For Brides: 12 Splurge-Worthy Wedding Items

12 Splurge-Worthy Wedding Items

When it comes to wedding planning, we know that there are a million and one things to plan for, budget for and pay for. Sticking to a reasonable budget is crucial and one way to ensure you stick to that budget AND walk away from your big day with without regrets is to prioritize the vendors that matter most to you. For some people, investing in flowers might be important, while others might say the perfect venue. We’ve shared 4 vendors we don’t think you should skimp on and 8 fun additions to your wedding day that can greatly enhance your experience and your guests experience!

Vendors You Shouldn’t Skimp On For Your Wedding

1.) Book Your Dream Photographer

bride and groom holding each other at breaux vineyard wedding by virginia wedding photographers
Your wedding photographer should be the second vendor you book after your venue. No matter what kind of budget you have, prioritizing booking your dream photographer is so important. Because you aren’t just “booking a photographer,” you are hiring someone to capture and preserve the beginning of your legacy. Decades down the road, you will have very few items leftover from your special day and the most important of those is your wedding photos. It’s important that you prioritize booking a photographer whose style you know you will still love in 10, 20, 30 years. Choose classic over trendy and book your dream photographer because it’s an investment you won’t regret in the future.

2.) Hire a Planner

groom leading bride down stairs at hermitage hill farm weddingA good planner is worth their weight in gold. They help you plan your wedding down to every last detail and keep you on track with payments and deadlines. Your planner is also the person that is on your team, making sure that everything on your  day goes according to plan so that you don’t have to think about anything. They coordinate vendors, cue everyone down the aisle and resolve any hiccups along the way. Your planner is essentially the quarterback of your vendor team. Every wedding day we’ve ever been a part of that has a planner/coordinator has been 3x smoother than those that do not. If you can’t afford to hire a planner through you’re entire planning process, we recommend hiring a planner 1-month out to help you tie up loose ends or hiring just a day-of coordinator who can keep everyone on track so that you’re mom or best friend doesn’t feel like they have to.

3.) Hire a Good DJ

hampton roads dj team virginia beach wedding
A DJ can make or break your reception, so it’s important that you search around and find a DJ that you are confident in. You want to look for one with good reviews so that you know they are backed by their past clients. You also want to make sure that your DJ can revive a dance floor or keep the party going no matter what day or time it is. Most photographers have a list of DJ’s that they recommend because we know how important it is for excellent reception photos. (We personally love 196 Events and DJ TMMPO to all of our brides!)

4.) Hire a Videographer

Video by Mark Rowlands, Rowlands Videography
While hiring a videographer used to be a real luxury, it is becoming much more of an essential item when planning a wedding. While your photographer is going to capture the images that you hang on your wall and share in your album, your videographer is going to capture the moments of the day that still photos can’t. The video from your day will be enjoyed by you and your family, but also those family members and friends that couldn’t make it. Knowing full well that our lives are only getting more digitalized as the years go on, it’s safe to say that you’ll always have access to your wedding film.

Fun Items To Splurge On If You Have a Large Wedding Budget:


1.) Have a Destination Wedding

bridal party under spanish moss at Destination Wedding in south carolinaSee more from this wedding here: Callawassie Island, South Carolina Summer Wedding

If you’re a couple that can afford to have a destination wedding, DO IT. Whether that be just a state or two away or on a white sand beach, wherever you’ve dreamed of exchanging wedding vows, GO THERE. Of all the feedback we’ve ever gotten from brides, we’ve never, ever heard them say they wished they wouldn’t have planned a destination wedding.

2.) Serve late night snacks

late night snack pizza during reception at callawassie island club south carolinaBeing on the dance floor all night can make you work up an appetite! Just when people begin to get a little hungry, hit them with a late-night treat! While some people choose coffee, donuts, or mini appetizers, others go all out with churro carts, pizza, cotton candy or snow cones. No matter what the snack, I can guarantee that your guests will be completely floored (and appreciative!) that you’ve given them the perfect late-night snack!

3.) Photobooth

photobooth by 196 events dj team
Image and Photobooth Services provided by 196 Events

Photobooths are such a fun addition to any reception. Guests can come up to the booth throughout the night and take silly, serious, memorable photos that help capture the energy and excitement of your wedding day. While your wedding photos are for you, these photobooth photos are for your guests. Plus, if you choose a photobooth with the print out strips, you’ve given your guests a favor from your day. Two birds with one stone!

4.) Lounge Area

lounge area for intimate fredericksburg virginia wedding at 718 venueSee more from this intimate elopement here: Leigh Ann & Ben 718 Venue Winter Wedding

Choosing to have a lounge area during your reception is a kind way of providing an area for those who might want to engage in conversation rather than stay on the dance floor all night. And even for those that do tend to stay on the dance floor, everyone needs a break eventually! Lounge areas are cool, classy and another great way to really tie in your wedding theme all together.

5.) Open Bar

guests dancing at fun reception at hermitage hill farm
We talked about the benefits to having an open bar in our last For Brides blog post, but it’s worth sharing here again. Splurging for an open bar during your reception allows your guests to really enjoy themselves (within reason) and gain that extra confidence that will get them out on the dance floor. While we’ve been a part of plenty of weddings that didn’t serve alcohol, it seems that the ones that are the most fun definitely do!

6.) Custom invitations or program

custom-wedding-invitations-virginia-wedding-photographerSee more from this wedding here: Madalyn & Brendon Autumn Hermitage Hill Farm & Stables Wedding

If you have the extra space in your budget, choosing to hire a stationer or designer to create custom invitations just for your wedding is the perfect way to show your theme from the very start. This allows guests who are invited to get a sneak peek at how beautiful your day is going to be, so go big!

7.) Caricature photos or live painting

I’ll never forget the first time that we walked into a reception and saw a caricature artist drawing wedding guests. The first thing we thought was “Wow! That is so unique!” But then immediately followed by, “What a great idea for wedding guests to bring home from their day.” We loved watching the artist draw guests, young and old, throughout the night.
Another newer trend for weddings is to have a live painter. This can be someone who paints the scene during your ceremony or reception, or someone who does small portraits for your guests. We love Chasing Linen‘s watercolor portrait work and we hope we get to work with her at a wedding one day!

8.) Transform Your Venue with Ceiling Draping

white ceiling drapes at womens club of portsmouth splurge weddingAre you thinking about getting married at a venue that many other local brides have had their wedding at? One way to really transform your wedding venue so that it takes on a whole new look and is unique to your day is to have ceiling drapings. We loved these white, ceiling drapes for Kendall & Jordan’s Women’s Club of Portsmouth wedding. It transformed their space and made it so much more elegant and dreamy!
We hope you’ve enjoyed this blog, bride! We wish you all the best while planning your dream wedding!

Here are some other posts we think you’ll like:

11 Ways to Ensure You Have the Best Wedding Day

7 Reasons to Have a Bridal Session Before Your Wedding Day

10 Items That Will Enhance Your Bridal Detail Photos

5 Reasons You Should Hire A Husband & Wife Photography Team


Dream Wedding Planning Splurge Items

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