There’s no doubt about it — a wedding is an expensive affair. From the venue to the outfits to the catering, you will have to shell out big bucks to put together the day of your dreams. In fact, the average wedding costs more than $25,000, as of 2018.
With all that spending, you might start to feel guilt creep in, and that’s totally normal for brides and grooms-to-be. But you shouldn’t let yourself feel bad about some of the necessary expenditures you’ll have to splash out to cover. Here are ten examples of expenses about which you should never feel bad!
1. The Venue
As you embark on the wedding-planning process, rectify in your mind the following fact: your venue will probably be the most expensive thing you rent or buy for your big day. You can remedy any lingering guilt you feel by doing your research. Select a handful of locations to scout, and compare the prices and included amenities at each one. That way, you can choose a spot that’s cost-effective, even if it’s the most significant expense you’ll have to cover.
2. The Wedding Party’s Must-Buys
Serving as a member of a wedding party is an honor, but it’s a pricey one. It can cost more than $1000 to be a bridesmaid, from travel to the dress to hair and makeup for the big day. And, as the bride or groom asking friends and family to serve in your wedding party, you might feel a little guilty.
However, you have to think of it this way — you would do the same for your friends, wouldn’t you? If your chosen bridal party members weren’t able to afford the expense, they would have said no to your invitation. So, keep that in mind, as well as the amount you’re spending on their food, gifts, transportation, etc. They won’t be carrying the entire burden on their shoulders.
3. Guests’ Travel and Hotel Stays
You might also feel a pang of guilt as you think about how much your wedding guests have had to spend to get to and from your wedding. Out-of-towners will have to cover their transportation, food and hotel costs, as well as food and entertainment along the way.
Again, rest assured that you would do the same for those you love, so they probably don’t mind shelling out to take part in your big day. You can ease your mind by making things simpler for your guests — save a block of hotel rooms so they know where to stay, and recommend nearby restaurants and activities so they enjoy their time in your city.
4. An Open Bar
Covering the costs of alcohol for your wedding guests is another outwardly expensive element of your reception. However, it’s another example of a cost that’s more than worth the price tag. Let’s face it — a couple of drinks will help your guests loosen up and enjoy the reception festivities. And, if you’re having trouble coming up with the cash to pay for it all, limit free drinks to cheaper options like beer and wine. You could also settle on a complimentary signature cocktail with the flavors you and your spouse-to-be love.
5. The Photographer
You only get married once, and you will always have the beautiful memories in your head. Hiring a creative, experienced photographer will ensure that you have those memories in print, too.
So, don’t fret about spending a little more for the photographer whose style and vision aligns with yours. If you want to save, see if they have cost-effective package options, or if they’ll discount your services for shooting both engagement and wedding photos with them. Or, opt for the right photographer and skip the videographer, but only if you don’t think you’ll watch a video after the fact.
6. A Wedding Planner
There are so many reasons to hire a wedding planner. For one thing, you’ll always have a person in your corner fighting to make sure your wedding-day vision comes to life. On a more cost-effective note, your wedding planner can secure vendor discounts that you might not be able to negotiate on your own. The money you save will pay for peace of mind that your wedding will go smoothly, and there’s barely a price tag on that.
7. The DJ
Everyone’s reception will be different, of course, but there’s usually a DJ on hand to get the party started. If you’ve ever been to a wedding with an inexperienced DJ, you know how much it can kill the mood. So, if you want your reception to be a successful, entertaining party, select a DJ with great reviews and a peppy music selection — it’s worth the added cost.
Read more: The Top 100 Love Songs For Your Wedding Day
8. Cutting the Guest List
This isn’t necessarily an expense, but a cost-saving method for your wedding. You shouldn’t be shy to cut potential invitees from your list. You might find it easier to remove plus-ones and children from the guest list first before you start cutting distant family members, old friends, etc.
Once you do whittle down the guest list, you can save money in so many other areas — venue, catering, etc. So, be critical of your invitees-to-be and don’t be afraid to remove a handful of people from the roster.
9. The Food
Your wedding guests will remember the food for one of two reasons: either because it was fantastic, or it was terrible. Middle-of-the-road meals will be forgotten in the fray. So, serve attendees a meal to remember. Plus, a delicious spread is a great way to say thank you to everyone in attendance — feed them well, and they’ll be glad they made the trip to attend your nuptials, we promise.
10. Your Honeymoon
Finally, don’t forget your honeymoon. Whether you land on a staycation or a far-flung romantic locale, you should never feel guilty about your post-wedding getaway. You and your new spouse will need the break, after all of the wedding-day excitement. Plus, a honeymoon gives you the chance to create memories together as a married couple for the first time. It’s worth the expense and the lifetime of memories that come with it.
And that sentiment rings true for all of the above expenses. You’re only getting married once, so you shouldn’t feel bad about spending on the things that matter most to you. So, ditch the guilt and dive into it — you’ve got a wedding to plan.
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