Splurging vs. Saving on Your Wedding

When It Comes to Your Wedding Budget, What's Worth a Splurge and What Isn't?

saving for the wedding
Getty Images/THEPALMER

If you are currently planning a wedding, you have probably heard the age-old advice of prioritizing when it comes to your budget. Traditional wedding planning advice suggests choosing three areas of focus or three aspects of your wedding that are most important to you and then allocating a larger percentage of your funds to those areas. This is a great way to start out your planning and budgeting, but you may find yourself scrambling for ways to afford the rest of your wedding expenses on the remaining budget you've got left.

For example, you may find yourself dreaming of a high-end designer wedding gown, only to realize that the dress makes up more than half of your total budget! While an amazing dress might feel like a must-have, you will likely realize that it should not be considered a high priority if it affects the rest of your wedding budget in a negative way. So how does one decide when to save versus when to splurge? If you are having trouble choosing which areas to prioritize or allocate more of your wedding budget to, consider putting each item through the following qualifying questions and you will surely find your answer.

Who Benefits From the Purchase of This Item or Service?

Of course, it is your wedding day, but keep in mind that your guests are a big part of the equation, too. Ask yourself if you are the only person who benefits from this particular expenditure. If you're thinking about something like your dress, then chances are you may be the only person who benefits from an expensive gown.

Wouldn't that money be better spent on something that enhances the experience for your guests who attend your wedding? You might have to get really honest with yourself about your wedding priorities to determine which things are worth the splurge.

Can I Recoup Some of This Expense?

On the other hand, something like your dress could potentially be resold to recoup some of your investment after your big day.

So if your dress is a big priority for you, consider either purchasing secondhand to save or resell the gown after your wedding to make some of your money back.

How Long Will This Purchase Last?

If you are considering splurging on something such as flowers, it is easy to see that they are an item that will not last much longer than your wedding day. Items that can really only be enjoyed on the day of the wedding might not be worth splurging on. One area that is often a big splurge for couples is their wedding photography, as photos from the wedding day will be one of the only lasting pieces which can actually be enjoyed for years to come. Splurging on great photography or videography to capture your day is absolutely a worthy investment. 

Will This Enhance the Guest Experience?

Does the item you are considering spending on enhancing the experience for your guests? One area that can only be enjoyed on the wedding day but is often worth the splurge is food. Having a unique, delicious and filling meal for your guests is a worthy area in which to invest your budget. No matter what you feed your guests it most likely will not come cheap, as you'll be feeding a large group of people. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to save on your wedding catering even if you do make it a high priority, budget-wise.

If you keep each of these questions in the front of your mind as you plan your big day, it is all the more likely you'll have an easier time determining which areas are most important to spend or save on.