What Should I Spend My Wedding Budget On?

January 8, 2020

I got the idea to write this blog post when I was listening to a Facebook live in one of my photography groups. One of the questions was “Aside from photography, what would you spend money on if you were planning your own wedding again?”

I thought to myself, “Wow, why have I not blogged about this yet?!” So immediately started writing out the draft because I firmly believe this could help a ton of newly engaged couples on their wedding planning journey, so here we go! The top 5 things I would spend my money on if I were currently in the process of planning my own wedding:


This one is first for a reason friends! And I know I might get some kickback on this but hear me out…yes, it’s great to save money with false florals and make your own bouquets, not to mention they last forever…HOWEVER, your pictures will last forever too, and NOTHING beats real florals and greenery in your images. It’s one thing to style your ring next to a homemade bouquet, but real florals give it that genuine touch. Your detail shots are all about styling inanimate objects like your jewelry and shoes next to/on/against your florals. Almost all of your portraits will have your florals in them, front and center. That addition of a living and breathing organism allows for a contrast of elements that just raises the bar on your final gallery, trust me on this one!

Ceremony Arbor

Your ceremony arbor will be in literally ALL of the images from your ceremony, so you want it to look pretty! It doesn’t have to be extravagant either. A simple draped fabric mixed with florals and greenery can go a long way in making any ceremony arbor look top notch! A quick Pinterest search will turn up A TON of ideas!

Dress / Tux / Veil

Aside from your florals, your outfit choice will take center stage in your photos. It’s so important that your wardrobe fits correctly and that you feel comfortable all day long in it. Trust me on this one! Another thing to note is your veil choice. My grandmother made my veil so it has a lot of sentimental value to me, but if you don’t have someone making your veil, I would ALWAYS recommend going with the cathedral option. The photo opportunities are unlimited and there’s just something about the way the cathedral veil draws your eyes in a fluid way, connecting with your dress that touches the ground…or flies magically in the air!


True, I may not sit down with a bowl of popcorn and watch our wedding video once a month, or every 6 months even, but I’ve watched it quite a bit and I don’t regret our decision to have a videographer in the least bit. I’m a photographer at heart but there’s just something about seeing the movement of the day. The way your new husband looked over at you and smiled during toasts, seeing the tear fall from your dads eye when he held his little girl for their special dance, the way the petals flew through the air during the end of your ceremony as you shared your first kiss as husband and wife…these are all things that can be captured with photos, but they are, dare I say, even more special when you can watch them happen all over again from start to finish.

Our wedding highlight video!


I was the second shooter for the wedding below, and the bride and groom had hired a live band as their entertainment. Just… wow. They were amazing, fun, talented, and the guests at the wedding had an absolute blast! I’m not exaggerating when I say it was the most fun I had seen anyone have at a wedding reception and I credit the live band for 50% of that. The other 50% was just because it was a fun group! If I had a choice between a DJ or a band, I would pick the band every time! Now this isn’t to say I didn’t love our DJ because I did! He was exactly what we wanted and we were so happy with him! Again, these are just my top picks for spending the majority of your wedding budget on!

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There is something that happens at a wedding when there is a band. It’s like people feel free to dance and laugh and have fun when they see the band on stage having an awesome time. It’s like if they are having fun then we can let loose and have an awesome time too! Make sure you take the time to hire a band or DJ that really vibes with your wedding and is excited for your wedding day. I really think it makes a huge difference in the whole experience during the reception! The awesome band seen here is @chevychevisentertainment and I could recommend them enough! . . Venue: Northern Lake George Yacht Club Photography: @juliarebeccaphotography Band: @chevychevisentertainment Stylist: @thesagamoreresort Florist: @surroundingsfloralstudio Planning: @i_do_with_aawa Second Photographer: @erinmarie_photo Catering: @mazzonecatering @mazzonehospitality Tent: @rainorshinevt Videography: @bearinmotion_weddings . . #weddingbands #reception #weddingreception #dancethenightaway #nycbands #awesomeweddingbands #newyorkwedding #newyorkweddingphotographer #weddingphotographer #receptiondecor #weddingdayfun #lakegeorgeweddings #lakegeorgeweddingphotographer #luxurywedding #sofun #chevychevisentertainment #chevychevis #adirondackweddings #adirondackweddingphotographer #adkweddingphotographer #adkwedding

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Rent a vintage car!

I was fortunate that my grandfather allowed us to use one of his vintage cars as our “getaway car” and I don’t regret it for a second. It was a great addition and one of my favorite pictures from our wedding is with that car. My grandfather is extremely crafty so he made us a “Just Married” sign out of cardboard, made it look like wood and attached it to the back of the car. See below, it was amazing!

PC: Jared & Debbie

I hope this post has inspired your creativity to flow and helps provide some direction when it comes to your wedding planning! Remember above all else, you’re marrying the love of your life and nothing else, no Pinterest perfect, 6 tiered cake, cathedral veil, or Kim K flower wall will ever top that! Do what you want, not what others want you to do! In the end, it’s about the two of you and what makes your perfect day, perfect for you!

Happy wedding planning!

Maggie - 2021 bride

We made the best choice for pictures. On the wedding day we we had fun, got AMAZING pictures and got to spend time with our guest. Everything from her personality (she is the ultimate hype girl for brides) to her her gorgeous pictures is worth it! You will not regret hiring her!

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