Wedding Planning 101: Ways to Save and Ways to Splurge

Bride Professional Updo with Groom

So you’ve set the date for your big day! Now begins the process of booking your venue and vendors.  Depending on your budget, here are a few tips on where to splurge and where to save:

  • Venue–First, you’ll need a venue–often most popular ones book two years’ in advance. Do you want a city setting? A more rustic event at a winery or country mansion? When it comes to where, consider your guest list and the amount charged “per head” before you plan the rest of the details. One thing couples often forget is the parking cost, especially when planning an urban wedding. Don’t forget to ask if parking fees for your guests are included, and if not, decided whether to pick up the charges.


  • Photographer–Besides the venue and the church, the photographer is the next vendor who often gets booked years in advance.  After the flowers have wilted and the champagne is gone, all that’s left are your beautiful photos. Choose who will photograph your wedding wisely because here, you get what you pay for! If someone says they will shoot your wedding for $500, I’d be cautious.  Find one who not only fits within your budget but research online reviews and portfolios.


  • Flowers–It’s estimated that 8% of your total budget will most likely go to wedding flowers, but it depends what’s most important to you as far as wedding decor is concerned. While I’ve seen brides spend as little as $500 on their wedding flowers and as much as $30,000, the cost will vary depending on your taste and the number of flowers you’ll need.


  • Makeup and Hair:  Wedding photography is much higher quality these days, so you and your party need gorgeous hair and makeup that will last the entire day.  I’ve seen many brides “DIY” their hair and makeup with disastrous results. The bridal beauty market is now flooded with “self taught” and “Instagram” artists, so be very careful. Again here, you definitely get what you pay for so read reviews and book early.  Also, like with all of your vendors, make sure they offer a contract with deposits paid up front.  There would be nothing worse than not having them show up on the morning of your wedding!

If you have a more flexible budget, I recommend hiring a wedding planner to take the stress off and handle all of those tiny details so you can relax and enjoy the day! Planning a wedding doesn’t mean you have to break your budget, but sometimes, spending a little extra on certain items just makes sense. And if you don’t have the funds to make your dream day happen, a low-interest personal loan from a company like Earnest may be a great option to help you with your wedding!

Photo:  BG Photography

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