Wedding Spending: Where to Cut and When to Splurge

Advice from Expert Celebrity Wedding Planner Mindy Weiss

The Wedding Book by Mindy Weiss
The Wedding Book by Mindy Weiss. Mindy Weiss

There are a select few wedding professionals who are considered industry royalty and Mindy Weiss is one of them. Mindy Weiss has been credited as a "megastar wedding planner" by People and has planned events for A-list celebrity clients such as Ellen DeGeneres and Sofia Vergara. It's no surprise that Mindy literally wrote the book on wedding planning with her guide, The Wedding Book, back in 2008. Mindy recently released an updated version of The Wedding Book that has been enhanced and modernized to be brought up to date with trends in technology, traditions, and more.


Weddings may be timeless, but if you've ever taken a peek at your parents' wedding albums, you already know that certain aspects of weddings have definitely changed over the years. These changes are due to style trends, traditions, and even technology. We can't deny that social media, apps, and tech startups have changed so much of our lives, even weddings!


We got a chance to take a peek at Mindy's updated guide book and thought it would be great to share some key takeaways with all the brides and grooms-to-be. According to Mindy, these are the areas that are worth the splurge or that are the best places to cut back on your wedding spending. You can get more fabulous advice from the queen of weddings in her book. Buy The Wedding Book on Amazon.


The Ten Best Ways to Cut Wedding Costs according to Mindy Weiss


When it comes to cutting costs on your big day, there are ways that are obvious and some that are not-so-obvious. The important thing to keep in mind is not compromising the quality of your guests' experience while also cutting costs. Here are Mindy's top 10 suggestions for reducing your wedding spend without compromising:


1. Trim the guest list. 

Your cost goes up exponentially for each additional guest you add to your list, so keeping your wedding intimate will save you a bundle.


2. Choose a beautiful setting.

Whether it’s a garden or a grand ballroom, choosing a location that has beautiful scenery or gorgeous details will eliminate the need for excessive decorations.


3. Find an all-inclusive venue.

Mindy suggests skipping the off-site locations that require you to bring in all your rentals yourself. It can often be much more affordable to choose a venue that includes tables, chairs, flatware, staff and more.


4. Have an Early Wedding.

Start your wedding day early to save a bundle. Breakfast, lunch, or even brunch weddings can drastically save your budget. The food will cost significantly less and most likely your bar tab will be lower, as well.


5. Limit the Bar Options.

Refine your alcohol options to wine and beer, and perhaps a signature wedding cocktail or two. Hosting an open bar with top shelf liquors can seriously bust your budget, and it's mostly unnecessary. 


6. Choose an Off-Day.

Consider hosting your wedding on a Sunday or even a weekday to reduce the price. Saturdays are peak days for weddings and come at a higher cost. Choosing an off-day will save a ton on the vendors and venue!


7. Skip the bubbly.

Your guests don't need pricey champagne to toast to the happy couple. The folks who attend your reception can still raise their glasses with whatever they happen to be drinking, so skip this added unnecessary expense.


8. Entertain for Less.

Instead of hiring a live band with multiple musicians, opt for a DJ. If your budget is extra tight, you could even have a friend create and manage the playlist throughout your event.


9. Choose Flat Printed Invites.

Select an inexpensive printing method for your invitations rather than luxe letterpress printing. Even offset printing is attainable for a fraction of the price of letterpress or engraving.


10. Skip the favors.

You're already hosting and entertaining your guests for an entire evening, so giving them an additional favor is unnecessary. Consider writing a personal note instead to express your sincere thanks and gratitude.


The Five Best Places to Splurge on Your Wedding according to Mindy Weiss


If you're looking to get the best bang for your buck, Mindy has five great suggestions that she says are worth the splurge. Consider putting aside some of your wedding budget for these event-enhancing areas of your big day.


1. Waitstaff for your Reception

Your venue or caterer will often provide a standard number of staff per certain number of tables. If your service staff is on the light side, your guests may not be served at the same time and it could ruin the flow of the event. Half of your guests could be finished with their meals while the other half are still waiting to receive their main course. It is worth the funds to add an extra few waiters to make sure your guests get much faster service.


2. Professional lighting.

Professional Lighting can truly enhance an event. Well-done wedding lighting highlights areas of interest and adds dimension to an average room. It can also cast a glow that flatters everyone and makes your photos look even better.


3. Non-stop entertainment.

If you're having a live band, go all-in. Many bands will take several breaks throughout the evening, where they will add in a playlist in the band's downtime. If you can afford the additional cost, it's worth it to pay for a few extra musicians so the live music never stops playing, ensuring the party never stops!


4. Guest menus and paper goods.

A well-designed, printed menu or wedding program can really add a lovely detail to your wedding, giving your guests all the info they need to know. And they also make a wonderful keepsake for your guests to include in their scrapbooks. 


5. Extra Photo Prints.

Order extra photo prints from your photographer so you can give certain photos as gifts, or include them in your thank you notes to your guests.


We hope these pieces of advice prove to be helpful in your decisions of how to spend your wedding funds. If you're looking for a comprehensive guide to help you navigate every aspect of your wedding day, even among the changing digital landscape, be sure to pick up Mindy Weiss' The Wedding Book on Amazon.