Best and Worst Wedding Expenses


Because we make so much bridal jewelry here at Catherine Nicole, I figured that my browsing brides probably have a lot of other details to sort out as well. So my friends and I are here to share our expertise on what’s worth your dime and where you can skimp:

“My best wedding expense… our band!
My worst wedding expense… my bridesmaid gift… they will never wear the earrings again because they were too ‘my wedding’ specific.  I wish I had gotten them something more generic or even better, more personal to each of them.”
-Amanda U.
(Side note: Amanda and her husband are total groupies of the band they had. So, it was a pretty special component)

Best Wedding Expense

(photo by Kate Bowie Photography in Austin, TX)

“The best wedding expense was the day at the salon-relaxing, enjoyable and fun. My worst- a bad wedding planner. Be weary of those planners, even if you think the person is perfect, interview at least 2 and call their references!”
-Devon W.

“Best: the hotel room- we splurged on a really nice place and it was soooooo worth it.
Worst: my mother’s plane ticket? Seriously, we had a small wedding on the beach, so there weren’t a lot of expenses.”
-Ceceley C.

“The best expense was the band — Lost Bayou Ramblers — no doubt!  I guess the most useless expense for us was the videographer. We watched the video once and laughed at how goofy we looked the whole night, and we never watched it again. But, I may be thankful for it many, many years down the road, I guess.”
-Shannon G.

Wedding Church
(photo by Kenny Champagne Photography in Lafayette, LA)

“I was happiest with the money we spent on the caterers. Having someone to manage all the little annoying things that come up (and to do all the cleaning!) made it so much easier to have a good time. I honestly can’t think of a worst expense, but we did things pretty stripped down so there wasn’t a lot that I later felt like wasn’t necessary.”
-Kelly W.

Well, our best wedding expense was our tickets to Puerto Rico. Once we decided to do a destination wedding, against our families desires… everything was easier. Our tight budget went further. Without a guest list of 90+ , we could afford to go to combine our wedding and honeymoon in one. Plus we were already in paradise! with our closest fam and friends… perfect.
Our worst expense… trying to make everyone happy. Around 30pp travelled to PR for our wedding and a few days of vacation. One night, we had made a plan for all of our guests. Someone complained, ALOT. We changed locations, got our rental car broken into. (Because of the switch, to the location where the guest wanted to go.)My father’s bag was stolen from the car, with extra money, credit cards, passport, medications, clothes, etc. …The ‘shit hit the fan’. my dad was pointing fingers, a fight broke out… no one was having fun after that night. Basically, one appeasement for one person cost us over $400.00, and almost two days of searching PR and talking to locals to find his stuff. Plus having to fix the rental car window. …another headache in a foreign country.
-Michelle  B.

(Photo by Dave Turnmire)

“Para mi lo mejor, el lugar donde celebrar la boda y la música que anima a los invitados.
Lo peor…mi vestido!! no lo utilizaré nunca más! ( espero…)”
-Georgy F.
[Translation: “For me, the best was the wedding venue and the music, which livened up the guests. The worst…My dress! I’ll never use it again! (Hopefully..)”]

Happy Bride
(I don’t know what games they play at Catalan weddings, but whatever they’re doing here looks like fun..)

“Best: The additional time to make the night go on longer. That was a last minute expense. Also, disposable cameras on tables. We had a really fun time looking through them. (Though there may have been some down-the-pants shots in there…)
Worst: Bridal Purse. I didn’t really think it was going to be that useful– I just wanted it. My biggest regret of the wedding was that there was a beautiful outdoor area with a garden and bartender, but no one knew it was there and weren’t directed to it.  So, the smokers, and subsequently everyone else congregated in the front driveway”.
-Julia S.

“Best would have to be either the 10 piece brass soul band or the reception venue – an historic old home in a park.  Worst would have to be tents for reception in case there was rain, which there wasn’t.”
-Simone S.

“Best: Wedding bands- we were willing to spend what we needed to for something so important, and to last a lifetime. We love our bands, we get compliments all the time, and they were very reasonable!!
Worst: My hair (but i am probably a unique situation, I think my hairdresser took advantage of me)”
-Maggie D.

White Wedding Flowers
(photo by Hands Up Visuals in Louisville, KY)

“Best: Flowers—I thought they were super affordable and very natural and simple.
Worst: My hair!  It was so expensive and I HATED it!!!  I was too much of a wimp and didn’t want to tell the hairdresser it was horrible! and for that reason….didn’t love the pictures either!”
-Paige M.
(I was at Paige’s wedding and she looked beautiful- But this is a really good piece of advice.  We’ve all wimped out on confronting a hairdresser at some point-just don’t let it be your wedding day.)

“Best- food and alcohol.
Worst- videographer. We never watched it and was expensive. A friend or relative could’ve done the job.”
-Joy K.

“Best: First Wedding- I had a beautiful dress from Spain my mother bought for me, and I had a great photographer. My best memories are forever linked to those photos, because the actual wedding was a big blur!
Best: Second Wedding- It was a ‘Destination Wedding’and all the arrangements were done for us- all I had to do was look fabulous! We all had a great time.
Worst:  First wedding- I had too much to do before, I was a wreck, nervous, exhausted and sure something would go wrong!  It did.  Someone put the remains of the cake in a back stair-well of the New York City apartment building.  After a month when it was found (not just by humans!) it was a disaster.
Worst: Second Marriage- We all left the day after wedding.  Tired, hung-over, teenage tantrums, etc..  Moral of the story:  if you have a Destination Wedding stay a few days after and enjoy the experience.”
-Judy C

Best: Everything re-usable (plants instead of flowers, pots instead of vases, short dress that I can dye, an old phonograph for ceremony music, etc..). Also, the wedding coordinator. If you live in Austin, I recommend 36th Street Events (I used them and they were amazing!) or BZ Events.
Worst: We had the most beautiful vintage Buick as our getaway car that we were only in for our short ride home.  I wish we had at least taken some pictures by it, but we would have needed to pay for extra time to have gotten it there earlier. Also, not specific to my own wedding, I think invitations and flowers (not plants) are something you can get creative with if you’re on a budget. And I think photography is not something you should skimp on if you can help it. As Judy C (Aka Mom) pointed out, the event becomes a blur and you strat to remember it by the pictures.
-Catherine C.
(photo by Stacy Cross Photography in Austin, TX)

“I think that my best wedding expense was in my food. My husband and I really wanted our wedding to have a small carbon footprint so we invested in all local meets, vegetables, drinks, and cheeses. My parents were restaurateurs for many years so they catered the event for us and my dad even handmade our pasta for the lasagna. So worth it, everyone still talks about the food:)
My worst expense was my jewelry and I swear I do not say this because you are a jeweler!! It really is something I look back on and wish I would have bought something more special. I was an ultra DIY bride and decided that since I had dabbled in jewelry making in my artistic endeavors, that why wouldn’t I make my own wedding jewelry? I spent a lot of money on ordering some nice jewels and put together the most boring necklace and earrings. They weren’t ugly per se, just boring. I couldn’t create what I envisioned my jewelry to look and feel like. Wish I would have know you then girl!”
-Monique C
(Her company, Articulture Designs, did my amazing floral/plant arrangements that still live on today!)

Lessons learned: Wedding planners can be your saving grace… just make sure they’re good and not Devon’s. A good band can also really make the day, and -according to Monique- you should get your jewels made here!  Videographers may be an expense you can assign to an artistic and reliable friend.

So, what were your best and worst wedding expenses?

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