• Though the wedding planning process can be fun at times, it can also be painfully expensive, which is what I discovered during my engagement.
  • The city my husband and I chose to get married in and the many extras we splurged on resulted in a pricey wedding.
  • Looking back, I regret spending so much money on this one day that could have been put towards my future with my husband.
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Planning a wedding can be a wonderful, but also a stressful period of time. From picking out the colors and the dress to the invitations and cake, there are certainly moments when it’s so fun to plan out your fairytale wedding. But there’s also the difficulty of managing these decisions within a budget, which makes it all the more challenging.

During the wedding planning process, the budget my husband and I originally set flew out the window when we realized that half of it would be gone after paying for the venue. From there, the costs continued to add up very quickly, leaving my husband and I to pay a pretty penny for our dream wedding. Some things we had less control over due to the location of our wedding. Other things we just splurged on because we feared anything going wrong on the big day.

Here’s why I kind of regret having such an expensive wedding.

We overpaid for everything because of the location we chose

Because we got married in one of the nation’s most expensive cities, Santa Barbara, California, the vendor costs were absurdly high. Going in, we had no idea we had selected such a costly location until we saw the price points.

From the venue and the DJ to the lights and the flowers, everything was overpriced not only from the general up-charge of the wedding industry, but also due to the fact that the cost of living is 9.5% higher in Santa Barbara than the national average.

Plus, because it is a relatively small city with a population of about 92,101, there were limited options to choose from in terms of wedding vendors. Less competition typically means higher prices because demand is so high for these services. This also played into the high-cost of our wedding.

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Had we done more research and found a different location in a more affordable city, we likely could have saved a ton of money.

We couldn’t cover the expenses for our close friends and family from out of state

We invited a lot of friends and family from out of state due to the fact that my husband and I met each other in another state outside of where we were born. However, because we were putting so much money down on the venue, catering, and other wedding costs, we weren’t able to cover our out-of-state guests’ hotel stays or travel expenses.

As a result, many of our friends and family from out of state weren’t able to make it to our wedding.

We weren’t able to do special things for our bridal party because we didn’t have the extra funds

Beyond not covering the airfare or hotels for our out-of-state friends and family, we also weren’t in a place to do anything extra special for our bridal party.

That was something I especially regret because I couldn’t give my best friends what I thought they deserved. I would have loved to have done a spa day or even a short getaway before the wedding, but my husband and I just weren’t in a place financially to spend money on those kinds of extras at the time.

We could have put some of the wedding money toward our future life together instead

Little did I know, there are a lot of expenses involved in starting a new life with someone. In our case, my husband and I ended up having to buy a new car, a new apartment, new furniture, essential household items that we didn’t get from our wedding registry, and other little expenses that quickly added up.

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Foto: We could’ve used the money for something else.sourceWhitney Turner Photography

Because we used a lot of our personal savings towards the wedding, it took us a while to catch up financially. This really put us in a tough spot after returning from the honeymoon. In hindsight, it would have been nice to have had a little more padding for those unexpected costs that came up in the first few months of marriage.

We could have had a smaller wedding and had a similar experience

In all honesty, I believe our wedding day could’ve been just as special if we had shortened the guest list and found a more affordable location. Looking back at my wedding book now, I notice that I’m no longer close to a lot of the people who came to our wedding partly because we weren’t that close to begin with. To avoid hurting feelings, we felt obligated to invite some friends and coworkers one of the common challenges of making the guest list.

However, some of my fondest memories of that day were just seeing my closest friends and family all together in one spot. Those are the photos I cherish the most and the highlights that stick out most in my mind, which easily could have been achieved with a smaller wedding and space.

Some of the smaller details we paid extra for didn’t even turn out how we wanted them to in the end

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Foto: We would’ve cut back on a few items.sourceWhitney Turner Photography

As much as I planned and communicated with my vendors, there were still things I recall that didn’t go as I wanted them to on the big day. For instance, we ended up getting a videographer at the last minute because we were advised by our vendors that we should definitely have one. But in the end, the cameraman didn’t really do that great of a job of capturing all of the day’s events. Plus, the twinkle lights one of our vendors convinced us to purchase weren’t even necessary because people started trickling out before it got dark.

During the months of planning, all of these details seemed important so we didn’t leave anything to chance and pretty much paid for anything extra that the vendors convinced us of needing. Upon looking back, however, I would have been more careful to invest only in the things that mattered most to me.

Those are the details I remember and would advise anyone else in the wedding planning process to do the same. The vendors will try to convince you to put extra money towards things that don’t really matter or on extras you don’t really care about.