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  • Writer's pictureEvent Planning by Annie

On a Budget? What Not to Skimp On.

Updated: Jun 9, 2023

I get it, weddings are expensive. In my market within the Reno/Tahoe area, the average wedding costs $40,000, and, depending on your venue or priorities, sometimes this isn’t even enough. When creating your budget, select three of your largest priorities and allocate the most money to those selections. Typically, your venue, catering, and bar will cost the most (depending).

When on a budget, the first thing that comes into a lot of couple’s minds is to DIY a few things. While I think some DIY is great, and adds a personal touch to a wedding, be cautious of over DIY-ing your wedding day. Time sensitive tasks can often create unnecessary stress and pressure. Sometimes, you may underestimate how long each DIY task takes; social media makes it look too easy! After considering what you can and can’t DIY, the next thing that may come into mind is skimping on a few things.

Here is a list of what not to skimp on:

1. A Professional DJ

Sometimes, when people think of a DJ, they only think of the music. Some people want to avoid this cost and just set up a sound system with a Spotify playlist. While this can be successful for micro-weddings of 20 people or less, I do not recommend taking this route with a larger wedding. While DJ’s do play music, they also act as an MC. An MC, or Master of Ceremonies, keeps your event running smoothly alongside your coordinator. MC’s announce important information, direct and corral guests with their microphone, let your guests know what’s happening next, and overall keep the event moving along. A coordinator works on the sidelines to keep the timeline moving, whereas the MC is the voice behind the timeline. If you’re leaning towards booking a band instead of a DJ, make sure the band offers professional MC services.

2. Experienced and Trustworthy Vendors

When receiving quotes from vendors throughout your hiring process, don’t just choose the least expensive one. There is a reason behind every vendor's price tag. It’s likely that each vendor's pricing reflects their experience, knowledge, and expertise.

3. Catering

Do not, I repeat, do not DIY your food. Hiring a professional caterer is so important for so many reasons. Not only do they have the experience and knowledge of how much food to make for a specific guest count (so that you won’t run out of food), but a full service caterer will also set up your reception tables, serve food, buss plates, manage portions, and more. When you hire a professional caterer, you can ensure that there will be enough food for all of your guests and vendors, have comfort in the fact that your food will be prepared correctly and safely, and have peace of mind that your catering team will take care of everything you need, and more.

4. Photography

You’ve heard it before, your photos are the only concrete thing you’ll take away from your wedding day. Your memories will fade and your flowers will die, but your photos will be with you forever. A professional wedding photographer will be sure to capture you and your new wife or husband’s love story, providing you with professional photos that will last a lifetime.

5. A Professional Coordinator

If you don’t have a wedding planner already, you should plan to make room in your budget for a professional day-of coordinator. Not only can a day-of coordinator make sure that your event will go off seamlessly, but your family and friends will thank you, because now they don’t have to pick up the slack on the jobs a coordinator is hired to do. Read more about this on my blog, “Why Hire a Coordinator?”

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