When you first begin the planning process, without a doubt one of the first things you address with your partner is a wedding budget. It's essential to know exactly how much money you have to allocate to the things you find the most important for your big day, and dictates pretty much all of your decisions going forward in the planning process. So what areas should you splurge on, and on what areas should you save? We chatted with Julie Guinta, the design director at one of our favorite event design companies, Rye Workshop, for her top tips on where to splurge and where to save money on your wedding!
Where to splurge
Hire an event designer
"I have to say it, hire an Event Designer! If you want your wedding to have a design edge, having someone help you with your vision, guide your decisions, manage your budget and just be your advocate leading up to your big day takes a huge load of you so that you can enjoy being engaged."
"Spring for one (or two!) large installs for your reception — over the bar, dance floor, entry to your reception space. Wow your guests with an awesome, memorable, and, yes, Instagram-friendly install! This adds so much to space and allows for you to be conservative on your tablescapes."
"Either a layer of candlelight, bistro lights, pin spots or disco balls! It is a great way to highlight the work that has been done to your space and create a mood. Everyone looks really good with some soft candlelight!"
Be smart about flowers
"Know when to splurge on florals. Yes, peonies are absolutely gorgeous but having them absolutely everywhere can drive up your floral budget exponentially. Go ahead and splurge, but use these stunners sparingly and where your guests can admire them up close."
Where to save
"Save on paper goods — ie. programs, welcome booklets, menus, etc. Most guests will not read these and the cost adds up. And you save trees! Have an awesome website that your guests can access from their phone and beautiful signage with calligraphy sharing your event details."
"It's an hour long and people are busy catching up and getting cocktails. Have an awesome bar arrangement and use your money where your guests are for the most amount of time, the reception."
Welcome bags and bathroom baskets
"I have seen so many clients spend a good amount of their budget supplying their guests with bottles of water, small snacks, wedding-centric first aid kits, and items branded with their wedding logo. Most of your guests come prepared for the weekend. No need to supply things that they probably already have in their luggage. If you're set on having a branded gift, think of a cute phrase instead of your initials that will live past the weekend."
"Opt for mix-and-match table decor. A vintage wine glass, colorful dessert plate, beautiful napkin or cool table number can add color, design, and texture to your table, and you don't have to find all one type of glass—just work within your color pallet. Facebook Marketplace is a go-to option for finding great treasures in your local area for less. And you can sell those things back on Marketplace after the event to add a little extra money back into your budget."