6 Couples Share What Was Worth Splurging on in Their Wedding Budget

Bride with bridesmaids posing in hotel or fitting room at wedding day.
kkshepel / Getty Images/iStockphoto

Some aspects of your wedding day are worth splurging on in order to capture the moment, feel beautiful and make the day memorable for everyone.

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From investing in fantastic photography to booking a live band, here are the splurges married couples have no regrets spending their money on for their big day.

Invitations, Food and Drinks and Photography

Baron Christopher Hanson, realtor at Coldwell Banker Realty, married his wife Emilie in 2015 in Palm Beach, Florida. The couple had a small wedding, which Hanson refers to as a miracle wedding. Although they were on a budget, they deliberately splurged in three core areas: invitations, food and drinks and photography.

Printing and paper was from Dulles Designs for proper engraved save the dates, invitations, seated dinner menus and 375 wedding announcements mailed globally. The Breakers Hotel and Cafe Boulud inside The Brazilian Court Hotel was where the couple held their extraordinary welcome party and received seated dinner food and beverage. And longtime dear friend and expert wedding photographer Charlotte Elizabeth flew in from Charleston, South Carolina for the big day.

Make Your Money Work for You

“By not scrimping on paper, food and drink and photography, everything else was built in, fit perfectly and was beautiful,” said Hanson. “The secret is to choose wedding venues that already have beautiful food and beverage and decor and foliage and flowers to begin with, so you don’t have to pay to reinvent the wheel. Spend your money on the very best custom invitations, the most extraordinary food and beverage and expert wedding weekend photography.”

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Wedding Dress

Bridal personal trainer Stephanie Thomas said her wedding dress was definitely a splurge that was worth it for her wedding.

“I found my dream dress by Willowby by Watters. It was a little bit out of my price range but feeling confident in my dream dress was so worth it,” said Thomas. “Your wedding day is about feeling your best, and my dress helped me feel amazing on my special day.”

Make Your Money Work for You

Videographer

Sara Macke, LCSW, said when she was planning her wedding in 2013 the biggest splurge was the food options. However, Macke’s biggest “unnecessary” splurge was the videographer. 

“This is something I have looked back on numerous times over the last eight years and within the videographer, the speeches were recorded,” said Macke. “My father passed away a few years ago unexpectedly and to be able to watch him speak on this video is absolutely unbelievable. It shatters me in the best way every single time.”

Hotel Rooms

Amber Lee, co-founder of Select Date Society, married her husband Mike on December 30, 2021 in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The couple splurged on hotel rooms in a luxury hotel for their immediate family members.

“It was a boutique hotel, so we all mingled between our rooms. The rooms were gorgeous! Each room had a private outdoor space and many had outdoor bathtubs,” said Lee. “It was money well spent as it created a beautiful family atmosphere as we all got ready for the ceremony.”

Make Your Money Work for You

Hair and Makeup

Sally Collins, founder and owner of Sympathy Message Ideas, said that while her wedding was quite a few years ago, she made sure to splurge on hair and makeup.

“I had the dress I’d always dreamed of and wanted to do it justice. My own makeup skills weren’t particularly good so I spent big on getting a professional to really help me look how I wanted,” said Collins.

Collins said it was worth it for the wonderful pictures she received as well as the added confidence she had on the big day. 

“I felt and looked as good as I could on my wedding day and that was a huge deal to me. It may have cost a lot more than I planned but it was absolutely worth it,” said Collins.

Live Band

Jill Hietpas, co-founder at New Self, splurged on a live band with her husband on their wedding day. Hietpas, who is based in the Midwest, said DJs are typically hired for weddings but they wanted to have something where everyone could have fun, including the newlywed couple.

“The atmosphere was electric the entire evening and the wide range of music genres played appealed to everyone, old and young,” said Hietpas. “Our guests danced all night and begged the band to stay. We actually ended up paying extra so they would extend their time by another 90 minutes!”

To this day, Hietpas said they still get compliments about how fun their reception was and how guests haven’t been to another wedding that was like theirs. 

“Although our ears were ringing, our hearts were glowing. It was truly magical!” said Hietpas.

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About the Author

Heather Taylor is a senior finance writer for GOBankingRates. She is also the head writer and brand mascot enthusiast for PopIcon, Advertising Week’s blog dedicated to brand mascots. She has been published on HelloGiggles, Business Insider, The Story Exchange, Brit + Co, Thrive Global, and more media outlets. 

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