Photo: Will Pursell
Let's face it — weddings are expensive. But there are simply some things that your money should be dedicated to, no matter the limit of your budget. Here are five areas of the wedding you never want to scrimp on.
1. The venue
"Ambiance and quality is everything when it comes to choosing a wedding venue," says Aviva Samuels, owner of Kiss the Planner in Delray Beach, Florida. "Great food and great service should be your No. 1 priority." After all, your venue and its staff will be the first impression your guests make of your wedding, she points out.
2. The comfort of your guests
The family and friends you invite to witness your wedding are the most important people in your life. "You want to make them feel comfortable, loved and special during your big day," says Michelle Wright, owner of Michelle Wright Events in Greensboro, North Carolina. "Keep their comfort in mind when you consider the lighting, the seating, and the flow of your event."
3. Great entertainment
Fact: "Nothing is a bigger buzz kill than a lousy band or a personality-less DJ," says Samuels. "You need an MC with high energy, who knows how to read the crowd — knows what they want to hear — and can keep them going strong throughout the evening." So if you're going to hire entertainment, Samuels says, "do it right."
Unfortunately, lighting can be one of the more expensive elements of any wedding. "But a well-lit space can make all the difference to the overall aesthetic of the wedding," says Samuels. Consider adding pin spots for your tables, wash lighting to your stage, and up lighting for your reception walls. "A world of difference will be made if you do what is needed to enhance your space dramatically," Samuels says.
5. A photographer you adore
Memories fade, but "photography allows you to take moments with you from your wedding," says Wright. "It gives you a legacy to pass down to future generations. A great photographer can take you and your loved ones back to those intimate and special moments for years to come. It's a truly priceless treasure and worth every single penny to get a quality photographer who can evoke these emotions."