Oh yes...the dreaded wedding budget. Trying to figure out who to invite, what to serve for dinner, choosing between top shelf and house brands at your bar, videography, the dress...these things can all be a bit overwhelming if you don't have a royal family budget. Of course, first you should start with a number: the amount you are able to spend. Then, write down a list of must-haves and nice-to-haves. Then, together decide what will work within the budget you set to still give you the wedding of your dreams. To start you off, here are a few areas where you should splurge, and a few things you can save on and still have the night of your life.
Videography isn't what it used to be. These days, couples are splurging for full-on Hollywood movie-trailer style videos that have been edited before the reception even begins! If you aren't ready to commit half your budget for a same day edit, and really aren't into the idea of using Uncle Marty's shaking home movie as your official video, you're a bride in luck! Lately we've been seeing couples pass out video cameras to their guests (remember at your older sister's wedding in the '90s when your mom set 3-4 disposable cameras on each table...it's like that!) and sending them into a service to mash them all together to edit into a video. Genius!
Having a good photographer to snap photos of you with your family is always nice to have, but having a great photographer can mean the difference between a picture of your guests, and a photo that captures every laugh and smile line of your great grandmother, where you can just feel the pure joy that was felt that night. So, up the budget here, brides!
Having an open bar with top shelf liquor certainly sounds like a party, right? One very expensive party. Your guests will be just as entertained (read: liquored-up) with a beer and wine only selection. If you're feeling festive and like you just have to offer some type of hard liquor to your guests, try going with a signature drink. Think of 1 cocktail, give it a cute name, and call it a night. Throw in a charming little DIY sign and you may just save yourself a few thousand dollars!
Dress: SPLURGE (and!!) SAVE
Here's where it becomes a bit fuzzy: You want a designer dress, but your wallet has been eying those Target wedding gowns. You've got a few choices: buy it preowned or have it made by a local design student. You've got some risk with both choices, but it might mean a difference of hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars. It might be worth it to find the dress of your dreams in a fancy bridal salon, then search eBay or wedding blogs for a pre-owned (or previously loved, we prefer!) version of that same style.
If you're wearing a long dress, then what are the chances that someone will even notice what's on your feet? Ask your married friends how long they lasted in their fancy shoes and you might find that most chucked them after the ceremony and traded them in for comfortable flats or flip-flops. Sure, you want that oh-so-chic shot of your Loubs to document on your blog or your social media page, but nobody will notice if you aren't wearing $400 heels. We promise. Splurge if you like, but can you think of other areas where an extra $400 (and up!) would come in handy? We can!
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