Splurge on this for your wedding day

This is my first time ever featuring a different writer on the blog but it's because she is one of the most driven and and practical women I know. Last year she decided to open up her own wedding coordination business and booked THIRTY THREE weddings within the first year. If you're in the wedding industry you already know that's impressive. She is a very strategic person and has a lot of helpful wedding planning tips to share today!

Everyone, meet Emily, Owner of The Best Day Details, here to share just a few of her planning and budgeting tips with you.

Emily, owner of Best Day Details, on her own wedding day last summer. I actually photographed their wedding day for them! It was the most foggy, rainy wedding I've ever been to so far. I have actually never been more wet in my life than on that day.

Hi Everyone! This is Emily, owner of The Best Day Details.

One of my friends recently mentioned her New Year’s resolution was to make it to her wedding day without going into debt. Can we just talk about how annoying it is that we are forced to choose between saving money and having our dream wedding?

But in reality, I don’t actually think that is the case.

Check this OUT! This is in Northern New York. Our guest writer, Emily, had this view right by the reception pavillion. If you choose a venue you love that's out-of-the-way, instead of only looking in your local area, it gives you some very unique options for scenery (and budget)!

The key to having your dream wedding on a budget is knowing what to splurge on, and knowing where your money is better saved than spent. While there is some element of making this decision that is unique to each couple, below are the three areas I believe are must-haves; even on a budget.

You probably have a talented friend who can help with makeup and hair on your wedding day. Pro tip: If you have a close relationship with your hairdresser, maybe you can invite her to your wedding and her gift to you can be your wedding hair!


I know you hear this all the time. But the fact is, it is all too tempting to have your best friend’s sister-in-law shoot your wedding for dirt cheap. Unless your best friend’s sister-in-law is an experienced photographer with a style that you are drawn to and equipment that will do your big day justice, you should not (I repeat SHOULD NOT) be asking her to document some of the most important moments of your life. I know you have heard the horror stories of not getting nearly enough pictures back, waiting a bajillion years to receive them, or flipping through them only to see that your hubby is blinking in literally every single one. These are the photos that you will print and hang around your home, set as your wallpaper on your work computer, and show your children someday. Make sure you choose a professional who will provide you with quality (and quantity) in a style that is as unique as you are!

What a classy and flattering theme! I bet you could get dresses from JCP or Etsy and duplicate this boho chic vibe.


Can you rent speakers and delegate a playlist DJ? Absolutely. But here are some things to consider before going this route. Sound quality is a huge issue at weddings. There is always that best man who holds the mic so far away from his face that no one can hear. There is a fine line between the amount of bass that Aunt Elenor can deal with and the levels your husband’s frat buddy needs to party. And can we just talk about the awkward silence when transitioning from event to event? A DJ is not just pushing play. They are facilitating the entire evening, cultivating audience participation, and they have a direct correlation to your guest’s experience more than most other vendors. So get out there! Meet some DJs. Find the one that will make your party come to life.

It's always hard to figure out how to make park pavillion's look wedding-y. The most bang for your buck is to stick to simple decorations that are LARGE. No one pays a ton attention to the gorgeous wood-burned vase with perfectly arranged flowers on their table, but they will notice the 6 foot macrame hanging between the rafters. This gorgeous craft was made by Elysia https://www.facebook.com/elysiaslettering/.

Day-of Coordinator

Now, I might be slightly biased on this one. But there is a very good reason that I do this for a living. I have been to weddings where the bride and groom were relatively care free, where the family members could relax and mingle, and where it didn’t matter how much the bridal party drank because their only jobs were to hold rings, look pretty, and give a speech. On the other hand, I have been to weddings where the bride is constantly barking out instructions, mom is cutting cake during the first dance, and the bridal party has been told twelve different things about how each element of the day is supposed to go. So if you like the idea of someone to take care of set up and clean up, be your timeline guru, boss everyone around so you don’t have to, and intercept all vendors before they bother you with their questions, then get yourself a day-of coordinator. They will streamline the wedding day that you planned and make sure everything goes off without a hitch!

Check it out! This is a thrifted book from a wedding I photographed in Rural WI last summer. The bride and groom learned the art of paper-folding and turned these thrifted books into really unique decorations!


I always wonder why I have brides reaching out to me two months before their wedding requesting a recommendation on a videographer. But then I remember, I didn’t even want a videographer myself! I just thought it would be an unnecessary expense because well, I already paid for pictures. Luckily, videography came included in my photography package because I was proved to be very wrong. Yes, photography is invaluable. But with videography, you get to hear the exact tone of your husband’s voice when he got choked up during his vows, and feel the excitement amongst your bridesmaids on the morning of, and remember just how funky grandma looked doing her retro dance moves. I did not want a wedding video, but guess what? I watch that sucker at least once a month. My opinion: worth it.

Here's an example of a way to decorate with something you're not going to turn around and throw out after the wedding. The bride could have bought a $70 bouquet but this was a much more practical choice that worked with the vibes of her riverside pavilion venue.

Thanks for making it this far. Hopefully by now you have gotten the idea that you really do get what you pay for. You will notice that none of the items above are things that will be thrown out after the big day. If you are looking to save on something, save in these areas: invites, favors, place settings, centerpieces, flowers, decorations, dinner, dessert … heck, even your dress! Years later, your mom will remember if she got to enjoy your wedding and not work it, your guests will remember all the fun events and the seamless party, and you and your partner will cherish the photos and video for the rest of your life.

Happy wedding planning!

-Emily DeRitter

Owner of The Best Day Details


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