based in the Alexandria Virginia

available from Coast to Coast
love our work?
wedding budget template

How to Prioritize Your Wedding Budget

posted on

posted by

filed in

From engagement rings to wedding planning, most individuals have envisioned their wedding day since childhood. Once the engagement ring hits the finger, we immediately begin wedding planning and glaze over the unattractive notion of setting a realistic wedding budget. We fall into the allure of beautiful wedding venues, lavish cakes, wedding photography, and other wedding commodities before assessing what we can really afford. A wedding budget can be the “elephant” in the room, but having a realistic wedding budget and sticking with it, will save you the financial headache later.

Hypothetically, a wedding should be about the couple getting married but appeasing wedding guests is typically the priority. Many couples assume they know what guests value and make the mistake of spending money in wedding areas that are not of value to them at all. To help you better prioritize your wedding budget, we have created a list of most important to least important wedding elements from the guests’ perspective.

1. Open Bar

An open bar is the ultimate win for wedding guests. Upgrading the bar from a no bar or cash bar to an open bar is worth the money for an ideal guest experience at a wedding.

2. Wedding Flowers and Décor

Wedding flowers and décor are significant to wedding guests. Although this is of great importance, it does not mean that you need to spend a ton of money on wedding flowers and décor to have a great wedding.

3. Catering 

Food ranks as another top contender for wedding guests. It is no surprise guests value a good meal at a wedding. However, an expensive meal is not always a good meal. Opting for more inexpensive catering options is always a popular choice.

4. Photography

Photography is a wedding element that guests do enjoy at a wedding. Wedding photographers take photos of not only the bride and groom but also the guest. Some guests enjoy receiving professional photographs of themselves at a wedding.

5. Reception Music 

Guests enjoy a good party with excellent music at a wedding. Make sure to find a great DJ or Band to set the party mood for your wedding.

6. Wedding Ceremony and Reception Venue 

The wedding ceremony and reception venue are less of a priority for guests. Having an excellent wedding venue is less critical to guests than good food and free drinks. Instead of spending tons of money on a wedding venue, consider looking for more affordable wedding venue options.

7. Cake

Guests appreciate other wedding elements over the wedding cake. According to, guests are equally satisfied with a sweet alternative to cake at a wedding.

8. Wedding Favors 

Wedding favors are lovely; however, it is not an enhancer for guests. If you insist on wedding favors at a wedding, make sure to the wedding favor budget at a minimum.

9. Invitations 

Although wedding invitations can set the wedding tone for guests, it is also an item that will most likely be thrown away by most guests.

Share this post

Leave a Reply

We’re The Venlist


We’re all about making your wedding planning journey way easier. Fueled by equal parts caffeine and passion, we spend our days ensuring your day goes off without a hitch. Your story, your love, is beautiful and we can’t wait to make your wedding vision happen. 

find your way around



Tenth Ward Wedding - Kellyn & John

Salamander Resort Wedding - McKenzie & Blair

The Big Fake Wedding - Courtney & Travis



Stress Free Wedding Day

A lot of moving pieces go into finding the perfect wedding venue and we know it’s easy to feel like a hot mess! Grab our free venue questions guide to help locate your perfect wedding venue.