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What do you wish you spent more/less on?

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eleguin

Shiny_Rock
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May 16, 2006
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246
So my fiance and I are paying for our wedding ourselves. It''s going to be in Long Island, NY with about 150-200 guests. We''ve gone over our budget many times, but it''s still tough to make sure we''ll have enough at the end. We have about 7 months left to sav. Every time I see something cool, I want to get it/book it for our wedding. Sometimes I need to stop myself and remind myself that there is still life after the wedding and we shouldn''t blow everything we have on one day.

So for those of you who are planning their wedding or already had their wedding, what do you think brides-to-be should splurge on and what do you think can be cut back?
 

dtnyc

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jul 27, 2005
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1,088
I wish I hadn''t spent as much on my BM gifts as I did. I made them all silver and pearl/semi-precious stone jewelry and spent who knows how much on supplies for that- and I didn''t even make them wear the stuff in my wedding, I told them to wear it if they wanted, or to wear pearls... only 3 out of the 6 wore it.
I also gave them kate spade key chain/coin pouches, monogrammed jewely bags and monogrammed tote bags. With 6 girls it adds up quick! looking back I wish I had set a budget of $75-$100 per girl & per guy and stuck w/ it. Also I wish I had surpervised DH''s groomsmen gifts, as he gave them silver-plate (ICK!) cufflinks and I would have found sterling ones for him for like $10 more per guy.

I think I spent a lot of $$$ on random craft stuff- like ribbon and paper that I ended up not using all of and I should have had more restraint there.

I wish I had spent a little more time looking for a photographer- I have some great photos but was having a tough time finding a photog in our budget so I ended up going w/ someone who was actually under our budget- which is really good, but now I realize that I didn''t know about a lot of possible photogs out there.
 

jcrow

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 8, 2005
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7,395
good question. for me, i was happy that i didn't spend any on favors. didn't have them. really, no one said anything about it. i doubt they even noticed. i also don't regret not spending on alter arrangements. we didn't have them. i actually cut our flower budget in about half and didn't regret it. didn't miss this that or the other arrangements that we didn't have. at the time, i was worried that we didn't have enough food. but in the end it wasn't a problem at all. i think as long as there is food and it isn't terrible, then it's not a problem. we also saved by not having a premium bar. we served house drinks but had an open bar. no regrets there. one thing i do sorta wonder about is the coordinator we hired. i think her price was high for what she contributed, but that's a specific situation maybe. another thing we saved on is transportation. SO glad we did. we asked my SIL who has a white tahoe to drive the bridal party (3 bm's and myself) to the church from the hotel. she also drove me and my husband and her husband to the reception. no one was even around to see the vehicle cause we took pics at the church. by the time we arrived, everyone was already at the reception and couldn't even see the drive up. we did spend $ on the getaway bentley. SOOOOO glad we did that. it was a great decision for us to leave in and not use it for any other time. people saw it & it was a great surprise to end the night.

a good chunk of the budget was spent on the dress, the photographer, and the videographer. i'm happy about that. i think that's where quality is important. our at least it was for us. and i'm happy about that decision. oh, yeh, and we spent $$ on invites. i put my heart in all of my paper products. but i wouldn't have it any other way.
 

janinegirly

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Sep 21, 2006
Messages
3,689
great thread!

do you guys think a videographer is worth it? seems annoying to have a camera around all the time and do you really watch it?

i think cutting the budget on flowers/favors is a great idea. flowers are important, but you can choose more economical ones (roses etc) and still have things be beautiful.
we also found a "cheaper" band who we got great reviews on--we deal with the bandleader direct re: prices. I think bands that are hired through agencies rip you off a lot more.
we are not skimping on photog or dress/high quality tuxes though...


we also got a sale on the menu for booking early in january.
it is possible to keep things reasonable, but not easy!!
 

jcrow

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 8, 2005
Messages
7,395
i started off with a videographer not in the budget. i thought we''d never watch that video once it''s all said and done. but thanks to gingerB i found a fabulous fabulous fabulous videographer. i just fell in LOVE with his style of work. it was everything i loved about my photographer''s style but set to motion. we just got our video this weekend and are SO happy we decided to hire him. i can relieve the day through the video. there is just something so magical about it.
 

diamondfan

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jun 17, 2005
Messages
11,016
I think certain things can easily be cut, but photos and video are the things that are irreplaceable and if you do not have either or have good pictures, you cannot really go back and get them...just be selective about who you hire, make sure you like their style and try to work on pricing etc so there are no surprises in the end...

Favors are tough. I am sure guests appreciate them but I have never gone to a wedding and been upset to NOT get one, so it is a funny thing. I would love what I got, but do not need to have something, so I think that is another place to be more deliberate in your spending...everthing adds up...
 

KimberlyH

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jun 15, 2006
Messages
7,485
I am glad I spent a decent amount of money on:

My dress
Alterations
Hubby''s suit
Food
The guitarist
A babysitter for my then 9 month old nephew (so my sister and her husband could stay as long as they wanted and enjoy themselves)

I am thankful I didn''t spend a lot on:

decorations
flowers

We didn''t have attendants so that
 

KristyDarling

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jul 27, 2005
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3,858
I wish I had spent less on the photographer and videographer. My useless wedding coordinator recommended them. They were supposedly upper tier vendors and it turns out that the finished products were not very special at all. Ordinary looking and unimpressive. Definitely not remotely worth the money. If I were to do that part all over again, I''d shop around A LOT more, and would even consider hiring an eager, talented art school photography major. I''d ask a relative to videotape the event.

I wish I had spent a little more on my wedding gown. I was impatient with the dress process and bought the 3rd dress I tried on because it looked OK and was cheap. In retrospect, I could''ve found several other dresses that would''ve been way more flattering. I noticed in my pics that my cheapo satin gown LOOKED cheap on film. If I were to do it over again, I''d go with real silk.

I wish I had spent more money on having my makeup done professionally. I had it done by a "dabbler" (the first and only makeup person I tried out) who advertised her services in a local paper. She wasn''t a professional makeup artist, more like a hobbyist, and it showed in her work. But, the price was right and I was too impatient to shop around for other makeup artists. So in my wedding pics, I had a deathly-white face with geisha girl pink eye shadow and red, red lips. It was GHASTLY.

I wish I had spent less money on my wedding cake. On the advice of my useless wedding coordinator, I ordered my cake from Perfect Endings in Napa...which she conveniently did NOT disclose was THE MOST expensive cakemaker in the country. As usual, I blindly accepted her advice and bought their most basic cake, which was STILL ridiculously expensive. $1500 for a super-plain, white cake that feeds 140!!!!

I REALLY wish I hadn''t spent all that money on that dumb wedding coordinator. She was imperious, snooty, and was more interested in getting me to hire HER recommended vendors (I''m sure she got kickbacks) than in helping me have a great wedding on a doable budget. But at the time, I wanted very little to do with the whole planning process and was willing to just "hand the whole thing over" to the coordinator. I regret that now. I should''ve taken more interest and had more pride in my big day! Instead, I prided myself on how little pride I had in putting together a nice event! (ah, the silliness of youth!) If I were to do it all over again, I''d take the reins, get really involved, and shop around like crazy!

In general, I really think it''s important that you feel like you look your MOST beautiful on your wedding day. If that means trying out 10 different hair and makeup artists and 100 gowns, so be it!! I also would recommend buying silk instead of satin, if possible. Photos and video are important, but don''t get ripped off by the expensive "big name" vendors -- I think it''s actually more important that you have a good rapport with your video/photog, because if you do, it will shine through in your photos/video.
 

TravelingGal

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Dec 29, 2004
Messages
17,193
Aw KD...sorry to hear you have so many regrets. If I had to pick a PSers wedding to go to, based on what I perceive they are like...it would be yours as I am sure it would be a very classy affair with a happy bride!

Back to the OP...I think you should splurge on the one or two things that you identify are really important to you...whatever they are. Everything else can be researched to death to find ways you can do them affordably.


We splurged on food, wine and open bar. I also wanted my in laws to have a great time while they were here so I splurged and put in a few thousand to help pay for a beachfront cottage on the strand in Hermosa Beach, where we had our ceremony. Money was no object on hair/makeup too...Joyce Luck was worth every cent I paid her...for her work and her lovely personality.

Those were my extras...everyone else was done pretty darn cheaply. BTW, my brother and his friend are good with the video camera and he has a high end one. I can edit video on my own and it was fun to do. Photographs are nice, but I love watching the video...it captures moments and nuances of emotion that photographs cannot completely do.
 

eleguin

Shiny_Rock
Joined
May 16, 2006
Messages
246
Thanks for all the replies everyone! So far we have splurged quite a bit on the photographer/videographer and the honeymoon. We haven''t ordered invitations, stationery and many other things yet. I think I spent a modest amount on my dress (it is a Maggie Sottero, so not outrageously expensive but I wouldn''t say cheap either). We booked a florist for $2000 (18 centerpieces and bouquets, etc) but I''m not sure if that''s considered a lot.

Did anyone splurge on their limo? FI and I really like the Porsche limo (he is a huge Porsche fan), but it costs twice as much as a regular stretch limo and we aren''t going to be riding in it very long (it''s not far from the hotel where I''m getting ready to the reception hall where we have our ceremony and reception). But it''s one of those things that we''d probably never splurge on ever again so I am really debating it.

Any other insights and advice would be great.
 

KristyDarling

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
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Messages
3,858
Date: 1/23/2007 2:07:29 PM
Author: TravelingGal
Aw KD...sorry to hear you have so many regrets. If I had to pick a PSers wedding to go to, based on what I perceive they are like...it would be yours as I am sure it would be a very classy affair with a happy bride!
.
Really?
I''m flattered! Actually, my guests told me that they had a great time (almost everyone left stone cold drunk!) so I am VERY thankful that everyone enjoyed themselves. DH and I are going to renew our vows in 5 years (totally private ceremony) so I''ll have a second chance at being a "bride."
Goes without saying that I''m going to do things very differently then!
 

KristyDarling

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jul 27, 2005
Messages
3,858
Date: 1/23/2007 2:47:06 PM
Author: eleguin
Did anyone splurge on their limo? FI and I really like the Porsche limo (he is a huge Porsche fan), but it costs twice as much as a regular stretch limo and we aren''t going to be riding in it very long (it''s not far from the hotel where I''m getting ready to the reception hall where we have our ceremony and reception). But it''s one of those things that we''d probably never splurge on ever again so I am really debating it.


Any other insights and advice would be great.
A Porsche limo?? I had no idea they even existed!
I guess if there were ever a time to be driven around in a Porsche limo, this would be IT!!!
 

Mara

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Oct 30, 2002
Messages
31,003
i think that everyone's idea of what to splurge on vs not is unique...but it's always fun to hear what people did spend on vs not or what they wanted to change!

for me i didn't want to splurge on my dress or the cake. the food was afforable so that worked out....but if we had gotten married locally, ay carumba it would have been a splurge we DIDNT want but probably felt forced to have. same with liquor/wines. we love great food but half the time the food at weddings is not phenomenal and it's just expensive. so we liked that in hawaii we could have a big huge yummy feast for cheap (compared to local). and lots of fun tropical drinks for cheap too.

i really wanted to splurge on flowers and we definitely did. we spent almost double the original budget but it was worth it. photography was important to me so we spent a fair amount on that as well and brought our photographer from SF with us.

we didn't have a videographer, since it wasn't important to us to have a big long video, and it was really expensive (more than photography!)!! luckily a friend videotaped the ceremony which is all we wanted anyway.

i wish i could have spent less on my dress but at the time there weren't that many cute options for what i wanted, now there are way more destination friendly gowns under $1k but at the time $1k was kind of a bargain to find something with the quality i wanted.

other than the dress, i am pretty happy with what we did spend on vs not. also i think the whole destination, island thing made it easier for us to focus on what was important to us and not so much about what was 'right' to do or spend on (aka overpaying for food and wine and open bar).

oh and we splurged on the honeymoon which we totally loved...no regrets there. a friend is getting married this june and they are going to greece for 10 days...total splurge, i said DO IT!!! you will have the most priceless memories ever of your honeymoon. we definitely do.
 

eleguin

Shiny_Rock
Joined
May 16, 2006
Messages
246
This is the Porsche Cayenne limo. I personally don''t think it''s sooo amazing, but FI is really into it. He keeps talking about wishing he had a Porsche. I asked for a quote and they gave me $1100 for 3 hours. We could get a regular limo for $600 or so for the same time frame. But I keep thinking about how awesome it would be to have this for him


porsche.jpg
 

San Diego Bride

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Apr 9, 2006
Messages
392
our splurges:
food (it really was quite good)
alcohol (martinit bar and all)
photographer (she really got some amazing photos, and it really wasn''t a splurge since she was just starting out, but this is an area that we were prepared to splurge on. we did pay extra to get pictures taken on the beach afterwards and we LOVE them)
treating everyone to sunday brunch at the Hotel del Coronado the next morning

places we saved:
we had a day wedding
my dress (made by my mom)
stationary (save the dates, invitations, menus, place cards, thank yous were all DIY)
cake (we had a cupcake cake instead)
music (we had a string quartet for the ceremony and a harpist for the cocktail hour, but an ipod for the reception)
favors (we made a donation to one of our favorite charities for our guests)
guest list (limited to 45 guests)
videographer (didn''t have one)
transportation (didn''t have any)


overall i am still pretty happy with our splurges and saves. the only thing i would do differently would be to hire a videographer for the ceremony only. we didn''t hire one because we don''t like it when people stick a camera in your face and ask you if you have any words for the bride and groom, but i would really like to watch our ceremony again.
 

codex57

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Dec 18, 2004
Messages
1,492
Wish we didn''t spend that much on the dress. But, it made her really happy so it''s not like I regret it or anything.
 

ChargerGrrl

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 17, 2005
Messages
2,865
We spent more on our priorities:
- Good food & wine (came with the place- we were married at a winery)
- photographer
- invites
- transportation from the "homebase" hotel to the winery & back (wanted our guests to be free to enjoy themselves and partake of the awesome wine)

Non-priorities:
- flowers
- dress
- favors (didn''t have ''em & no one missed ''em!)

Wish I would''ve spent more on the alterations. I lost a bit of wieght in my bust RIGHT before the wedding and didn''t go back to the seamstress to fix the dress. It''s a bit saggy in a couple of pics, which drives me CRAZY!
 
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