Wedding 101

9 Wedding Splurges That Are SO Worth the Money

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1. Invest in What’s Important To You.
First off, figure out what matters most to you as a couple and plan to indulge in that area. If you're music lovers, hire that big old 7-piece band. If you're total foodies, dip into your wallet for that world renowned chef. Making these choices “makes it possible to have a wedding that really highlights what’s important to you and your partner,” says wedding planner Andrea Freeman, who adds that if nothing jumps out at you, focusing on décor always make for great photos.

2. Lighting. Shine some much-deserved attention on your wedding with customized lighting including uplights, candles, and spotlights. “It creates ambiance, adds that touch of magic, and highlights key elements such as table décor and flowers,” says wedding and event planner Heather Goodwin of An Inspired Affair.

3. Rentals. Sure you could use the venue’s standard linens, chairs, and drinkware but renting higher quality options can really elevate the look and feel of the reception. “Nothing will quickly cheapen an expensive venue or a Dupioni Silk Table linen in Marsala than ordering lap length instead of floor length linens for your guest tables,” says wedding planner and event designer Jillian Causey of WildFlowers, Inc., who recommends knowing what you like so you can set an affordable rental budget. Causey agrees you should splurge on things that will give you the most impact. For example, don’t spend $10 per chair for a 20-minute outdoor ceremony if you want expensive table cloths that will be enjoyed for hours at the reception. Renting charger plates is another easy way to step up your place settings.

4. Hair and Makeup. When it comes to big day beauty, leave it to the pros... “A professional makeup application means great pictures, a boost in confidence, and a beautiful look that will last through the wedding night,” says makeup artist Kaylin Johnson. While splurging on beauty is essential, you may save a little by hiring one person as both makeup artist and hair stylist.

5. Photography. “Quality photography is always a worthwhile purchase,” says event designer Stephanie Aspinwall of Pretty Entertaining, who reminds couples “your photographs are one of the few tangible things you’ll have to keep after your wedding day is over.” Hiring a phenomenal photographer can mean the difference between getting OK wedding photos and totally wow-worthy images.

6. Fun. It might sound silly to splurge on "fun" but bringing a little excitement to your big day will make it way more memorable for you and your guests. “Guests will remember the fun factor and unique personal touches,” says Goodwin. Of course, "fun" may mean something different for every couple, but think photo booths with props for silly pictures or an indulgent ice cream sundae bar for a sweet dessert.

7. Stationery. Your wedding stationery says a lot about you as a couple, and your save the date and invite really set the scene for your day. If you need to splurge to snag something that really suits you, then it's totally worth it. “Be creative. Spark curiosity,” says Freeman, who notes calligraphy on the envelope and even the stamps matter. “Give your guests a reason to believe this is an event they simply cannot miss.”

8. Your Bouquet. While flowers are prominent on your wedding day, your beautiful bouquet is the floral focus! “This is the one floral arrangement that’ll be seen by everybody on the day of the wedding, and will be front and center in most of the pictures after the wedding’s over,” says Aspinwall.

9. A Wedding Planner. Even if you’ve been planning your wedding for years (and have the scrapbooks and Pinterest boards to prove it), hiring a professional coordinator is a super smart splurge. Here’s why: You’ll get logistical help like planning the seating chart or coordinating details with vendors like your photographer and your caterer. Plus, “you might just get industry discounts and deals you wouldn’t have known about and cost-saving tips from a professional,” says Causey.
Taylor Fordham
About The Author
Creative in New York City.
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