saving on decor and alcohol. It’s so interesting to see what other people prioritize.

  3. otter Bee
    otter 1321 posts, Bumble bee @ 5:45 pm

    LOVE this post – Like Pony said, it’s so interesting to see where others save and splurge as compared to us. 🙂

  4. mswallaby Bee
    mswallaby 2070 posts, Buzzing bee @ 5:46 pm

    I love seeing what other brides splurged on. I totally agree on splurging on the photog and the venue, and I think the trolley sounds amazing. (I can’t wait to see some photos in your recaps!!) we didn’t splurge on rings either – Mr. W’s tungsten ring was only $40 – but we spent several hundred on the bottle centerpieces, which we are reusing as decor in our home.

  5. msarmadillo Bee
    msarmadillo 497 posts, Helper bee @ 5:32 pm

    Hahaha, post twinsies!!! I love seeing where brides choose to save some cash. You made some super smart choices!

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