Today my husband Adam and I celebrate four years of marriage…how time flies! I’m normally not one to look back and feel regret, for so much of life should be “in the moment” and our wedding was a true reflection of our relationship and shared life at the time…but the older and somewhat wiser me can most definitely asses elements of the day I’d now “edit” given half the chance and spend our budget in a more considered way…
So I’ve decided to highlight a few of our wedding spends I’d try to save on now – those which were spot on – and also where we wish we’d either spent more or simply invested into in the first place.
Photography & film
We invested as much as we could afford at the time into our wedding photography package and don’t regret it for a second! Not only did we come away with a dear friend in our photographer Lucy Shergold but have the most incredible set of images that really reflect the atmosphere of our day. Do your re-search and choose a photographer not only based on portfolio but personality too…try to meet them or Skype them if possible, for your not only having them capture your special day but are inviting them into some truly intimate moments and it really helps if you feel relaxed and confident in their company.
Our biggest regret – ever I think – is not investing in a film package. We are really annoyed with ourselves for not finding the funds or budgeting elsewhere, in order to have allowed us to do so. Not only would we love to have our day captured on film for our little family to watch as they grow up, but having lost my Dad since a film of the day would be all-the-more treasured. It’s an area of wedding planning I’d really encourage careful consideration – the photography & film.
Help on the day
We felt let down by our venue and their co-ordinators lack of communication…interest even. Both my husband and I had zero confidence in them being trusted to liaise with suppliers given they were barely able to communicate with us without getting times, names and dates confused at every (late) meeting! So we opted to hire an “on the day planner” from outside the venue…an extra cost to factor in yes, but it all depends on whether you’ve got the support at the venue itself.
Most wedding venues are brilliant and come with a full team of experts who literally run the day for you – I’d just say it’s worth spending more on your location to ensure you get this degree of hand-holding. You’ll both want it and need it to ensure you and your guests can relax and enjoy the day.
Invest well! I wish I’d learnt the term “considered purchase” before getting spliced. Over the past few years I’ve bought half the amount of clothes I used to – but wear them better and look much more stylish for it. If only hubby and I had applied that ethos to our wedding ensembles…
Yes I got to wear a lovely Claire Pettibone gown but as it was a sample sale dress, had no hope of having it altered to fit my surprise pregnancy belly and boobs…buying bespoke would have saved me the upset of trying to squeeze myself into pregnancy Spanx (an elegant image for you to imagine I’m sure!) and prevent me from looking back now, cringing every time I imagine myself forced into that beautiful gown. And Adam, despite buying well with his suit from Next could have spent a little more on a designer fitted number – the investment would have paid him back ten-fold given how many times he’s had need to wear a good suit since.
…There’s a reason why you pay more for a bespoke fitting – it always looks better!
Decor & Catering
I’ve married (excuse the pun) these two together as I feel you owe them the same degree of thought and investment. Both add to the overall atmosphere, look and feel of your day…and both can make or break the aforementioned depending on what you’re willing to invest. For food and flowers I’d always say spend as much as you can but do it wisely – buy choosing seasonal blooms and ingredients you can save yourself money but don’t cut corners in regards to the suppliers you choose to do so.
We actually spent a higher degree of our budget on both catering and flowers and I’d still go back and spend more…friends still mention our incredible locally inspired menu (especially the midnight snack of pasties!) and the flowers and finishing touches look so lovely in the photos adorning our walls.
It’s these elements as well as the emotional moments – a moment captured in your mind during your vows or a dear friends reading – that offer lasting memories.
Hope this helps some of your starting out on your wedding plans – and to those who’ve “been there, spent that” already – would you change anything?
Images by Lucy Shergold Photography