Wedding Planning was something I thoroughly enjoyed, and I couldn't wait to share some of the knowledge I picked up along the way. Despite my constant researching, there are just some things you have to experience first hand before learning the lesson. My wedding went off without any snags, but here are some tips about where to spend money and where to save it. Bottom line, figure out what is most important to you. This is what worked for me. Some of these are what I did, and some are what I learned from experience.
When to Spend:
1. Flowers: I think having a bigger budget for your floral arrangements is very important. They are what set the atmosphere for the wedding, and will be the backdrop for nearly every picture. Most of your time will be spent at the reception, so Its important to love your surroundings. Flowers are a huge part of this.
2. Photography: These are forever! You can not go back and change pictures from your wedding. (or at least you shouldn't. Stay away from Photoshop.) These will be some of the most important pictures you have in your life, you are going to want them to be good. This is where a big portion of our budget went, and I am so happy we did that. Our photography was done by Nerinna Studios, and I can not recommend her enough!
3. The DJ: Most of the day will be spent eating, and dancing, and socializing. The music will never stop, so if the music is bad it will be a huge distraction and will throw you and your guests off. This is about celebrating and a good DJ will make sure the celebration is out of this world. We went with Sound In Motion, and the music was so good, it was very difficult to stay off the dance floor.
4. Stress Relievers: I am a highly anxious person, so the planning and preparation for such a huge life change took it's toll on me. Take a yoga class, invest in some amazing bath salts, have lavender in the house, do whatever you need to do. Don't let stress take over this amazing time. The last couple weeks before the wedding I purchased this stress-fix and I'm so glad I did.
5. Location: Mostly the same reason as the flowers. This is where you'll be, it is important that you love it. Location can play a big part in our moods, and it is important that you are comfortable and happy where you are.
When to Save:
1. The Dress: I know this one sounds a little against the grain, but trust me on this. I'm not saying get your dress from a thrift store or use a hand-me-down that you hate but "oh well". What I'm saying is be smart. Don't spend an outrageous amount of money on the dress, and wind up sacrificing good photography. It is definitely important that you find "the dress", but set a budget that works with all the other expenses and stick to it. Don't even look outside of your price-range. Remember, you are only wearing this once.
2. Photo-booth: This is a big wedding fad right now, and I almost got sucked into it. I am so glad we did not do this. People are already taking a ton of pictures, they are preoccupied with other guests (and you most of all) and absolutely no one is going to be thinking "I wish they had a photo-booth". You are going to be so busy with things to do, the last thing you need is to feel like you have to do one more thing. (a thing that is really quite unnecessary)
3. Lingerie: Unless it is really special to you, don't bother spending a lot on lingerie for your wedding night. You will be so exhausted, and this will most likely be the first time alone with your now-husband all day. All you'll want to be is yourself. No more dress-up.
4. The Garter: This is getting thrown away! You don't even get to keep it!
5. Decorations and Details: There are so many great DIY wedding ideas out there, and they can be huge money savers. I made most of the small details for my wedding with the help of my bridesmaids, my Mom, and my Mother in Law, and it was so much fun. Not only did it save us so much money, but it was an irreplaceable bonding experience with these ladies.
Photography by Nerinna Studios