What do you wish you’d spent more money on?

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Frankensara Rings
We are close to hitting the ceiling on our small-budget wedding, and I'd love to hear from Offbeat Bride readers who've finished their weddings…

What are things that you wish you spent more or less on?

I am trying to balance my tight-fisted nature with my f-it attitude.


Offbeat spouses, we know TONS of you are still reading (you're 20% of our readership!) and we need to know: Looking back, what do you wish you'd spent more money on? Bonus question: what do you wish you'd spent LESS money on?

Comments on What do you wish you’d spent more money on?

  1. In hindsight, I wish we’d have paid for a day-of-coordinator. There were some little things that got forgotten that I wish had happened (although only minorly so), and someone to keep us a bit on task would’ve helped since some of the things that were forgotten were mostly through a lack of us being able to pay attention to time.

    I am glad we got a photographer though – originally it was the one thing that I thought would be first to get cut out because I didn’t care much about pictures, but in the end I am so so so glad we hired someone. The photos were amazeballs, she was amazeballs, and I don’t regret that being the most expensive part of the wedding.

    • yes to day-of-coordinator, I pushed hard for it but my husband was not on board. So it didn’t happen. But then we were already agreed on getting photography.

    • Same here… we didn’t really think about getting one, and we didn’t have any money in the budget for one anyway, but the few small things that make me angry/sad when I look back on our wedding would have easily been prevented by having a day-of-coordinator. So many small communication issues. And having someone’s experienced advice would have been nice too. Ah well.

    • Similarly, I wish I had hired a team to do the set up. We had limited time pre-wedding at the venue and it was STRESSFUL on my bridal party to execute set up. I could have hired the stagehands I work with and I could have been drinking champagne and enjoying the bridal party besties instead of sweating and setting up tables and chairs.

      • My Wedding Coordinator was the best thing I could have done for myself that day. My number one goal with wedding planning was not to be stressed out, and I couldn’t have done it without Tim. He was AMAZING, and in the end, it was only because I knew he was there that I could relax and just enjoy the day.

  2. I wish we had spent more on photography and more importantly, had hired a different photographer. The pictures are terrible, she was crazy unprofessional, we didn’t get most of the shots we wanted, and all around it was a horrid experience. I also wish we had though to hire folks to clean the reception area post brunch rather than use do it in our dresses!

    I am totally happy with everything else we spent. It was worth it to us to have corsages and boutonnieres made by a local shop than try to DIY them, and we DIYed just about everything! Our friends helped out big time and they made everything way better than we could have ever imagined. I do wish we had made time for speeches/toasts during the reception. It just never occurred to me in the planning!

  3. Photography.

    We actually had a wonderful photographer and not only have we gotten a lot of compliments on the quality of our photos, but our photographer was a great emotional support during the day too. However, I still want more! I’m very sensitive to being photographed and freeze up around cameras, so there are a very limited number that show me really looking like my natural self. If I was doing it again, I would pay for a second photographer (which ours asked if we wanted, but at the time we were more concerned about the cost). In retrospect, I would have happily paid twice as much for photography, even if it only resulted in a few more good shots.

  4. Looking back on our wedding it is hard to find things I was unhappy with, so I am going to share two things I’m glad I (and my bff- you’ll get it later) spent more on.

    Photographer- I did the same thing. I was worried about budget so I asked other like-minded brides for advice. Each said photography. We were lucky and found a pro who didn’t break the bank, was great to work with, and did beautiful work.

    The thing I almost regretted was my bouquet. I wanted simple, but I was also run-down from decision-making. It happens. I was ready to settle for a large bunch of white carnations I planned to tie together myself the day-of. My best friend, who was recently married, said she wished she had a bigger bouquet. She told me, “it’s kind of the centerpiece of you and you’re kind of the center of the day.” I told her she as right but I just couldn’t choose anymore. She said she could pick it for me, but if she did I wouldn’t be allowed to pay for it or see it until the wedding day. Mostly out of exhaustion, I agreed. The bouquet she chose made my carnations even sound laughable just mentioning it. It had large lime green (wedding color) spider mums, a few white roses, and beautiful blue and purple orchids.

    I am so glad we made those choices. Thanks to both of these I have a great photo of me, mouth agape, taking my first look at my bouquet.

    Just remember, be happy. 🙂

    • So glad you got an awesome bouquet! I was the opposite – I wanted really really simple. Basically, I wanted it to look like i’d picked flowers last-minute. And fortunately, I found a florist who completely understood, and it was small and lovely and wild but still wrapped so it wasn’t uncomfortable and didn’t fall apart. But honestly? I kind of wish I hadn’t had a bouquet at all. It didn’t even last the night, and since flowers weren’t really the decor at my wedding they look out of place in the pictures. And it meant I couldn’t link arms with both my parents as they walked me down the aisle. And it was just annoying to hold on to during pictures. But! Whatever floats your boat, obviously. 🙂

    • i used the lime green spider mums for all my bridesmaids!! their bouquets were super simple, just 5 mums w/black ribbon (the wedding colors were lime & peacock blue- it was so awesome together!!) my bouquet was all white, with a multitude of different flowers, white spider mums, regular mums, dahlias, hydrangeas, ranunculus, and more) i wish i hadn’t put the little mums in. they were left over from the mother’s corsages and i didn’t want to waste them, but i should have just left them out & put them in the throw away bouquet, it would have been more cohesive & prettier with the lightness of the other flowers. i love though that looking back at the entire wedding, there are just tiny details that i would change- our day as a whole was so beautiful and magical i can’t complain about anything!

  5. First, I completely agree with those who said they wished they’d invested more in photography. You get what you pay for! We hired a photographer from another state, via a Facebook discount, and were thoroughly underwhelmed with the results. I should have hired my friend whose photography I know and love – it totally would have been worth $2500 instead of the $1000 that we paid.

    We also should’ve spent more money on transport! Most guests drove to our venue, but for those who didn’t have cars, we rented a large van and asked my cousin-in-law to shuttle them from their hotels. Well, he was late picking up the van, got stuck in traffic, and didn’t make it in time. All our car-less guests ended up having to take taxis… at greater expense (and with much more embarrassment to us) than if we’d just hired a professional transport service. DIY fail.

    I also wish we’d put more time, thought, and money into our *pre*-ceremony reception. You know how guests always end up waiting around for the ceremony to begin – hungry, bored, and (for a morning wedding) wishing for caffeine? We tried to solve this problem by having a gathering place with coffee and pastries laid out. However, it was *so* popular that everything disappeared within minutes. It certainly would’ve been worth spending $5 per person instead of $1 per person for this.

    Actually, there’s nothing I wish we’d spent less money on (we strove to be thrifty throughout). Our lunch reception was by far the biggest expense – about $100 per head – but it was worth it, as our guests genuinely praised the food. And my husband and I, who love food, wouldn’t have wanted it any other way!

  6. Music/DJ. I had my laptop set up with a playlist and a friend who was supposed to be managing it, but he got wrapped up in the festivities and didn’t do a good job – I ended up having to change the songs myself.

    It would have totally been worth the money to me to pay someone to push play/pause on my playlist and make announcements like when we were cutting the cake, etc.

  7. I wish I had hired a go-to person to coordinate the day of and a few days before the wedding. My wedding party was great but most of them arrived the day before the wedding (all were out-of-towners) and there just wasn’t time to communicate all that needed to get done. Alternatively, I wish I had spent the extra money on buying favors (we were going to get Rileyville soap for everyone) because our DIY favors, while totally awesome, cost nearly as much as the soaps would have. However, I’m kind of over it. I’ve learned that everyone’s wedding is utter chaos for the people getting married, and now I’m a big fan of elopements. If you want it to be about you, just go.

  8. The honeymoon for sure. I remember about 1/10th of our wedding day and so much more of our honeymoon.

  9. Ii know this is a question about money, but I did think of one thing I wish I did spend less of…

    I wish I had spent less time… worrying that people would be let-down or unhappy with our wedding. We chose to make it about us, but I was worried people wouldn’t enjoy themselves. I ended up getting so many compliments that the guests had fun, felt cared for, ate and drank plenty (and just for fun and safety we had a contest to see who got the highest on the pocket breathalizer at the end of the night), and that our wedding was different.

  10. Here are some things I am super glad I didn’t spend more money on:
    – DON’T NEED: Chairs or chair covers. The venue had these really blah brown fabric chairs with metal frames that reminded me of work (conference chairs), inside an amazing stone barn. I was offered chiavari chairs ($9/per!) and covers, and both just seemed dumb, but I wondered about how unique the space would look with what I saw as convention hall. Wedding: never thought about it. So that probably goes for other things in the venue that are sort of just there. Don’t worry about it.
    – WISH – Photography: This may be less about price than ensuring photographer has experience and the style you really want. Our guy had some decent shots but he didn’t think to get us with our parents/family in a casual style (We didn’t want posed). We were too busy and needed someone with the shot list or instinct to make sure that happened. I think someone with a higher rate might be worth it, if it’s based on experience.
    – DON’T NEED: DJ: Glad we didn’t spend on this at all. Set up the booth and had friends who were each assigned 1 hour of play time. Friends loved the job because they loved music and coordinated with each other.
    – DON’T NEED: Stationery: we didn’t use invitations – did website instead. Totally does the job, except for older folks (make them cards).
    – WISH: VIDEO: Okay this is probably the big one. We cared a lot about words – the speeches. I wish, wish we had someone record them. We had someone record our ceremony but could not really ask a friend to record the evening – it’s time for everyone to relax and listen and not be ‘on the job’. I don’t think it has to break the bank – some film student with an iphone and a stand would do. But I would love to have had that on video.

    • Thank you for the chair reassurance! Decided not to get chair covers as so much money but was worried it won’t look ‘special’ enough. Your comments make me feel better about that!

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