14 Brides Reveal The Cost Of Their Biggest Wedding Splurge & Your Jaw Will Drop

When it comes to coming up with a wedding budget, the key question any couple has to ask themselves is what you can skimp on, and what’s worth splurging on. If you can scale back on the aspects that are less important to you, then your biggest wedding splurge will feel justifiable. Because it's often those special details that stand out when you’re reminiscing about your big day.

Choosing what’s worth breaking your budget for is truly a personal choice. According to The Knot Wedding Attire Study, brides spent an average of $1,631 on their wedding gowns in 2018, which is an increase from $1,509 in 2017. This surge may be attributable to the fact that 11% of brides opted for more than one look on their wedding day — for example, a jumpsuit to change into for the reception. The Knot’s study also revealed that one in four couples hired custom guest entertainment for their 2018 reception, including innovative food and drink stations (like DIY margarita and cigar-rolling bars) and interactive booths with poets and tattoo artists. Basically, brides and grooms are going all out in a variety of ways.

Still, couples' priorities for their spending can differ significantly. If you’re a beauty junkie, then maybe you’ll want to spend more on professional airbrushed makeup for you and your entire bridal squad to look #flawless. Or, if you and your boo are total foodies, then you may end up paying extra for a decadent charcuterie board and dessert cart.

Curious about what elements people are going all out on? Here’s what a handful of brides spent on their biggest extravagance.

$1,200: Florist
Leah Flores/Stocksy
It's not even really a splurge compared to other brides whom I've asked.... but my initial plan was to DIY so to me, it feels like a splurge. I think I'll be feeling pretty happy with my decision on the days leading up to my wedding when I'm straight chillin' and not throwing together bouquets.


$4,640: Photography

When both the bride and groom are hobbyist photographers, they’re obvi going to shell out a bit more to capture their big day on film.

“We got a great package of 10 hours with two shooters… and a 1-hour engagement shoot for $3200,” wrote one Redditor. “But then we added the photo booth for $800, props for another $150, then we printed nearly all of our engagement photos for the guest book totaling about $40, and then I decided to do ‘power’ photos (kinda like a cross between glamour shots and boudoir photos) for $450.”

$220: Personalized Temporary Tattoos

When one Redditor found a set of custom temporary tattoos on Etsy, she knew she had found the perfect wedding favor. In her post about the splurge, she wrote, “When else can all your friends and family run around with your face tattooed on their arm?” #Truth.

$12,700: Venues
Vladimir Tsarkov/Stocksy
Our venues were important to me because I feel like that sets the tone for the wedding. I wanted a super romantic ceremony and a comfortable, but beautiful reception venue. It did include our Edison light ceiling decor and chandeliers. It also came with a game room with ping pong, pool, and some weird bowling game.


$300: Music

Hiring a classical guitarist to play at the wedding ceremony may seem superfluous to some, but to one Redditor, it was well worth the cost.

“We're saving in lots of other areas,” they wrote in a post about wedding expenses. “I was a very serious musician growing up, so it was important to me — and I figure it will add to the ambiance!”

$7,688: Tropical Honeymoon

Some couples would rather spend the big bucks on an epic honeymoon than on the wedding itself. One bride opted to splurge on staying at a stunning oceanfront villa in the Maldives with her new hubby, and TBH, can you blame her? Besides, the all-inclusive stay included speedboat transportation from the airport to the island — and if that’s not the definition of ballin’, I don’t know what is.

$500: Foil-Pressed Invitations & RSVPs
I told myself I didn't care about the invitations, nobody looks at them, etc, etc. Then I fell in love [with these] in lavender/silver — our colors.


$1,800: Bridal Shoes
Chelsea Victoria/Stocksy

One Vancouver bride decided that a pair of couture wedding shoes was a splurge she wouldn’t regret. And if you peep the pointy nude Dior slingbacks she wore, you’ll see why.

My dress was only $400 so that helped… Definitely didn't need them, but I LOOOOOVE them.


$850: Ceiling Decor

One bride opted to spend a little more to hang Edison lights from the ceiling at the reception venue.

“I feel like it makes it more us, so it’s worth it,” she wrote in a Reddit post.

$4,350: Live Band
It’s going to be awesome. Two local bands playing two hour sets each at the rehearsal dinner, a violinist/cellist playing at the ceremony and cocktail hour (mostly contemporary, not classic tunes) and a danceable wedding cover band at the reception.


$4,700: Photography

While nearly $5K might seem like a lot for photos, this Redditor was confident in her decision to spend extra on this facet given that the package included an 8-hour wedding day shoot with two photographers, a 3-hour day-after shoot, 325 edited photos, and raw files of every image.

I'm a former wedding photographer, so I knew what questions to ask potential photographers to make sure they had the right technical knowledge and equipment for the job. I am very thrilled with the option of the raw files, because it allows me to edit images in my style as well.


$3,000: Wedding Gown
Wendy Laurel/Stocksy

One Redditor said “yes” to the extravagant dress — even though it put her $1,500 over budget. The same bride splurged on a fancy grilled cheese bar for the cocktail hour, so clearly, their overall attitude toward wedding planning is #YOLO.

$800: Stationery
I never thought I'd care about this, but I fell in love with letterpress as soon as I found out what it was and saw a sample of one. This cost included 100 foil-pressed save the dates, 100 letterpress invites, 100 letterpress RSVP cards, 100 letterpress "details" inserts, 10 bachelorette party invites, 40 bridal shower invites, 40 rehearsal dinner invites, and 100 ceremony programs. And postage.


$850: Boba Tea

It’s all in the details when it comes to wedding planning — which is why one Reddit user opted to go above and beyond with their beverage options and bring in bubble tea for their 142 guests. And given that the tea ran out after just an hour, it seems this splurge was warranted. The bride wrote in their post about the expense: “It was a hit!”

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, the act of splurging means to "indulge oneself extravagantly." And what better occasion is there to do so than on your wedding day? Depending on your budget, you may have to choose your splurges wisely. The point is, a splurge is often what makes a wedding most memorable — so be deliberate with how you ball out, and remember: #NoRegrets.