Splurge or Save: Wedding Edition

Budgets, Planning & Advice

It’s no secret that weddings can be expensive. The real secret is that it’s possible to save money in areas that matter less to you! Today we’re breaking it down for you on just where to splurge or save.

Featured image credit: Tony Clancy Photography


Photography and Videography

We’re starting here because your wedding photographer and videographer are the ones who capture your Big Day. You will relive your memories over and over again because of their work. The frames in your home will be filled with the pictures your photographer takes. Your wedding video is something you will show your children and grandchildren for years to come.

I’ve seen well-meaning friends advise that you find a student photographer or videographer so you can save some money. Our advice: don’t! Hire a professional and you’ll get what you pay for.

The verdict: splurge



Ordering one gorgeous cake isn’t going to tip your budget over the edge. Having an interactive dessert buffet won’t do it either. Or how about serving a beautiful dessert? Nope, that won’t do it. What will break your budget is going overboard with all of it. If you’re looking to save, your dessert is a great way to do it. You could serve your wedding cake as dessert, or you could buy a small cake to cut and then serve dessert or have a candy buffet instead. Unless you have a major sweet tooth, you don’t need all three.

Whatever you choose, get an expert involved! Don’t try to save by ordering a cake from your nearest grocery store and creating your own candy buffet (think of how much you’ll spend on all the sweets, jars and cute signs).

The verdict: save


Champagne toast

I love a glass of bubbly as much as the next person, but it’s also a great way to spend money unnecessarily. Here’s what I recommend: offer champagne as a drink of choice but don’t insist on pouring a glass for each guest right before the toasts. Ask guests to toast with whatever they’re already drinking instead of having a separate champagne pour.

The verdict: save


Music / DJ

Picture your wedding celebration and tell me if your picture includes all your guests dancing the night away. Does your picture also include amateur musicians arriving late or technical glitches due to a cheap sound system? What about the same song playing multiple times because you’ve chosen a Spotify playlist and given everybody access to choosing the songs they like? Trust me, I’ve been there: if dancing and partying is a priority for you, then don’t use this as a place to save.

The verdict: splurge


Wedding planner

Here’s my professional and personal advice: save money by not hiring a full on wedding planner, if you can’t afford one, but you have the time to plan your own wedding without going insane. But make sure you hire a day-of coordinator to work alongside your venue coordinator. They each have different responsibilities and both will make sure your day goes off without a hitch.

If you simply don’t have time to do all the planning and you’ve got room in your budget, seriously consider the help of a professional wedding planner. This is particularly important if you’re getting married in a different city or country.

The verdict: splurge (at least on a day-of coordinator)



You can spend all the money you have on eye-catching floral centrepieces, but if you’ve chosen plastic chairs, they will stand out like a sore thumb. Invest in chair covers or upgrade your chairs altogether. I’m a big fan of Chiavari chairs because they’re classy, but you could look into alternative seating, like vintage chairs or even benches.

The verdict: splurge


Pro tip

If you’re really looking to save, here are some expert tips:


Choose a less popular day

That’s right, a weekday or winter wedding day will be more affordable. Lots of venues and other suppliers have off-peak rates which will help you save.


A smaller guest list

It has to be said that if you’ve got a smaller guest list, you’ll have fewer people, and therefore a smaller budget.


Get creative

If you’re really creative, you can save a lot of money. For example, instead of getting married right before dinner time, and having to feed everybody an evening meal, consider a non-meal time (like a dessert or cocktail wedding celebration) or a morning wedding with breakfast and little or no alcohol.