When it comes to budgeting for your wedding, unless you're a wedding expert or have previously had a wedding, it can be difficult to understand how the budget breaks down and how much you should allocate towards each category of spending. Let's face it, you're a beginner in this area and even the most financially savvy couple can find themselves diving into the unknown when it comes to where to start and knowing what to expect. When thousands of dollars are at stake, it can and most likely will be stressful to know where to invest your dollars.
It's important to establish what your top 3 priorties are straight out of the gate before getting started. Though you and your fiance may have different ideas of what is important, determining the non-negotiables is a great place to start. From your wedding dress and the flowers to food and beverage, entertainment and lighting - because trust us, ambiance is important - there's no wrong place to start.
With that said, it's hard to know where you and your guests will see the spend. Our wedding experts have shared their wisdom as to what they feel is worth the investment.
"At the end of the day when all is said and done what are you left with? The imagery. A planner can make the process smooth and deliver you a beautiful day but if you want to remember it and relive that day, you need a spectacular photographer that you trust, vibe with, and one who has an eye to catch all of the details we've taken the time to curate with you." ~ Ashley Kuehnel, The Midwestern Bride
"Splurge on a floral install with huge blooms like the one shown here by Renee Cerny, owner of Frontier Flowers! Give your day (and boat!) and photos a wow factor!" ~ Jillian Niemann, The Treasury
"Splurge on fashion. It doesn't even need to be said but I will say it, "Go Big!" Yes, dresses are expensive, but this is not your company's holiday party that happens once a year or the occasional charity gala; this is your day! Never in your life does every single human that crosses your path stop and stare. Never in your life will you be center stage for 8+ hours with a group of paparazzi in your face start to finish. The fashion sets the tone for every photo and for your guests. Take your time to shine and get the shoes, splurge on the dress, and maybe even get a late night look." ~ Ashley Kuehnel, The Midwestern Bride
"Splurge on custom personalization for your stationary. Make a big impact by personalizing your wedding by adding special elements to your place cards or seating chart. Instead, have a really pretty monogram crest created just for your big day and plaster this everywhere from your invites, to cocktail napkins, to signage. This will "brand" your event and make it unique to you as a couple." ~ Renee Tantillo, Renee Breanne Design + Co.
"A great splurge for years to come should be the groom suit. Spend the money once and he can wear it to various events and maybe even work after the wedding, making it well worth the splurge." ~ Alysha Haugen, Daniel's Custom Clothing
"Be practical about who needs boutonnieres and corsages. Paring down personal flowers leaves more room in your budget for a memorable statement piece!" ~ Erin Joswick, daffodil*parker
"When a bride works with Be Inspired Salon, we are able to travel for on-site bridal hair and makeup services within 30-miles of our Madison, WI location. Though this is a tremendous benefit in convenience, one way to save is to have your wedding hair and makeup services at the salon. This way, you don’t have to worry about having enough space for your entire party, proper lighting, enough mirrors, or mimosas! When you’re at the salon it becomes a special part of your experience. The music is for you, the team of stylists are for you, and having the space for snacks and other drinks and treats makes it a comfortable and fun time—a pre-celebration—with your family and bridesmaids." ~ Danielle, Be Inspired Salon Bridal
"Splurge on your ceremony floral decor!" ~ Jen Cassellius, Pink Spruce Photography
"Splurge on a quality after dinner dessert sparkling wine as a grand finale to a memorable dinner service and also minimize a rush to the bar when it opens back up! We always love a good Moscato D’Asti with an elevated flavor profile from our international portfolio of wines we carry. Sweet with crisp bubbles to cleanse your palette and a yummy addition to the night!" ~ Jillian Niemann, The Treasury
"With the change in traditions and trends, go more minimalist on bridesmaids' bouquets. Keep it simple by using a single variety of floral to showcase your color palette along with a little bit of foliage. This change would allow each bridesmaid to hold a beautiful design but also cut back on costs. Splurge on the bridal bouquet. And bonus, it can be repurposed as a beautiful centerpiece at the reception! ~ Drew Hawley, Flowers for Dreams
"Splurge on your head/kingstable. This is the focal table of the room, the table you will sit at, and the table that will be photographed most. So if you can't rent specialty glassware or linens for every table, just do your head table and make an impact!" ~ Renee Tantillo, Renee Breanne Design + Co.
"Splurge on venue. Your venue sets the stage for it all. Choose the right space and you have built in character, design and style. What does it include? What can it hold? What is the bar setup? What is the catering situation? If you break the bank on the venue then you're left with nothing for your remaining pieces. If you choose a space you are hoping to completely alter you spend twice and much making it what you would have preferred. The venue choice affects every guest's enjoyment; your selection sets the stage for their day as well. Things like its comfortability, cleanliness, proximity, design, and more all play into the day." ~ Ashley Kuehnel, The Midwestern Bride