Figuring out where to splurge and save on your big day can be a huge headache. After all, you want everything to be Pinterest-perfect, right? Unfortunately (sorry perfectionist brides!), when you're working on a wedding budget you can't have it all your way. You can, however, choose to spend your money wisely. To get the most bang for your buck and to really impress your guests, here are the details you should invest in because people will actually notice them.
1. The Chairs
Uncomfortable chairs are bound to leave a bad taste in your guests' mouths, as will a chair with an ill-fitting cover or one that wobbles and/or is stained, warns Greg Jenkins, founder of Bravo Productions. Because they will be in the majority of your photos and since your friends and family will be sitting on them throughout the night, it's best to rent some that are not only stylish, but is easy on the tush too.
2. The Lighting
Whether you're getting married at the top of a mountain (in which case, lighting is important for both practical and aesthetic reasons) or having your wedding at a five-star hotel, ambiance is something that will always stick out in your guests' minds. "It's quite amazing the difference it can make," says Stefany Allongo, founder and chief consultant of The Majestic Vision: Wedding and Event Planning Services. "A great lighting company can take a dreary ballroom and completely transform it into a fairytale space." Same goes for a mountaintop, barn or your backyard!
3. The Sound System
One detail definitely worth splurging on? A decent sound system, and no, not just for blasting music. According to Jenkins, couples should spend money on hiring an experienced DJ, audio visual company or contracting the venue's in-house sound technicians to provide them with good sound quality for announcements, dancing and speeches.
4. The Overall Flow of the Day
If you've ever watched TLC's Four Weddings then you know this one is a biggie! Things like your ceremony starting late and the timing between the ceremony and reception are details your guests will surely notice, notes certified green event designer Veronica Cole. "It affects everyone's mood and the overall tone, so do yourself a favor and hire a professional to help iron out all of the details and keep things flowing smoothly throughout the day," she advises.
5. The Day-Of Stationery
While your guests might not comment on how awesome your ceremony programs are all by their lonesome, when they go great with the menu, signature drink signs, welcome bag notes, cocktail napkins, guest towels, table numbers, koozies and escort cards, they can't help but say something, points out Tracie Domino, founder of Tracie Domino Events. "Just look at the photos of any real wedding that gets published online or in print; these items are always featured," she says. "The attention to detail really ties everything together and makes a major impact."
6. The Bar
No one cares if you serve top of the line liquor all night, however, they will if you change the bar halfway through the event so you can spend less instead of offering a lower-tier bar the entire time, cautions Sandy Malone, owner of Weddings in Vieques. "Nothing is worse than going back for another drink and being told you can't have the same cocktail because now the bar is beer and wine only," she explains. "Many people don't like to mix and will simply switch to a soft beverage and lose their buzz." Yikes. Can we say party foul?