Staying on budget is arguably one of the hardest (if not THE hardest) parts of wedding planning. There are so many amazing things that you can spend money on, but you only have so much for each category. There are undoubtedly going to be things that you want to splurge on, and this post will help you discern what your top splurge items/vendors should be. Remember, you can't splurge on everything so it is important to talk to your partner and pick your top 1-3 items that are important to you. Read through this list and pick out your top couple of vendors based on how much you identify with the following statements.
Your wedding has a lot of moving parts. This can mean separate locations for ceremony and reception, many different vendors, a lot of pieces that have to come together day-of, a lot of décor or floral set up, etc. This is too much for you to have to worry about during your wedding (and especially the week before your wedding or the planning leading up to it). Leave it to someone who's professionally trained to handle many things at once to help things flow smoothly and take some of that stress away from you.
You want someone to help you plan, or you're not sure where to start. This is a wedding planner's specialty. We can guide you through the entire wedding planning process! And we'll do it all while being your personal cheerleader. Wedding planning is extremely overwhelming but if you hire a planner you won't have to go through it alone or without knowing what needs to be done next.
You need someone organized to help with day-of logistics. A lot of what wedding planners do occurs the day of the wedding. Wedding planners are so important to couples because they offer peace of mind on the wedding day with the confidence that if any problems arise, they will be handled without the couple even knowing. The wedding planner is responsible for the day-of timeline that all vendors refer to on the day of the wedding to keep things on track, so it is imperative that you have a very organized, experienced, and professional wedding planner for that.
You aren't hiring a videographer. If you don’t have a video of your wedding, you should at least have beautiful photos to memorialize the day.
Good quality pictures are really important to you. This one is a no-brainer. Usually (not always) more expensive photographers are ones who produce better quality work and have more experience.
You're self-conscious about posing for photos. One of the main differences between a photographer and a great photographer is the ability to pose people naturally and make them feel comfortable. A great photographer knows what to do to get those perfect shots – both candid and posed.
You aren't saving a lot of mementos from your wedding. If you aren’t getting a videographer and you don’t have other memories from your big day (guest book, preserved bouquet, preserved dress, photo booth pics, keepsake box, etc.) then you NEED to hire a great photographer! Those wedding photos are the only tangible memory you have from your wedding so you’ll want to make sure they are just as beautiful as the day was. Memories are fleeting, but pictures are a way to preserve them for a lifetime. That’s too much trust to put into just anyone.
You have lot of beautiful details (attire, venue, décor, etc). Of course you have the beautiful details so they can be seen, but also so they can be captured. You’ll want to look back and remember all of the effort that you put in to those perfect details. A great photographer will be able to take great shots of both people and things like detail shots.
You are not splurging on a photographer. Photos and video are the best memories from your wedding day. If you are not splurging to get a really good photographer or a better photography package, then you might want to spend a little extra on a videographer.
You will watch your wedding video often. Money spent of the videographer is only well spent if you truly think that you will watch your wedding video often. Some people do and some people don't. Which person are you?
You really like the idea of getting drone footage of the wedding. Drone footage is a really great trendy addition to wedding videos. Chances are if a videographer is really good at drone footage, that video service will be a little more expensive than someone who just shoots video from the ground. It takes someone who's really good at what they do to excel at both. If that's the kind of videographer you're looking for, you might want to splurge a little on this item.
A word that you want guests to associate with your wedding is ”fun.” A great DJ knows how to get a party going, and how to keep it going all night long. If it’s important to you that your guests have a good time, then you’ll want to splurge on a good DJ.
You really want a professional who knows how to read a room. A great DJ will be able to watch how the guests interact with music to help determine what kind of songs to play next.
You want an experiential dancefloor. Ever heard of a silent disco? Looking to do something like that to shake up your dance floor and really wow your guests? Then you might want to splurge a little here to get a DJ who's experienced and has the right equipment for something trendy and fun.
Food quality and presentation is really important to you. If you are a foodie like me, the normal wedding chicken or beef with steamed veggies and a starch doesn't cut it for you. And if food is something that you and your significant other bond over and you want to showcase your passion for food, then you'll definitely want to go the extra mile when it comes to hiring a caterer. More money spent here usually equates to better service, better food (taste and presentation), and more unique food options.
You would like a plated meal served. It's very hard to mess up a buffet, but when you opt for a plated meal instead there are other dynamics at play. Food presentation and timeliness of service are hugely important to this style of serving. So if you would like a plated meal you should consider spending a little more for a caterer who's great at giving their staff direction, has well-trained staff, and focuses on food presentation.
You would like a more elaborate dish served. If you want something a little more elaborate than pasta, chicken, or beef for your main dish then you may need to splurge a little to get something better.
Cake taste and appearance are really important to you. I have a sweet tooth and dessert is really important to me because sweets are always something that has brought my family together. So when it came time for me and my husband to pick out our cake flavors, we wanted to try some unique flavors and really wow our guests.
Cake is your only dessert. Many weddings now offer alternatives for cake, or even other dessert additions to the cake. Dessert bars, cupcakes, pies, etc are all trendy right now and we are seeing a lot of non-cake options. If there are a lot of alternatives to cake, then the quality of your cake may not matter as much to you because there is something there for every guest. But if cake is your only option, you may want to make sure that the cake is really good and that you have multiple flavors for guests to choose from. Plus, it's most likely that your cake will be on display on a cake table and if you're drawing that much attention to it, it should definitely be beautifully decorated.
You have a tighter budget for décor. If you don't want a DIY venue but instead want a venue that's already equipped with everything you need (bathroom, tables, chairs, lighting, etc.) or a venue that's already beautifully decorated, chances are that said venue will be more expensive than under-equipped alternatives.
You want your guests to associate your wedding with being beautiful. If you want guests to walk into your space and be transported into a beautiful environment, that doesn't come cheap. Most beautiful venues know that they're beautiful and desired and the pricing reflects as such. Don't be surprised if the price tag is a little more expensive with a venue like this.
You want a unique space. Some unique spaces are more expensive to rent, or require additional permits or insurance. Unlike a wedding venue that is already equipped with the right permits and other things for the space (tables, chairs, bathrooms, heaters, market lighting, etc.), a more unconventional wedding spot might tack on additional costs that you might not incur with a normal wedding venue.
You want more than just wedding party flowers and basic centerpieces. Flowers are beautiful but they are not cheap. Expect to splurge a little in this category for a florist who is skilled at more than just making bouquets and boutonnieres- especially if the florist will have to deliver and set up any flowers.
You want to wow your guests with an extravagant piece/pieces. Floral installations are trending! If you have a great idea for a floral installation or piece, you'll probably want to budget a bit more than normal on your florals. Floral work is an art that takes florists a lot of time, precision, and hard work- especially if they have to come to your venue and install it.
You don't have much other décor. You'll probably want flowers to be the focal point of your guests if you don't have much décor. The more flowers the merrier! And the more flowers and floral pieces, the more splurging.
Your venue is a DIY venue. If your venue is a DIY venue, it may not be as scenic as other venues, and it may not be as equipped as other venues (tables, chairs, décor, lighting, accessibility, etc) which means it may be necessary to spend a little more in the décor/rental category to spruce it up and add the wedding necessities.
You want to wow your guests with the look and feel of your wedding. Any venue can look beautiful with the right décor, and what you can transform your venue space into is only limited by your budget.
You want a unique piece or pieces. Trendy items like lounge sets, champagne walls, donut walls, popcorn carts, etc can be found at many rental companies. But since these items are trending, just know that they are in higher demand and the price will reflect that.
Once in a while you’ll find that unicorn vendor who isn’t charging enough for their services and is really good at what they do. It’s important to note that price and experience are not always synchronous. There are many other variables to take into account with each vendor choice you make, such as experience, level of professionalism, communication promptness, and personality fit. But when it does inevitably come down to money, use this as a guide for where you might want to spend a little more than average to get a better quality. Navigating wedding planning is tough, but I’m here to make it a little easier for you.
Or if you're ready to splurge on a wedding planner, fill out my Contact Form today!