Real Brides' Best and Worst Wedding Splurges

The real deal on what was worth the extra dough and what wasn't.


Should Have Skipped It

Sometimes the little things really don't make a difference, and piling up debt certainly never makes sense. Heed these words of warning.

"The food at our reception was way overpriced and it was only the standard, boring buffet. Sometimes I think we should’ve considered having a more casual wedding and ordering food from an Italian restaurant or even barbecue from a BBQ joint!” —Lynda, Sterling, VA

I could have done without an expensive wedding cake and just served cupcakes. A friend of mine did that, and they were a big hit.” —Meg, Wilmington, DE

Make sure that you and your DJ are on the same page! We went over our playlist with him, but he still ignored most of what we wanted and played stuff we didn’t really like. If I had to do it over again, I’d just program an iPod and get some speakers.” — Jennifer, Short Hills, NJ

“I wish I’d spent less on flowers. All I really wanted was an eclectic mix of herbs and greenery, because that’s more my style, but I got talked up by the florist!” —Melissa W., Brooklyn, NY

I had baskets of toiletry items placed in the bathrooms for guests, but no one used any of the stuff. The ceremony programs seemed important when I was planning, but in the end I thought they were a waste of paper.” —Kate

I’m probably in the minority here, but I couldn’t justify spending a ton of money on my wedding dress. Of course I wanted it to be beautiful and something I felt good in, but I really couldn’t see spending $1000+ on something I’d wear once. I found a dress at a chain retailer that I loved for $500 and was very happy with it.” —Erika, Jackson Heights, NY

I was so nervous about not having enough food that I overdid the cocktail hour with too many stations with heavy food, like sliced roast beef and sushi. People had no room for dinner, not to mention dessert!” —Emily

I wish my photographer had gotten more photos of the guests. Most of the shots were of just me and my husband. If we'd had candid shots of other people, the costs for the photography would have been more worth it.” —Beth

"I would have skipped favors. I noticed after the wedding that most people forgot their gifts on the tables. We gave them away to the kitchen staff." —Kathy, Gladwyne, PA

"We had a chocolate fountain. It was nice but definitely not worth what it cost. No one would have missed it if it hadn't been there. —Emily