9 Wedding Costs That Are Totally Worth the Splurge

MANAGE MONEY - BUDGETING
Consider setting some money aside for these special wedding day expenses.
Updated April 3, 2023
Fact checked
affectionate bride and groom kissing on their wedding day

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Weddings can be very expensive — the average cost in 2021 for a venue, flowers, food, and music added up to around $28,000. Figuring out how to save for a wedding and where you want to spend that money can be daunting. There are some elements that are worth what may seem to be a hefty price tag — quality (especially for such a monumental day) is priceless.


Hiring the best pros means less stress for you. Ultimately, you’ll need to consider your budget and perhaps you may not be able to splurge on all these services, but if you were going to choose which ones to splurge on, these would be well worth it.

Photography

producer/Adobe wedding photographer takes pictures of bride and groom

Many experts note that ensuring you have an excellent photographer for your wedding day is key. A seasoned photographer knows how to document all the things you’ll want to remember and capture images of all the people who came to celebrate with you. They’ll show up prepared with timelines on when to shoot what photos and where, and are knowledgeable about angles and lighting. Photography is an investment, and one that is quite worthy of the fee.

Music

wideonet/Adobe dancing couples during party or wedding celebration

Whether you are hiring a band, a string quartet, or a DJ, you’ll want them to be top notch to ensure you’re getting the best entertainment for your event. Choose wisely and according to your style. There are so many professional entertainment options from duos who sing folk songs to people who spin old school disco to get everyone on the dance floor.

Wedding clothes

kristina_1994/Adobe a magnificent bride tries her dress on her wedding day

Whatever you choose to wear while saying your vows, traditional or not, should make you feel amazing. If anything needs altering, consider splurging on a great tailor to ensure things fit perfectly. And don’t forget the shoes. You may want to invest in elegant footwear for the ceremony and a more comfortable pair for the dance floor — or stylish boots if you’re heading into the woods.

Tables and chairs

malkovkosta/Adobe beautiful table setting with crockery and flowers for a wedding reception

Aesthetics are important and so is comfort. Splurging on the right tables and chairs to suit your style and type of event is a sound idea. When you hire a company to supply table and chair rentals for your day, they’ll also deal with set-up and breakdown. This means one less thing for you to worry about and more time for you to spend enjoying yourself.

Food and drinks

LElik83/Adobe catering food wedding buffet

When you hire a professional caterer, you’ll likely have tastings beforehand so you can try out their best dishes. This step will help you decide on the most delicious eats for your loved ones. Other food options may include different food stations or unique appetizers. Also consider paying a little extra for professional servers and bartenders to keep your event on schedule and potentially with fancy cocktails and mocktails.

Venue

Wedding photography/Adobe wedding ceremony

The venue really sets the tone for the entire wedding. Do you want to wed in a field, a rustic barn, or a modern industrial type space? Where you decide to get married and have your reception is a reflection of who you are as a couple and what kind of overall event you’ve planned for the day. The perfect venue may also shine with its own decor, and possibly help you save money in other ways — like not needing extra decorations or flowers.

Wedding planner

micromonkey/Adobe bride with wedding planner in marquee

Planning a wedding can be stressful, but a wedding planner does this every week and knows exactly how to coordinate everything seamlessly. Splurging for a service like this one can be invaluable. They’ll be able to help you find the right deals and pick the best vendors for your budget. Having a coordinator on the day of will also allow you to focus on your big day while someone else handles all the little details.


Guests

moodboard/Adobe group of people sitting at wedding tables in garden

If you’re trying to stay within a budget, consider cutting back on other items before you cut down the guest list. One of the wonderful things about a wedding is sharing it with friends and family who are excited to support you on this new journey. Even the most tightly budgeted parties can be a huge amount of fun with the right people there. If you have your heart set on a big wedding, you should think through your budget and balance it accordingly so you can have that big wedding.

Honeymoon

MISHA couple in love on an island off the coast

An excellent place to splurge is treating you and your beloved to an excursion unlike any other complete with romantic meals and once-in-a-lifetime experiences. Using a great travel credit card could maximize your rewards points or offer additional perks when you’re traveling on your honeymoon.

Bottom line

makistock/Adobe lawyer giving consultation to family couple about wedding plans

With the right budgeting, you can set goals to spend more in some places and save in others. If needed, there are wedding loans to consider to help you afford all the must-haves for your nuptials.

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Author Details

Jenny Cohen Jenny Cohen is a freelance writer who has covered a bit of everything, from finance to sports to her favorite TV shows. Her work has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and FoxSports.com.

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