If you are trying to decide where to splurge and where to save on your wedding in the Washington DC area, we have you covered! We are back with our second installment of profiling real couples. (Did you miss part one??) Margo, owner of Bright Occasions wedding planning, checked in with three of her past clients to find out the areas where they spent a little more and the areas that they cut back. If you’ve never planned a wedding before, it can be tough to define your priorities and keep it all within a reasonable cost. Because, we all know that planning a wedding in the DC area is expensive!

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Photo Credit: Modern Life Portraits

Margo, worked with J & A who were married in September at a private home in Potomac, Maryland…

Where did you splurge on your wedding, what was the area/expense? 

I worked with J & A to plan their wedding and when creating their budget I knew there would be a few areas that would need to be weighted higher. This couple chose to get married at the home where J grew up, and thus three tents, flooring, portable bathrooms and a generator were brought in to accommodate 200 guests. The expenses in the end cost more than even the most expensive venues in DC; however the emotional reasons to get married at home were SO important that it was an easy decision for them. (See: Washington DC area wedding rental companies.)

The other area they splurged on was with their band, which was at least double the cost of any other vendors they hired and approximately 10 percent of their overall budget.  The band was great, they did a wonderful job and I know J&A are very happy they splurged here. (See: Wedding music vendors in the DC area.)

Where did you save on your wedding, what was the area/expense? 

They saved in three main areas: paper, no wedding cake and having a small bridal party. Luckily, a family member is a graphic designer and did all of the printed materials – save the dates, invitations, programs, place cards, tags for favors, etc.  This equaled at least $1,000 in savings, as all of these paper elements for a large guest list can add up. J & A do not like cake and easily decided not to have a wedding cake. Instead, they had a birthday cake for J’s 90 year old Grandmother, and bite sized passed desserts. Since J & A had no bridal party, they were able to save on attendant gift, hair and make-up and personal flowers. These are all small parts of the overall budget, however all add up to greater savings.

How did you decide where you would splurge? Save?

When planning their wedding, J’s childhood home was the obvious choice for emotional and family reasons.  It was easy to decide where to splurge. They had also heard their band, Zemer Orchestra, play at another wedding and LOVED them. Early on they knew they would have Zemer.  So, when creating their budget, I factored in these two big splurges, as well as their overall guest list and budget. I then suggested other vendors to cut back on, while keeping local pricing in mind. The saves were helpful to keep costs within their total budget.

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Photo Credit: Modern Life Portraits

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Thank you so much, Margo! If you are looking for a wedding planner in the DC area, be sure to check out Bright Occasions. She can help you pull it all together and keep you on budget! Don’t miss part one of this splurge vs. save wedding budget series.

If you are looking for more, check out our list of the best wedding vendors in the DC area or browse other local DC area real weddings for loads more ideas and inspiration.

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