Ideas & Advice

Budget Breakdown: Where to Splurge and Ways to Save

The decision on how and where to spend your wedding budget should be largely based on what’s important to you. One person might feel that a beautiful letterpress invitation suite is an absolute must, where another may insist upon a full bar. We can’t tell you exactly what to spend and where, but here are a few tricks we’ve learned over the years.


Location, Location, Location

Your venue doesn’t have to be the fanciest place on the block, but it should speak to who you are as a couple and to your overall theme. Forgoing the venue of your dreams isn’t worth it when there are other ways to save. If you want to book the downtown rooftop or waterfront country club, there are ways to make it work. Do your research, be diligent, and consider off-season dates or even a midweek wedding.

A Dinner to Remember

Sure, the cocktails and dancing are important, but the food should not be forgotten. Even if it means cutting the guest list, serving a simpler meal, or planning a brunch reception to save on cost, consider the quality of the food and be sure you’re serving your guests a meal you would want to eat.

Light It Up

Not only is simple perimeter lighting in a tent not enough for your photographer; it’s not memorable either. No matter your venue, we suggest spending a little extra on adding café lights or chandeliers to be sure the details you meticulously created and the meal you spent so much money on are appreciated by people who could see them.

All About the Linens

The choice about linens seems like the type of thing you can easily push off onto the venue or rental company, but the time and money you invested into choosing the perfect centerpiece may be all for nothing when all you see is metal table legs sticking out the bottom of a basic white linen. No matter the color, check with your venue and/or rental company to be sure you order full-drop linens to hide those ugly banquet table legs.


Photography is an obvious place where people decide to splurge, but videography is often pushed aside. Once it has passed quickly, as they so often do, seeing and hearing your day move on video can be absolutely magic. We strongly encourage you to do some vendor research and see if you can move some budget items around before ruling it out completely.


Stay In Season

Give your florist a vision, but ask him or her to only order flowers that are in season. They will still be beautiful while costing less.

Something Borrowed

Don’t be ashamed about scouring sites where people sell used wedding items, like Recycle Your Wedding on Ruffled Blog, or purchasing a previously owned wedding gown from Being eco-conscious is “in,” so embrace it and save!

Go Hunting

Check Craigslist and any other local listings in your area for garage and estate sales. They can be the best places to collect wedding props. Get out there to hunt for containers, like teacups, vintage ball jars, and other tabletop décor, such as vintage books or photo frames for table numbers. Previously loved items often have the most character.

World Wide Wed

It could be very chic and modern to forgo a paper stationery suite and instead send a fancy e-vite from a site like Paperless Post. You could still enlist a fantastic stationery designer to create a logo and some personalized design items for your wedding, but the boatload you would still save on paper and printing costs would be a win. Or consider designing a really fun dot-com and sending all your wedding information via the World Wide Web.

Gather Your Girls (Or Boys)

Don’t overlook how creative your friends are. Play to their strengths, like having a friend with great handwriting address your invitation envelopes, and plan craft nights where everyone can come together, sip some bubbly, and help you crank out projects that might otherwise cost you money to outsource.