When you start to plan your wedding, I know how overwhelming it can be. Especially when you like beautiful things. Don’t worry, I’m here to help because I too, like beautiful things. As you scour the internet for luxury wedding ideas (and occasionally, the DIY versions), I thought I would put together a few ideas on where you should splurge and places where I think you can save on your wedding day.
Setting your Wedding Budget Priorities
First, in general, I believe that anything your guests interact with should likely be a splurge. Whether it be the invitations your guests will hold in their hands, the seating chart they walk up to that shows them to their seat, or the signature cocktail sign that greets them during a hot August cocktail hour – all will be appreciated and noticed by your guests. Although there really is no wrong place to “splurge”, I’m going to share a few tips and tricks for stretching your budget without sacrificing your wedding day vision. If your heart beats for luxury wedding ideas but you don’t have a six-figure wedding budget, this one is for you.
Wedding Day Signage: Splurge on Calligraphy, Save on Material
I do believe that wedding signage should be a splurge. After all, it’s one of the things your guests will interact with the most. However, there is a bit of a caveat. To save money, you can rent the medium that your wedding signage is written on. Rent that oversized mirror, for example, and then hire a wedding calligrapher to create your seating chart. If you choose a wedding calligrapher that offers rentals, you can also rent gorgeous acrylic table numbers in the same handwritten font, giving your wedding day a luxurious cohesive design, without the price tag.
Invitations: Choose Semi-custom wedding invitations
Although there is a sea of people who believe we should just cut out wedding invitations entirely, I’m not one of them (and I’m guessing you aren’t either). Your invitations are your guests’ first look into your wedding day and I firmly believe in the beauty of fine paper goods and other simple pleasures in life. Is there anything better than a beautiful invitation suite arriving in your mail? I’m incredibly passionate about this and in fact, I fell in love with the art of fine paper goods after designing my own wedding invitations back in 2018.
With that said, custom wedding invitations can be a significant investment. I love designing completely custom invitation suites but I know that not everyone wants to prioritize the investment in their wedding budget. When you look online, budget wedding blogs might suggest going completely digital or choosing something mass-produced like Minted to save a few dollars. I feel like this is such a missed opportunity because there is such a range in the middle. It doesn’t have to be one way or the other. For your closest family and friends, your wedding invitation is often the only piece they keep from the day to cherish forever.
I’ve designed a line of semi-custom wedding invitations to bridge this gap. The luxury of holding a thick card stock in your hand or handmade paper that’s been foil-pressed will literally never stop giving me goosebumps. Semi-custom wedding invitations offer an opulent feel for your guests without the price tag of a custom 5-piece wedding invitation suite. Don’t be surprised if your invitations end up being your most treasured keepsake from your wedding day.
Wedding Venue: Splurge
Hear me out on this one. Choosing a wedding venue is often one of the first decisions couples make. It’s normal to be tempted to save, especially if you haven’t itemized your wedding budget and are still trying to figure out where you want to prioritize. Although I understand, this can often be a mistake. It can end up being quite costly to choose a more affordable wedding venue and then add in all of the luxury touches you love that are not included. Instead, splurge on a more expensive wedding venue that includes the upgrades you will likely make down the line anyway.
Catering: Save, kind of.
I’m certainly not suggesting you try to organize a wedding potluck! But unless food is a super high priority for you, there’s likely some opportunity to save with catering. This doesn’t mean that you need to have a “cheap” wedding reception dinner. Don’t be afraid to ask your caterer for different options though! Whether that means food truck catering (which is trending right now anyway), food stations, or simply skipping appetizers during cocktail hour, there are usually a few places to save on catering that your guests may not notice as much.
Rentals: Be strategic with your splurges
Did you know that linens take up the most visual space in your wedding design? So yes, it’s worth splurging to get rid of those boring white tablecloths. Plus, if you try to “save” on linens, you’ll likely need to overcompensate. You’ll splurge on gorgeous floral centerpieces or Chiavari chairs to make up for what feels “lacking”. Patterned linens can make a big statement, without the price tag of adding larger centerpieces or upgrading your flatware.
Florals: Invest Strategically
Although I would never ever suggest skipping florals entirely, there are places where you can cut back on your floral budget without making a big impact. I always encourage couples to ask their florist for recommendations. What is in season? What will make the biggest impact? Don’t go into your consultation with such a firm vision that you can’t trust the experts you hire. Stay flexible. You can also reuse pieces that you’re using in your ceremony and move them to your reception location (if that’s logistically possible). I’ve seen a ceremony arch sit behind a sweetheart table, or the aisle markers repurposed at the guest book or cake stand.
Choose Quality over Quantity with your Luxury Wedding Ideas
If there is one thought I leave you with, it’s that it’s better to splurge in a few key areas that pack a punch, instead of spreading your budget too thin everywhere. The biggest opportunity to save will always be found in your guest count and catering budget. I talked about catering above, but let me just address your guest count here. When you choose to host a more intimate affair, you create room in your wedding budget to create a truly intentional experience. You only get married once, and personally, nothing excites me more than creating a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Not only for you, but for your closest family and friends too.
Don’t forget – when you are ready to start sending out your semi-custom wedding invitations, I’ll be here! In the meantime, if you love fine art wedding touches as much as I do, make sure to say hi over on Instagram.
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