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The 11 Smartest Places to Splurge & Save on Your Wedding!

A word from the Pros: Where to Save and Where to Splurge

Small budget? Not to worry. These tips for planning your own wedding will have you navigating like a pro to give you that dream wedding. No more restless nights wondering how to plan your perfect wedding and not have chaos happen on your big day. Follow these steps to ensure that it does not happen.

Where to Save and Where to Splurge
1. Guest count - Save here
Determine how many people you would like to be at your wedding. Simply put, the more guests you have at your wedding the more expensive it is going to be. To decide which family members or friends you should cut, use this rule- the five-year/five-minute rule of thumb.  This means, if you have not spoken to the people on your guest list within five years, they should not be on the list. Also, use the five-minute rule if you can't picture yourself wanting to dedicate five whole minutes with the person in question on your wedding day, then they should not be on your list.  
2. Food- Splurge here
Having your family members cater your wedding will have your guests remember your reception for all the wrong reasons. However, hiring a professional to cater your wedding would be wise. 
TIP- Replace a course or provide more affordable options, but maintain the quality.
Related: (previous post)   Questions to ask the caterer

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3. Venue- Save here 
Try having your reception on a weeknight vs on the weekend where they charge more. Venues rarely have events during the week, so, their prices will be more reasonable to you.  
Tip: Your venue should align with your vision, budget, and guest count. 
4. Photography - Splurge here 
You don't want a wedding album that disappoints. Hire an expert who knows what moments to capture- the rings, classic photo of both you holding hands. They will know how to work the crowd and direct you in order to get the best shots.  
Related: (previous post) Top Questions to ask a photographer
5. Centerpiece- Save here 
Succulent varietyCenterpiece idea-DIY-beautifully paired together-Weddings+Events by K'Mich Philadelphia PA 
Try using succulents for your centerpiece. They are very pretty, cost-effective and you can buy them in bulk; oh, and they come in different varieties.  You can be creative by putting them in unique vases (see above). You can check out your local Thrift stores for unusual finds.  
6. Dress- Splurge here
Wedding dresses-wedding planning-Sasha Silver Lining-Weddings + Events by K'Mich-Philadelphia PAWedding dresses-wedding planning-Sasha Silver Lining-Weddings + Events by K'Mich-Philadelphia PA
Your dress is your biggest fashion moment! Remember your prom and how it seemed like high stakes?! Well, your wedding day is an even bigger deal…all eyes are on you! Keep in mind, you don't have to spend a fortune on a dress to look beautiful, however, you do need to have it fitted by a good tailor. So deciding how you are going to shop will help with this. 
7. Cake- Save here 
Ginger Fig Tart Almond Crust-dessert ideas-wedding cakes-weddings + Events by K'Mich Philadelphia PAChocolate Hazelnut Custard Tart-dessert ideas-wedding cakes-cake alternatives-Weddings+Events by K'Mich- Philadelphia PA
Instead of the traditional cake, have a sweet station, aka dessert station. You don't have to follow what's trending, just do you. Your sweet station can be one of your favorite comfort foods- cheesecake, cupcakes doughnuts, brownies, cookies, or even tarts etc. You can even put a spin on your favorite desserts by adding your favorite flavors, fruits, etc. 
For example, you can do sweet n sour doughnuts, or ice cream cheesecake, or even tangy brownies. You see where I'm going with this. Be creative! 
Related: (previous post) 18 Alternatives that Aren't cake 
8. Bouquet- Splurge here 
Calla Lily
Your bouquet is the one floral (depending on your style) purchase that you should not hold back on. Consider that as a part of your overall look, which means you should go for it. 
9. Bar- Save here 
Do a signature cocktail or have a flat bar, aka limited bar- wine, soda, water, beer. Your guests won't mind you serving either a signature cocktail or even beer, wine soda/water. 
10. Music- Splurge here
Getting your best friend's boyfriend to play at your reception is not a good idea. He may know how to select music and all, but does he know how to work the room? So, splurging on a great DJ who will get your guests dancing through the night will be money well spent. Oh, don't forget to have comfortable flats for your female guests, they'll love you for this!!
Related: (previous post) What's your reception going to be like
11. Favors- Save here 
Wedding Memories
Wedding Memories

(Double duty) While guests love getting a festive favor at the end of your reception, you don't have to spend a lot of money on this; use the centerpieces (you should have extras ready in the back) as favors. 
Or, you can use this novel idea to say thank you- Tiny Wedding Albums.  It's a tiny compact book that tells the bride's and groom's story. Custom made with your wedding color or even black and white.
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updated: 2/23/2020 | update: 7/11/2022

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