8/17 Real Bride Rachel: Things We Are Spending Too Much Money On

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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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

What did you decide were your splurge priorities? Is there any aspect of your wedding day where you think you’re spending too much money? Share in the comments!

  • Elizabeth Weller

    Thank you for posting this!! Your selection processes for a photographer and a dress are EXACTLY how ours/mine went. We loved our photog from the get-go, and while she’s not cheap, I’m so excited to work with her. And my dress: more than I’d thought, but I knew it was THE dress the minute I put it on. I’d been feeling not-very-BAB about some of our choices, but the BAB title fits everyone’s needs differently. You do you, your wedding will be amazing!