When you’re in the thick of wedding planning, every little decision starts to feel hugely important. The idea that everything should be perfect for your guests makes it hard to pinpoint the areas where you could probably save yourself some money.
Often, it’s not until after the big day that you realize which splurges were worth every penny and which you could have cut back or skipped altogether.
Below, former brides and grooms reveal the wedding elements they regret spending so much on in hindsight.
1. The flowers
“Our florals cost $3,600. That may not be much to some, but after everything you spend on the wedding, it all adds up. The flowers were so pretty but at the end of the wedding, we couldn’t give them away so they were literally thrown in the garbage.” — Lyndsey R.
2. The fancy photographer
“We should have looked around for others but we thought we couldn’t go wrong as he was an award-winning photographer. However, his creative direction simply didn’t align with our aesthetics. We should have looked into his portfolio more and discussed what we had in mind. But I feel like we could have found a photographer who was more flexible and willing to accommodate our ideas for a more reasonable price.” — Debbie T.
3. The traditional wedding dress
“My husband and I were extremely broke when we had our wedding, and the budget was under $3,000. We pretty much didn’t spend money on anything. However, looking back, I wish I didn’t spend money on a traditional wedding dress and instead wish I had gone with a simpler dress that I could’ve worn again on some other occasion. We also got super tacky fake flowers that I wish we just left out. Other than that, I’m really proud of the way we pulled off our wedding with barely any money.” — Yaoyao M.
4. The tchotchke decor items
“I wish I hadn’t spent so much money on little knickknacks that you sit on tables for decoration. A simple arrangement of flowers would’ve been just fine. Now I’m stuck with extra junk in my basement.” — Somer S.
5. The dessert table
“Our dessert table basically went to waste ― everyone was pretty full from canapés, entrees and mains and barely touched it. There was so much left over that had to get thrown out as we were leaving the next day for our honeymoon. We couldn’t even give it to our guests as it was a destination wedding and they were all leaving too.” — Steph A.
6. The venue
“As beautiful and amazing as our wedding day was, we both wish that we wouldn’t have spent so much money on the venue, as we would have rather taken that money and used it towards our honeymoon.” — Kelsey B.
7. The bridesmaid dresses
“Looking back, I would not have spent so much money on bridesmaids dresses. Ultimately, everyone is looking at the bridal gown and not what the bridal party is wearing. I could’ve gotten something for a lot cheaper that was still nice and not have spent so much money on dresses and then even more for alterations. Let’s be honest: the girls will probably never wear them again anyway.” — Steph A.
8. The additional food
“We were so worried about everyone having food all the time that we paid extra to make sure it was always available and we had a lot left over. Our guests were more excited to dance and socialize! I guess this is something we just couldn’t have predicted but it was still a great day overall.” — Debbie T.
9. Themed decorations
“We chose a travel theme for our wedding. It was great and people loved it, but it adds up when you have to find and buy items or make special arrangements to fit the theme. The investment from a financial and time perspective makes it difficult because you feel like it all has to be connected. It’s best to keep it simple like a color scheme and it can still be elegant.” — Jibran Q.