One of the best ways to narrow your focus and make the most of your wedding budget is to make a list of the things you and partner care the most about, and then a list of what your guests care the most about. Items that aren't on either of those lists are areas where you can afford to save a little money.
To help get you started, here are some things that I pay attention to the most as a wedding guest (besides obvious logistical things that make sure people are comfortable and taken care of).
The venue truly sets the tone for the entire wedding, and as a guest, I love experiencing beautiful places that are special to the couple. I also love getting to travel to a new place for a wedding, even if it's not that far from where I live. It doesn't have to be super fancy, I just appreciate beautiful surroundings and a comfortable setup where everyone can see and hear throughout the ceremony!
The bride's dress
Obviously I love seeing what a bride chooses for her wedding dress! When she first comes down the aisle I can't wait to see what she picked out and how beautiful she looks. I always predict what I think she's going to wear beforehand and then see how far off or spot on I am based on what I know about her style. I also LOVE seeing the groom's reaction when he sees her in her dress for the first time.
Cue the tears because I pretty much always cry during the vows. How can you not when you're watching the bride and groom stare at each other promising to love and cherish each other forever? No matter whether the vows are personal or traditional, the best ones are always short, heartfelt and sweet.
Décor + Flowers
I know not everyone cares about this, but I always appreciate the décor and flowers! I definitely don't expect the couple to do something crazy expensive or over-the-top, but nice thoughtful touches to elevate the setting and keep it romantic doesn't go unnoticed by me!
Food + Drinks
This is an obvious one right? No one wants to go hungry or thirsty at a wedding! I appreciate small hors d'oeuvres before dinner and I'm happy with different types of dining setups, as long as there is enough food for everyone and works with most peoples' diet requirements. I really appreciate an open bar, but totally understand cutting people off at a certain point. However, in my experience, a good rule of thumb is the better the food + drink situation, the happier the guests and the better the dance party!
Reception party + entertainment
A great band or DJ is a must for guests to have a good time at the reception party! You need someone who can read the vibe of the wedding and know exactly what song to play at the right time to keep the party going. Some of my favorite wedding memories are surrounding the couple one the dancefloor, everyone smiling, screaming the words to a song like "Sweet Caroline" or "Don't Stop Believing".
Style Me Pretty Contributor – Julia Hurwitz is a freelance writer and Marketing Manager based in New York City. Her interests include travel, global craft, healthy baking, entertaining and exploring the outdoors.