Planning a wedding can be fun at times, but it can also be painfully expensive.
The location we chose to get married in resulted in a pricey wedding full of unnecessary details.
Looking back, I regret spending so much money on one day that could’ve been put toward our future.
Planning a wedding is a wonderful but stressful period in life.
From choosing the color scheme and dress to picking invitations and cakes, there are certainly fun moments. But there’s also the challenge of managing these decisions within a budget.
During the wedding-planning process, the budget my husband and I originally set flew out the window. Half of it went to our venue, and the costs added up quickly from there.
Read on for some of the things I regret most from my expensive wedding.
We overpaid for everything because of the location we chose
Because we got married in Santa Barbara, California – one of the nation’s most expensive cities – the vendor costs were absurdly high.
From the venue and the DJ to the lights and the flowers, everything was overpriced.
Because it’s a relatively small city, there were limited options to choose from in terms of wedding vendors. Less competition typically means higher prices because demand is so high for these services.
Some of our out-of-state guests couldn’t even come because we couldn’t afford to cover their expenses
We invited a lot of friends and family from out of state because my husband and I met each other outside of our hometowns.
But because we were putting so much money down on the venue, catering, and other wedding costs, we weren’t able to cover our out-of-state guests’ hotel stays or travel expenses.
As a result, many of our friends and family weren’t even able to make it to our wedding.
We weren’t able to do special things for our bridal party because we didn’t have the extra funds
Beyond not covering the airfare or hotels for our out-of-state friends and family, we also couldn’t afford to do anything special for our bridal party.
That was something I especially regret because I couldn’t give my best friends what I thought they deserved.
I would’ve loved to have done a spa day or even a short getaway before the wedding.
I wish we’d put some of our wedding money toward our future life together
There are a lot of expenses involved in starting a new life with someone after the wedding. In our case, my husband and I ended up having to buy a car, an apartment, furniture, and essential household items that we didn’t get from our wedding registry.
Because we used a lot of our personal savings on the wedding, it took us a while to catch up financially. This really put us in a tough spot after returning from the honeymoon.
In hindsight, it would’ve been nice to have had a little more padding for those unexpected costs instead of spending so much on one day.
Having a smaller wedding wouldn’t have really changed the experience
In all honesty, I believe our wedding day would’ve been just as special if we’d shortened the guest list.
Looking back at my wedding book now, I’m no longer close to a lot of the people who came, and we honestly weren’t even that close to begin with. We felt obligated to invite some friends and coworkers to avoid hurt feelings, but that drove our cost up.
Some of my fondest memories of that day were just seeing my closest friends and family all together in one spot. Those are the photos and memories I cherish the most, which easily could’ve been achieved with a smaller wedding and venue space.
Some of the smaller details we paid extra for didn’t even turn out how we wanted
As much as I communicated with my vendors, there were still things that didn’t go as planned on the big day.
For instance, we ended up getting a videographer at the last minute because our vendors told us to, but the cameraman didn’t really do that great of a job of capturing all of the day’s events.
Additionally, the fancy twinkle lights one of our vendors convinced us to purchase weren’t even necessary because people started trickling out before it got dark.
During the months of planning, all of these details seemed important, so we didn’t leave anything to chance. We pretty much paid for anything extra that the vendors convinced us we needed.
Looking back, I would’ve been more careful to only invest in the things that mattered most to me.
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