When dreaming of our wedding, there were a few things in our wedding budget we knew we wanted to really invest and splurge on. We spent our adult lives saving for this momentous weekend with our family and friends. Now that our wedding has passed, I wanted to share the splurge-worthy wedding ideas we felt really gave us a lot of bang for our buck. Whether it’s something we paid a lot of money for or felt like we got a great deal on, if we feel it was really got a lot of value for what we paid, we’ll share it here!
If you want the “wow” factor at your wedding and your venue can accommodate it, I would absolutely recommend fireworks. I know costs may be different depending on where you live and by vendor, but for us, the fireworks were a no-brainer. It came out to be about $1,000 a minute. In the grand scheme of our wedding budget, it was easily one of the highest value items. Every single person loved it and is still talking about how incredible the show was. Thanks to a close friend who happened to record the whole thing, we love watching it again and again while we wait for our professional video. We used Pyrotex, which is considered the best in Dallas Fort Worth and we absolutely agree. We gave them the song we wanted to use and they coordinated the show to the song.
Photography & Videography
We’ve always believed the only things we can really take away from our wedding are the photos and videos. It was absolutely a top priority in our wedding budget. I once believed the memories would live on forever, but after seeing my Dad suffer from a traumatic brain injury and not be able to remember the life he lived, I realized how important capturing memories truly are. For us, we wanted a photographer who could capture both candid and spontaneous moments, while also creating beautiful portraits and more “posed” photos since that’s also what our parents love. I love how Allen Tsai also shoots on film and those photos are simply so dreamy.
When it came to videography, we wanted a team who would really help share our story. Having been a former news journalist, I wanted true storytelling, cinematic shots and the inclusion of natural sound. We feel so lucky to have found Cabie Films and cannot wait to see what they create.
I cannot take credit for this but I’m so glad we made space for it in our wedding budget. One of my sweet Instagram followers saw a bookshelf seating chart at a rustic wedding and sent it to me saying it seemed very us. It absolutely was! Johnny and I are huge bookworms and love to read. I showed my wedding planner, Sarah Kee and said I love the idea. “We just need to make it more modern and more us.” That’s how this beautiful seating chart came to life. Every party, or guest if they didn’t have a plus one, had a book with their names and table number on the spine. If I had more mental energy, I would have chosen an actual book the guests could take home, but we were cutting it too close and by then I was exhausted. This was one of the stars of our show and everyone was talking about this seating chart! It also made a great backdrop for photos.
To coordinate with the bookshelf, the table numbers looked like pages ripped out of a book with our favorite passages.
A good wedding planner will decrease your stress by 1,000 percent. We worked with Sarah Kee and from the beginning we felt she was worth every penny from our wedding budget. The attention to detail, her honest thoughts on quotes to her expertise to helping us source and plan the wedding of our dreams are invaluable. We truly couldn’t be happier. She’s also extremely kind, is a great communicator and truly works so well with families and all those involved in making a wedding happen. If you’re looking for a planner, I couldn’t recommend her more. She also travels and does destination weddings!
Everyone has a different “vice” so to speak and wardrobing has always been something I am extremely picky and passionate about it. I had heard from friends and followers they regretted not going with “the dress I really fell in love with.” I didn’t want to feel that way about our wedding, especially after waiting and saving for 12 years. We made sure we absolutely loved every aspect of our wardrobe, from the two different ao dais designed by Thai Nguyen to my Vera Wang gown. Johnny and I also splurged on our shoes because we wanted a classic look and also to be comfortable. I will say, I didn’t have any feet pain whatsoever. My wedding shoes were so comfortable and I’m beyond impressed.
Another aspect important to us and we felt so happy with is our bridesmaids’ and groomsmen’ outfits. We wanted them to look and feel incredible, too!
Read more about our wedding here!