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Scrimp vs. Splurge - What are you all doing?

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Everybody has different budget priorities for a wedding, and I was curious about other viewpoints on what folks feel is worth spending on vs not. So ladies and gents, what are scrimping on in your wedding? Splurging? Why?


Here's my list:




--Various accy's such as cake knife and cutter (24.99 from Mikasa that I'll dress up with ribbon), ceremony programs (DIY job with Vistaprint), various other stationary such as placecards, which I am DIY'ing, misc decorations that I am DIYing


--Flowers - not having any other flowers other than my and attendant flowers. Reason - I feel my ceremony and reception locations are beautiful enough, and I find flowers a pretty forgetable aspect of every wedding I've been to.


--Music - Not having a live band or dancing - Reason - my lunch reception is at a restaurant that can't accomodate this. It's a small wedding where I don't need Aunt Alice doing the chicken dance, anyway. ;-)


--Bridal shoes - cheap "dyeables" jobs that are comfy, but with high platform heels. I don't expect anyone to see my shoes anyway, and we aren't doing a garter toss.


--Caligrapher - not getting one. I am hand-addresssing the invites myself, and the other stationery I need can be printed on an inkjet and nice font.


--Veil - the one I wanted to match my dress was $500. I designed my own knock-off made by Occansey Designs for about $100




--Guests - I've always put this as my #1 budget priority. Thus, we aren't doing any cost-cutting when it comes to providing good food and a top shelf open bar. We will be hosting a cocktail hour and lunch reception at a Michelin-rated restaurant, and having a catered in-suite party in the evening. I feel that when the food and the job the couple does as hosts is good, it's a memorable feature of a wedding. And when the food and hosting is bad, it's unforgettable/unforgiveable.


--Cake - We decided to spend the extra $$$ for a memorable and unique cake with the added cost of fondant decoration. Another feature of a wedding I think people look for and remember.


--Favors - An extension of the above idea of treating your guests well - we are planning on nice bottles of wine and some other little treats for each guest.


--The dress - This is unintentional, because I originally put a budget limit of $1000 on the dress. But you can't help it when you fall in love with the Right dress at the Wrong price. Plus I found the difference between a genuine silk dress and a satin one very noticeable and thus felt it was worth the extra $$$ for silk.


--Photography - Paying the extra $$$ to own the rights to our digital images.


--Attendants - Paying for the dress, Makeup/Hair/Mani/Pedi and of course, buying attendant gifts. I feel privledged that my MoH could come to my DW, and really want to show my appreciation for it.


--Rehearsal Dinner - Another extension of being good hosts, we aren't cost-cutting here, either, and choosing a 5* restaurant.


--Invitations - Eeeep. This was also unintentional. We are spending about $14 per invitiation sent. Just couldn't find invitiations that I liked that were inexpensive, nor did I have time to DIY. I also really wanted thermography, since it makes such a difference in the impression it makes.

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This is a great thread! Here's my list:




-Invitations-I want everyone to be so impressed when they open the envelope! JessicaM is doing my invites and they are gorgeous--www.thestylishscribe.com


-Dresses-Yes, I said dresses, haha. I have a Maggie Sottero for my wedding in Mexico and a Casablanca for my at home reception


-Food&Liquor- I splurged on this at home b/c frankly that is what people go to weddings to do


-Rings-This is so important to me, I got my dream ring, a Simon G


-Photography-I love pics-you will have them for a lifetime


-Cake-I am having my dream cake at my AHR-it has tons of shells on it and a large oyster shell with pearl on top(made of fondant)




Music-I am just hiring a DJ not a band for our AHR


Flowers-my mom used to own a florist so we are sick of flowers,plus they are sooo expensive, so we are doing candelabra's from Pier One everywhere


Shoes and Jewelry-My shoes and jewelry totaled $215


Hair and Makeup- I am doing it myself b/c I never like it when other people do it

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Flowers: I'm not having any flowers other than my bouquet. My girls are going to carry orange parasols that I bought for 2 dollars each. I'm saving about $500 doing this.


Ceremony Programs and Invites: I am lucky enough to have an extremely talented graphic designer for a fiancee so all these things will be made by him. And I love them more than I would like them from any other designer. Savings: $600


Dress: My original budget was $2000. I found THE dress and nervously asked the lady how much it was. Her response? $700. SCORE! Savings: $1300


Calligrapher: We printed our envelopes on our home printer and they turned out beautiful. I don't even know how much a calligrapher costs but I didn't find it necessary.


Cake: Decided to go with the cake that was part of our wedding package. I don't even like cake.


Favors: I found palm fans that I tied a ribbon around and printed a cute little poem with our date and such. I think these will be useful during the ceremony and I only spent $1.50 on each one.


Reception: We're going to have a cocktail hour and dinner, but then probably just hit a bar and be relaxed. We don't have many dancers in the group and everyones pretty relaxed so I think this will work out best. Savings: over $1000




My veil: This was unintentional. I absolutely fell in love with it but it costs almost as much as my dress, $500. Oh well, I was still within budget of my dress.


Attendants: I'm paying for their dresses, and buying them gifts. I really want to show my appreciation for them coming out and spending so much money to see me get married. I love them :)


Photography: I think this is one of the most important parts. I haven't actually chosen a photography but this will definitely be one of my splurges.


Extras: We are having a mariachi band and horse and carriage. They come with our package but they are the reason we upgraded the package.

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Cool thread idea! :)




- Pretty much the entire wedding I guess haha. I didn't do STDs, invitations, centre pieces or anything like that.


- No live music, not even bringing my own music, just going with what is offered at the resort.


- FI's titanium wedding band purchased at Metalsmith's for a modest $94!




- My awesome Maggie Sottero dress which cost $1,300 BEFORE alterations lol


- My wedding band which was custom made and cost us $1,600...FI blew a gasket of course


- My (after shipping costs) $85 earrings from Novica.com made by an extremely talented woman from India.


- The wedding package itself comes in at $2,500 USD...in retrospect, I should have looked more carefully in to resorts that charge less or offer free wedding packages.


- I'm not sure if this is a splurge or a skimp given our modest budget but we're getting a great deal on photography from Sascha Gluck, however, after the resort charges us their "outside vendor" fee for using Sascha, it will come in around $1,000 which is still a steal compared to others.

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Great thread!




- flowers: Going with simple bouquets/bouts and nothing extra for the tables as I'm bringing Chinese paper lanterns / rose petals and LED tealights down myself


- reception dinner: going with a cost effective set menu. Our resort is "Gourmet Inclusive" and has amazing restaurants for our guests to enjoy for the entire week we are there, so we decided that serving hors doerves during the cocktail hour prior, a simple dinner, and then fruit & cheese trays later on would be enough. Saves about $50 USD per person!


- Music: instead of hiring the resort DJ for $1300 (OUCH!), we decided to use our ipod instead and hire a mariachi band for the cocktail party with the difference.


- welcome dinner: using the one included in the wedding package. It will be in one of the main restaurants and not toally private, but sure saves a lot of money!




- photographer: We're bringing down a friend with us from Canda and are paying his travel expenses plus his fee. But we're getting our TTD session included, plus he'll be around all week for other events too, so we feel we're getting a great deal!


- rings: my wedding band has to be custon made to fit my engagement ring, but we were floored when they quoted us $2000, and thats with a 25% discout!


- reception: I've hired a loungey-style sitting area to be set up for the reception with comfy bench style seating and low cocktail tables set up near the dance floor so guests can relax without having to sit at the dinner tables. And it looks really sexy too! Worth the $830 USD.


- Mariachi band: worth the $900 to set the tone for the evening!


- Group outing: planning a private catamaran cruise for the group on us...as a thank you for coming all that way!


- Honeymoon: after a week at the resort we are marrying at, we are splurging on an adult's-only 5* resort...haven't decided entirely between 2, but they're both bdget blowing at $500USD/night! But we deserve it! LOL


SO FAR....those are the plans... :)

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I love this thread...great idea. Okay, so here goes mine!




Flowers - we are going with the flowers that are offered in the wedding package and not upgrading as the flowers look just fine to me...I only have my MOH and my daughter as my attendents so we are only going with them carrying one calla lily each. No corsages or boutonnière's for the Mother's (my Mom actually HATES them) or Fathers.


Invites - I didn't do STD's and I made my own travel brochure invite which cost me a grand total of $65 for 100 of them. Also, I didn't send reply cards to be sent back so we requested our guests to RSVP via our wedsite, email or telephone.


OOT bags - I got 30 totes for $28 and $20 for iron on transfers. I designed my own logo and did my own pressing.


Wedding earrings - This one was unintentional! I got my Tacori earrings for free when my FI and I ordered our rings this afternoon! The rep from Tacori was there from LA to show us different wedding bands and he just gave them to me once we ordered! I was pleasantly surprised and absolutely LOVE them!


Wedding footwear - I am actually only barefoot and then wearing plain old flip flops from Old Navy.


No AHR - We opted not to have an AHR and just have a big party at our house instead!


Legal Day at home - Instead of paying over $800 to be legally married in DR + translation costs etc, we are having a small intimate ceremony at our home the night before we leave for Punta Cana. No one knows about it so it will be a surprise for our parents when they get here. The cost of the marriage license + cost for the Minister is $350.00!


Honeymooning at the same resort - We decided to stay at the same resort for an extra week for our honeymoon. We did upgrade to the highest room category but we only end up spending an extra $450 each for another week!


Trip to the USA!!! - Seeing all the savings that you girls from the US are getting has prompted my MOH and I to spend a few days over the border to do some shopping for OOT bag contents and various other gifts...which will save us a mint!!! Plus, it's a good idea for a girls weekend!


TTD dress - I just bought my dress for our TTD session from Sears (of all places). It only cost me $99. You'll understand why I had to scrimp on this once you get down to the splurge!


Wedding Veil - I have opted not to wear a veil. Instead, I will wear one flower which I have already purchased for $45.




Wedding dress - My original budget for my wedding dress was less than $1000. The cheaper the better right? WRONG! Of course the dress that I had to fall in love with and order (just a couple of days ago :) ) happens to be close to $800 over budget! Oops. My FI was ok with it provided "I work lots of overtime at the hospital" to make up for it! Believe me...it's well worth working 16hr days for my dress!!!


Wedding bands - My FI absolutely refused to scrimp on this! He said that this was a piece of jewellery that we would be wearing the rest of our lives so he wasn't budging on this one. Our two wedding bands ended up costing us $4900. Our budget was $3000. Again...oops! But our rings are simply wonderful! Besides, I got a pair of earrings out of the deal!!!


Photographer - Another thing that my FI refused to scrimp on. We are flying our photographers from the US and having them stay with us as our guests for 4 days. It will be totally worth it though and the pics will be AMAZING!


Travel Costs - We are paying for my Mother's travel expenses and paying for our immediate families deposit for the trip.


Cocktail Hour and Reception - We are going all out for our reception. It will be private and we are having an international premium bar. We are having a DJ with a dance floor. We figured since we are saving money by not having an AHR, we should do this as it will be are only one! We are having fire dancers for entertainment during the dinner. It looks pretty cool to be honest! Also, for our cocktail hour we will hire the Dominican Trio for our guests to enjoy!


Beach Wedding - Our resort charges another $300 to have your ceremony on the beach...but this is the reason we are having a destination wedding so this was also a non issue.


And that's it! For the mean time anyway...we still have 8 months to go!!!!

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Pretty much everything. The entire reason for getting married in JA was to NOT spend a stupid amount of money. Were not doing anything over and above. No centrepieces, no extra decorations, no "reception" -- just dinner at the a la carte. No TTD. No shoes. No programs, no welcome letters, no OOT bags, no favours. No Canadian photog - only the resorts photog. Just Jamaica and just the free ceremony.



Our 2 weeks in Jamaica.

Flipping 1/2 bill for my MoH

Limo transfers for us and our guests to and from our home town to Pearson International.

Invites (which in hind sight was stupid -- no one really paid attention to them)

My jewellery and my MoH's jewellery -- bought from Etsy and not exactly expensive.

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Originally Posted by Sloan View Post
Pretty much everything. The entire reason for getting married in JA was to NOT spend a stupid amount of money. Were not doing anything over and above. No centrepieces, no extra decorations, no "reception" -- just dinner at the a la carte. No TTD. No shoes. No programs, no welcome letters, no OOT bags, no favours. No Canadian photog - only the resorts photog. Just Jamaica and just the free ceremony.
Yup, avoiding a ridiculous at-home wedding was a good reason for me, too!

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