Wedding Tips: Spend on This, Not That

pretty, unique wedding altar

I was talking to a friend recently and she said she wished she had her wedding to do all over again because she learned so much from planning it. In retrospect, she wouldn’t have stressed over (and budgeted as much money as she did) certain wedding elements and wished she had put more thought (and money) into others. But she felt that she and her now-husband handled other situations just right.

I found her insights really helpful. Here’s what she told me:

Spend Money On…

Snacks. The bride and her now-husband nixed a plan to have a late-night snack because they thought they had plenty of food. But when the guests were having a great time dancing, they decided to pay the DJ to stay longer – and wished they had had food for the guests who were hungry when the music finally stopped.

Altar décor. Her altar décor didn’t turn out quite how she envisioned. She now wishes she would have allotted more money to it because it had such a big presence in the photos of the wedding ceremony.

Liquor. For this, the couple worried it was overkill, but in the end, they were glad they spent what seemed like a large sum because they never worried about running out.

Spend Less Money On…

Rehearsal dinner. Many of the guests were so tired from traveling that they didn’t feel like a formal sit-down meal. In retrospect, the bride wishes she’d held something more casual and invited more people because so many had traveled to see them.

Aisle décor. Basically, the couple wishes they had spent more on the altar décor and less on the aisle, which nobody is paying attention to when people aren’t walking up and down it.

Photo booth. They decided to DIY one and it worked out great. A rented photo booth would have taken money away from other parts of the wedding, and in the end, a DIY booth gave the couple exactly what they needed at much less expense.

Keep in mind that what’s right for one bride isn’t necessarily right for another. Perhaps you don’t want to fool with DIYing anything. If so, then maybe it would make more sense to spend more on a professional photo booth and less on something else.

Her advice on spending more on altar decorations and less on the aisle makes a lot of sense, so I’ll be taking that advice in particular. Feel free to add to the list: What do you feel couples should spend the money on and what they shouldn’t?

Photo by Jen Huang Photography — see a close-up of this “altar” here. And search for vendors here.

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  1. I wish I hired a hair and make up person. I used my friend and maid of honor. She is a professional, but it was very difficult to get the attention to detail I wanted while she was getting ready too.

  2. Deborah — Thanks for seconding the bride’s advice — this is the sort of thing that most people don’t think about while planning!

    Jen P — Thanks for sharing! I’ve actually heard versions of this before where a friend was hired who was a professional, but this created a tricky dynamic. It’s definitely something for couples to carefully consider as they’re making hiring decisions!

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