The Trick to Knowing When to Splurge On Your Wedding

Brooch wedding bouquet photo by Casey Fatchett Photography -

Planning a budget for your wedding can be a nerve-wracking experience. You’ve probably looked at a hundred lists that give you pointers or say what percentage of your budget you should spend on certain items, but they don’t tell you where you should splurge. I’m going to tell you a secret about those lists…

Come here…come behind the curtain…

Do you know how they come up with those lists? They take the averages of what a bunch of couples spent on their weddings and give you those percentages. So, if the list says expect to spend 5% of your budget on favors, that means the average of the thousand couples (or however many) they surveyed came out to 5%.

That’s hardly taking into account individual budgets, needs, and wants. Yes, those lists are a good place to start from when you’re considering your budget. Most likely, your two biggest expenses are going to be your venue and your food. Surveys usually say about 45-50% of your budget is going to go towards your reception venue and food. So, that’s good to know when you’re starting out to give you a baseline of what you’re going to be spending.

But, does that take into consideration what’s important to you?

26 Bridge - Brooklyn wedding by Casey Fatchett Photography -

Splurge on what matters to you

Love great food? Then, if you need to, you might want to push a little more into that reception budget to make sure you get great food. By the way, fantastic food does not have to be expensive. You just have to do your research.

Want your reception to be an amazing dance party? Make sure you book a band or a DJ that can rock that dance floor (and knows how to read a crowd – nothing worse than bringing down a room that is excited and ready to dance with a slooooooooow song). Again, you don’t have to break the bank, but realize that you may need to adjust your budget to make sure you get what you want.

Are the memories of this amazing day where you get to have all of your favorite people in your life together at one time important to you? Well, that brings me to my next point…

Why You Should Splurge on Photography

Recently I was sending over photos to a venue I had worked at for their new website layout, and the designer said to me, “Where were you when I got married? I wish we’d spent more on photography.”

I hear that a lot – from people who didn’t hire me. As a matter of fact, I’ve had numerous people contact me over the years and say, “We made a mistake. We should have hired you. We thought we could save a few bucks on photos.”

I understand the motivation. A couple is looking to save money and they think, “Hey, a photographer is a photographer, right?” Well, only if your wedding photos aren’t that important to you…

Central Park Boathouse wedding by Casey Fatchett

Hey, it’s not just my own anecdotal evidence saying you should spend more money on your wedding photos. A recent survey by Zola found that 22% of newlyweds regretted not spending more money on photography.  Twenty two percent? That’s nearly one in four couples.

Listen, I know what you’re saying. “Casey, you’re a wedding photographer! Of course you’re going to say I should spend more money on photography!”

Yeah, I am a wedding photographer. For nearly twenty years now…and do you know why I love it so much? Because I get to document these amazing days in a couple’s life! I get to freeze time for them, and that is so very important.

When the day is over, and the music has stopped…and the cake has been eaten…and the flowers have wilted…and you’re never putting that dress on again…what are you left with?

Memories. That’s it.

And I am going to break it to you, your wedding day is going to go by faster than you think. I always tell couples, it’s like a roller coaster. The ceremony is that first big hill. All the getting ready time of the day is that long, slow build up to the first drop. Then, once that first drop happens, it all rushes by in what seems like an instant.

Your wedding photos are going to help you hold on to those memories. The laughs, the love, the people…all of it.

NY Academy of Medicine wedding photographed by Casey Fatchett - fatchett.comReal moments at a wedding - Casey Fatchett Photography - fatchett.comReal moments at a wedding - Casey Fatchett Photography -

What do you regret not spending more money on for your wedding? Leave a comment and let me know. Are you getting married and amazing photos are really important to you. Reach out to me TODAY!



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