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Wedding Wednesdays: Save or Splurge? Wedding Budget Tips! [Episode Eight]

It’s no secret that weddings can be expensive. The real secret is that it’s possible to save money in areas that matter less to you! Today we’re breaking it down for you on just where to save or splurge.


Listen on Apple podcasts here!


Episode breakdown

Photography and Videography

We’re starting here because your wedding photographer and videographer are the ones who capture your Big Day. You will relive your memories over and over again because of their work. The frames in your home will be filled with the pictures your photographer takes. Your wedding video is something you will show your children and grandchildren for years to come.

I’ve seen well-meaning friends advise that you find a student photographer or videographer so you can save some money. Our advice: don’t! Hire a professional and you’ll get what you pay for.

The verdict: splurge


Some brilliant input from David McLean of DMC Photography:

An option that some couples look at is either to ask a friend with a camera to take their wedding photos or perhaps a friend with an interest in photography will offer to take their wedding photos for them. However what can look like a money saving idea can be the most expensive mistake a couple can make as you don’t get a 2nd chance to get everything right on the day.

A friend may have a good camera but do they have spare batteries, a selection of lenses to cover all circumstances, flash or other lighting if needed, the ability to get clear photos in dark areas if lighting is not allowed, plenty of memory cards, a sturdy tripod if needed and then a back-up of all the items just listed. 

Will a friend have access to professional editing software which will add the WOW factor to your photos and if they do will they have the skills and the time to edit your photos? Will they have access to professional wedding albums?

Also more and more reception venues are looking for proof of insurance from wedding photographers, will they have that?



Ordering one gorgeous cake isn’t going to tip your budget over the edge. Having an interactive dessert buffet won’t do it either. Or how about serving a beautiful dessert? Nope, that won’t do it. What will break your budget is going overboard with all of it. If you’re looking to save, your dessert is a great way to do it. You could serve your wedding cake as dessert, or you could buy a small cake to cut and then serve dessert or have a candy buffet instead. Unless you have a major sweet tooth, you don’t need all three.

Whatever you choose, get an expert involved! Don’t try to save by ordering a cake from your nearest grocery store and creating your own candy buffet (think of how much you’ll spend on all the sweets, jars and cute signs).

The verdict: save


Expert tip from Carolyn’s Sweets:

I’ve definitely seen an increasing trend of couples using our Tayto Sandwich packs as wedding favours as it cuts cost for them having to cater for wedding favours and residence bar treats.


Champagne toast

I love a glass of bubbly as much as the next person, but it’s also a great way to spend money unnecessarily. Here’s what I recommend: offer champagne as a drink of choice but don’t insist on pouring a glass for each guest right before the toasts. Ask guests to toast with whatever they’re already drinking instead of having a separate champagne pour.

The verdict: save



Picture your wedding celebration and tell me if your picture includes all your guests dancing the night away. Does your picture also include amateur musicians arriving late or technical glitches due to a cheap sound system? What about the same song playing multiple times because you’ve chosen a Spotify playlist and given everybody access to choosing the songs they like? Trust me, I’ve been there: if dancing and partying is a priority for you, then don’t use this as a place to save.

The verdict: splurge


Wedding planner

Here’s my professional and personal advice: save money by not hiring a full on wedding planner, if you can’t afford one, but you have the time to plan your own wedding without going insane. But make sure you hire a day-of coordinator to work alongside your venue coordinator. They each have different responsibilities and both will make sure your day goes off without a hitch.

If you simply don’t have time to do all the planning and you’ve got room in your budget, seriously consider the help of a professional wedding planner. This is particularly important if you’re getting married in a different city or country.

The verdict: splurge (at least on a day-of coordinator)


Three ways you can save money:

Choose a less popular day – weekdays and winter wedding dates are considered ‘off peak’ and are likely to be more affordable!

A smaller guest list – fewer people means fewer favours, meals, etc and overall a smaller budget.

Just ask – if you come across a brilliant supplier who is outside of your budget, ask if you can create a custom package that you can afford. The worst they can say is no!


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Kelly Jane Hartmann

Kelly is a former wedding planner and a lover of anything pink. She believes that any bride can plan her own wedding, with a few tips and helpful tools.

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