Expert Advice: What Is Worth The Spend On Your Wedding Day

Wedding experts weigh in on where to splurge and where to save.
Written by
Laura Cross

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.

Splurge on a good photographer! After all, photos are all you have at the end of the day! ~ Jeannine Pohl, Jeannine Marie Photography

Splurge on a great wedding coordinator/planner. Take all the stress away from wedding planning. And honestly great wedding coordinators/planners help make the day go by so smoothly for your other vendors too! Plus you don’t get any last minute calls or to do lists! ~ Janelle Flom, Janelle Elise Photography

Skip the specialty drink or champagne toast, it Is often forgotten and expensive. 
~ Nikki Peitz, Minnesota Horse and Hunt Club

Splurge on your invites! ~ Laine Palm, Laine Palm Planning and Design

Always splurge on the florals. You can wow guests with really creating standout floral designs and they set the whole scene for your day. What I love about splurging on florals is you can keep the rest of your tablescape or ceremony design simple and really let them speak for themselves. ~ Allie Robyn, Alexandra Robyn Photo + Design

Splurge and hire an amazing DJ! Your DJ isn't just there to play music and keep guests on the dance floor, but they are also there to emcee the event and keep things moving along smoothly. Trust me when I say I've seen it all. While I've worked with plenty of DJ's who are great about keeping guests on the dance floor, their emcee skills on the other hand are often subpar. You definitely want someone who is confident, outgoing and personable as being the emcee is equally as important as being the DJ! ~ Melody Hall, Events by Melody

Splurge on a stunning arbor (something for you) and open bar (for your guests). ~ Kasey Morris, Bold North Cellars

Splurge on paper goods and signage for your wedding day. Creating a story through these items is a memorable experience for your family and friends. ~ Brandi Hunt-Wright, Hunt Wright Design Co.

Always splurge on floor length linens - specifically ones that enhance your wedding's design and aesthetic. We are loving textured linens right now, especially velvets! Adding a textured linen can add the sense of touch to your event. The more senses you incorporate, the more memories made! ~ Jenna Culley, Jenna Culley Events

Splurge on photography/videography. When the wedding day is over, what you have left are the memories. Having beautiful photos and videos will help you relive your big day for the rest of your lives.  They will also capture candid moments that you may not have seen and will help you appreciate all the moments of your special day. ~ Chelsea Krings, Sage River Studios

The combination of a large seating chart and welcome sign are always a good idea. When you establish an installation such as this, you are inviting guests to pause, mingle and spark conversation. ~ Brandi Hunt-Wright, Hunt Wright Design Co.

Splurge on adding candles to your centerpieces. Whether it be votives around the base, taper, or pillar candles, they add an extra special ambiance to your space. ~ Jenna Culley, Jenna Culley Events 

Splurge by making sure you order enough appetizers for your guests, allowing everyone to try at least one of each appetizer you order, everyone including yourself is hungry at this point in the day.~ Nikki Peitz, Minnesota Horse and Hunt Club

Splurge on items that matter to you and items you'll treasure forever. Most of our clients love the idea of capturing how much fun their guests had via photo booth photos and enjoy looking at those photos for years to come. ~ Jacob Stewart, The Traveling Photo Booth

Splurge on lighting!  Uplights or other specialty lighting can transform even the simplest of spaces. At Grand View Lodge, we have affordable uplights that can be added to our reception spaces.  Many DJs and décor companies offer them as well. They are easy to use, customizable for your color scheme, and can set a tone for the room without much effort. Café lighting or specialty hanging displays can also create a memorable wow factor that will make your guests stop in their tracks when they enter your reception space. ~ Lindsay Sypniesk, Grand View Lodge

The items that you splurge on should be the things that mean the most to you and your fiancé. Typically items like the food costs, bar costs and the guest experience are items that couples tend to splurge on and allocate most of their budget to. To some couples It is important to splurge on a good band or their wedding dress!!
 ~ Sarah Trotter, Lasting Impressions Weddings

Splurge on elements that truly get YOU excited about the day and will make it special & memorable for those closest to you! ~ Reena Maheshwari, Kahani Events & Design

Splurge on Florals! Florals and greenery bring a unique, personalized feeling to your event. They can elevate your decor to a new level! Get creative with hanging installations, floor arrangements, and greenery. ~ Kim Harber, D'Amore Wedding and Event Planning

Splurge on your photographer! These are the photos you will look back on for years and year to come. Meet your photographer prior to make for a fun enjoyable day together. ~ Nikki Peitz, Minnesota Horse and Hunt Club

Splurge on Guest Experiences. As weddings become smaller and more intentional, couples have been seeking new ways to give their guests an elevated experience. From self-serve cocktails to crossword puzzle walls, there are lots of ways to make your loved ones feel more comfortable and entertained. We recommend allocating your budget to experiences that align with your values and that make the biggest impact - like food trucks! ~ Jocelyn Bulger, Availed Events