Russel says I should start and end this post with “Everything.” I’m not gonna do that, but I will confess that the title should probably say “Things *I* Am Spending Too Much Money On.” Several of our wedding elements that are super important to me happen to be somewhat pricey. I knew that going in, and all of the research and planning I’ve done have only solidified it. Isn’t that what budgets are for, though? If a few things are expensive, it just means that we have to pinch pennies elsewhere to make it all fit. That’s exactly what I have tried to do, but it doesn’t make it any easier to look at the invoices.
So, here they are — the things that I am spending too much money on:
- Photography. This is HUGELY important to me. I have always known that this would be a high priority, and just as I suspected, it is costing us a lot of money. One of the first things I did once we settled on a date and location was research photographers. After scouring the Interwebz for hours and hours looking at northeast and central Ohio photogs and their reviews, I made a giant spreadsheet detailing packages and prices, add-ons, and general pros and cons of about 10 or so. I included free or discounted engagement sessions (which we didn’t end up wanting — score one for saving!), free or discounted extras like albums or canvases and whether or not their prices included two photographers rather than one. I really wanted two shooters, so it was a major pro when a package included it right off the bat. The bad news was that almost every single photographer I found/liked was in the same general price range — AKA insanely expensive. Russel and I actually clashed over this for weeks on end. He wanted to spend a third of what most of them charge. That sounded great to me! I was more than willing to talk to anyone he could find in that price range, as long as their work was great. So I waited … and waited. And he didn’t come up with anyone. I also kept searching, but I didn’t have any luck, either. Eventually, I scheduled a couple meetings with people on my original list. Our date was booking up fast, and I didn’t want to risk waiting much longer. We met with a couple people, and we really liked one of them immediately. Did we like her price? No, not really, but it was clear that we were going to spend a pretty penny on someone, so we decided it was going to be her. It wasn’t easy dropping that much money, but I am certain that I will cherish my wedding photos for years to come, so that makes it easier to handle.
- My wedding gown. If there is anything this site has taught me, it’s that you can find gorgeous dresses on a tight budget. I actually considered going the Etsy route at one point in time, so I was perfectly okay getting a dress that wasn’t outrageously expensive. And truthfully, what I did end up spending wasn’t outrageous at all in the grand scheme of things. I fell in love with a Maggie Sottero dress that was everything I wanted — light, flowy and unique. I’ve never been into traditional strapless gowns, and with my giant rack, straps were almost a necessity rather than a preference. So I found her, I bought her and I am happy I did.
- Hair and makeup. I’ve been going to the same salon and hair stylist for the past four or so years, and there is absolutely no one else that I would want to do my hair on my wedding day. Unfortunately, that means I am paying extra money for her to travel a little over an hour to do her thing off-site. Add in the makeup artist, and yeah … Not cheap. But I am saving a little money by having a friend do hair and makeup for a couple of my bridesmaids, so that is a plus.
So those are my splurges. I fully admit that I could have saved money on them, but I thought long and hard about each and every choice, and I really do believe that they are worth it in the end. I also know there are many things we are sacrificing in order to make everything work within our budget. I would love to have a videographer, but that’s a no-go. A day-of coordinator? Yeah, not happening. We’re spending $150 on our wedding cake when the national average is $450+. And let’s not forget that our venue is $400, which includes most of the tables and chairs we will be using. We’re making it all work for our bottom line, which is what it’s all about for us.