What's Worth the Splurge?

Wondering if that high-end designer cake is worth its weight? What about a pricey dress, menu, flowers? We'll help you decide what's worth the splurge and where it's better to save when it comes to your wedding budget.

Contributing Writer


If you and your guy love trying new restaurants, splurge on the wedding meal. But what if you want to serve a meal that reflects your sophisticated tastes but you know many of your guests aren't adventurous eaters like you are? Don't just serve a roast pheasant entrée—offer a chicken dish as well. If food isn't a big passion of yours, move up the wedding so the reception doesn't run into mealtime; at 6:00 pm, guests will expect a meal but not so much at a 2:00 pm wedding. Or have a lunchtime reception because you can serve lighter food in less quantity than you would at dinnertime.

Saturday night

If you can't imagine getting married on a Tuesday night or Sunday, book your Saturday wedding. But for those who want to save big time, booking an off-night (any evening but Saturday) may land you substantial savings on the venue, dj, and photographer. So will saying I do during the off-season: If your wedding will take place in the Northeast, for example, discounts will heat up during colder months; in Southwest summers, when temps rise to three scorching digits, you'll find the best deals.


If you've dreamed of your dress since you were little, splurge on that one-of-a-kind creation you've got your eye on. But if you're no fashionista—you're fine wearing last year's jeans to work—then buy a dress off-the-rack at a national bridal retailer. Either way, make sure you get a flattering dress and the right alterations so the dress fits perfectly—you'll be the center of attention and you want to look spectacular.


Your Ultimate Guide to Wedding-Dress Alterations


If you envision a forest of flowers, from roses to ranunculus, decorating your ceremony and reception sites, go ahead and order a garden's worth. Create a flower wall, garland-draped staircases, or a floral chandelier. But be a saver, too: Order the bridesmaids much simpler bouquets than yours. And repurpose the ceremony arrangements at the reception. The freestanding décor that made the altar look so pretty can later decorate the party entrance, escort card pickup area, or dessert table.


If you consider a wedding cake more than dessert but rather an artistic statement, this is a place to splurge. To save, don't scrimp on size, but have a simpler design in bold colors, which takes less labor, than, say, a cake covered with handmade sugar flowers.


DIY Wedding Cake Decorating Ideas That are Super Easy (and Chic!)


Unless you have a thing for mini photo frames and personalized coasters, save your money and skip favors. Few guests will notice—many actually forget (or choose not) to take them home anyway.


If exploring the world gets your engines revving, splurge on that exotic honeymoon to Bali or the African safari that you've been fantasizing about. But if a week at a Caribbean all-inclusive surrounded by other young newlyweds makes you happy, pick a resort where the sun will warm your back and the sand will cool your toes, and pack plenty of sunscreen!


Have the Best Honeymoon Ever
About the Author

Nancy Mattia

Though Nancy has been writing about weddings for years, she admits that watching a bride walk down the aisle—even on TV—still makes her tear up. The New York-area writer's other favorite wedding moments are when the groom sees the bride for the first time, hearing the toasts, and when she sees a waiter with a tray full of hors d'oeuvres walking towards her. 


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