Splurge vs. Save: Maximizing Your Wedding Budget

February 13, 2024


After saying “yes” to the love of your life, you’re ready to dive into your wedding planning. The only problem? You don’t know where to begin. And that’s okay! We recommend creating a spending plan before reserving a venue or hiring a wedding planner.

Think of your budget as a roadmap, guiding your expenses to the altar so you can have peace of mind and spend intentionally. If you’re in the early planning phase, use this guide to customize a wedding budget that ensures you spend wisely without compromising your vision. 

wedding budget

Splurge: A Premium Venue

Your destination will be the backdrop for your special day, so naturally, you’ll want to invest in an event space that resonates with you and your partner. Your location also sets the stage, immerses guests in the experience, and highlights your style(s). 

Consider dedicating a good amount of your budget to your dream venue. Some popular settings include museums, historic estates, and vineyards, like the ones we’ve serviced in the Livermore Valley area

Whether you’re exploring outdoor or indoor venues, discuss your preferences and price range with your significant other before signing on any dotted lines.  

Save: DIY Décor

Décor is a beautiful way to dress up your venue, but you don’t need to pay top dollar for a stunning result. Instead, opt for DIY décor to personalize your big day. You can use Pinterest to gain inspiration and host a craft party with your closest friends.  

Here are some unique ideas for your wedding décor:

  • Mason jar centerpieces: Add statement flowers, fairy lights, and pebbles in mason jars for rustic centerpieces.
  • Chalkboard signs: Customize your signage with chalkboards. You can write memorable quotes, inside jokes, and a warm welcome for your guests.  
  • Creative wedding favors: Think outside the box with edible wedding favors. It’s a sustainable and delicious option for your guests.
  • Photo clothesline: Hang Polaroid snapshots of memorable moments captured throughout your relationship. 

You can also personalize your decorations by showcasing your interests, family photos, favorite quotes, and cultural elements. 

Splurge: Professional Lighting Design

Would you rather tie the knot under harsh, fluorescent lighting or warm, romantic lighting? Most of our clients prefer the latter! Your lights can transform the entire ambiance of your special event. While you can try your hand at it, it’s impossible to replicate the magic from professional lighting designers.

From dim lights and uplights to classic chandeliers, we recommend hiring a lighting design team to save time and bring your vision to life. 

Save: Wedding Favors     

Wedding favors are a lovely tradition, but your guests aren’t here for cute keepsakes. They’re here to celebrate your love story. Rather than allocating funds to small details, use it for something more meaningful.

If wedding favors are a part of your vision, however, you can provide DIY momentos. Need some ideas? Check out these creative gifts:

  • Custom coasters
  • DIY photo magnets
  • Mini potted succulents
  • Seed packets for herbs or flowers
  • Edible wedding favors, like homemade jam, cookies, or monogram candies

Splurge: Experienced DJ

Your music will create the soundscape of your celebration, so bringing a skilled DJ on board is a must. While you could hire a friend to manage the playlist, you risk poor song choices, hiccups in the wedding day timeline, and awkward pauses from technical difficulties.

Instead, opt for a seamless and enjoyable music experience with a professional wedding DJ. Your talent will also serve as the MC for the event, so you’ll want a pro who can guide the flow of the day, from the walk down the aisle to the final send-off. 

Save: Wedding Day Attire

Many modern couples rent or buy second-hand wedding attire to save on costs. If you’re worried about compromising your dream outfit, we have good news: you can still wear a beautiful dress without spreading your budget thin!

Online wedding shops, like Stillwhite and Nearly Newlywed, make this reality possible by offering new, used, and preowned wedding dresses. Browse their catalogs and see if you can find the perfect fit for your special day. 

Splurge: Quality Catering

Wedding food goes beyond pretty Instagram photos and extends to the comforts of your guests. If you want to elevate the experience, include quality catering in your spending plan. 

Delicious food will energize your attendees and allow them to enjoy every moment with you. Note: The average celebration is 5-6 hours, so you can expect hungry guests. Focus on quality and great flavors.  

Save: Bar Options

Who says you need an open bar to complete your reception? While there are benefits to an open bar, it can get expensive. Consider trading liquor with beer, wine, or signature cocktails. These alternative beverages are fun, cost-effective, and allow you to have a bar without breaking the bank. 

In addition, you can get an alcohol license and purchase your own alcohol for the event, providing more insight into costs. Be sure to check your state’s regulations to see if this is a viable option.

Making the Most of Your Wedding Budget

Creating a spending plan for your big day may not be the most exciting task on your checklist, but it’s essential. A budget will guide you and your partner to make informed decisions while finding a healthy balance with your priorities. It also ensures you start your next chapter without any financial stress. 

Whether you intend to splurge on catering or professional lighting, you can rest easy knowing you’re spending with intention. Get in touch with us today if you want to transform your celebration with lighting design and entertainment!