Wedding budget: where to splurge and where to save

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When you think of "personal finance" (super sexy, right?) what comes to mind? Putting money into your 401k? Socking away pennies into an emergency fund? Setting up college accounts for your future kids (what a planner!)? How about, instead of doing all those things (how boring), you put allllll of that money into your wedding day because at least you'll have the photos to remember it by...right? Sounds super responsible.

Since money doesn't grow on trees (bummer) I want to help you decide which parts of your big day you should cut back on and which you can throw a little extra dough towards. When you're trying to throw a pretty party, love on your guests, AND still be able to buy groceries this month...the struggle is real. While we can certainly scrutinize every line item in your wedding budget, let's look at just a few items and decide whether to splurge or save (like all those fun articles in People magazine!)

1. Typical Wedding Vendor Services (florals, cake, DJ...etc.

Verdict: Leave it to the professionals

I know what you're thinking. "Wedding cakes are SO expensive and my aunt Suzy makes all the desserts for our family's holiday parties! It'll be a piece of cake for her to do it." Not so fast. While I will admit that I have seen this go well on the rare occasion, it's not the norm. If you are going to DIY a major part of your wedding you should be VERY confident that your loved one has provided this same service for a wedding before. Doing something as a hobby, or even for big parties, is not quite the same thing. Weddings are their own special beast and I want to make sure your big day goes seamlessly (sans wedding cake fiascos)!

2. Wedding Favors

Verdict: Don't blow your budget on it

While favors are a great way to love on your guests, I wouldn't suggest going crazy here. So many favors wind up getting left on the tables at the end of the night which makes my heart sad to see your precious little trinkets go to waste. If you decide to splurge in this area, I'd suggest something fun like a photo booth! Or how about something super trendy (you hipster, you) like a slow-motion video booth?! Guests will have something to take home with them AND some warm memories as well (awww).

3. Invitations/Paper Goods

Verdict: It depends

Now I'll be the first to admit that I love a pretty invite! After all, your Save the Date and invite are your guests' first impression to your wedding and give little hints of the overall style and feel of your big day. But, there's no need to send laser-cut wooden boxes with butterflies flying out of them, a la Bridesmaids. There are so many options for invites--between the paper's weight, gold foil, hand lettered calligraphy, envelope liners and layers of paper (to name a few)--and it can spiral out of control. This tends to be one of the categories that brides are surprised cost so much. If picking out the prettiest invites makes your heart skip a beat, or you love paper as much as Michael Scott, then go crazy (within your budget, of course). For some lower cost (but still gorg) options, my go-to's are Minted and Wedding Paper Divas for stunning templates.

Have any areas in your wedding budget that you think are worth splurging on? Let me know in the comments!

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