Where to Save and Where to Splurge

by D Weddings

“Unless you’ve been dreaming about an over-the-top ceremony since childhood, put more emphasis on the reception floral. Guests will spend more time at the reception and enjoy the floral for much longer.” –Maxine Owens, The Southern Table



A great way to save is by mailing all the invitations, from the rehearsal dinner to a welcome party to an after wedding brunch, in the envelope with the main invitation. –Annie Roche, 5 by 7 Designs

We suggest saving on the save the date. You can still have a unique or elegant design that’s consistent with the rest of your stationery, but use a thinner paper or less expensive printing process. You can also do digital addressing instead of hand calligraphy on your save-the-date envelopes to save a little bit more. –Chelsea Carpenter, Southern Fried Paper

For the invitation, you can save by eliminating inner envelopes, which will save you from spending extra money on envelopes, as well as the added calligraphy cost. –Rhonda Warren, Color Box Design & Letterpress


Don’t focus on having a top tier bar if it’s going to break the bank. Any hosted bar is appreciated by guests. –Doug Brown, Beyond the Box

Losing the bar during the dinner and serving an upgraded wine tableside is a great way to cut down on the bar balance and semi-control the amount consumed. –Allison MacNealy, Arlington Hall at Lee Park

Book a venue that allows you to bring in your own alcohol. (Plus you get to keep the leftovers. Cheers!) –Vivian Morgan, Culinary Art Catering


Cakes need to make an instant impression, which can be done with colorful flowers, gumpaste flowers, different height layers or bling. Time-consuming detailing drives the price of the cake up and may not register the upcharge in cost. –Margaret Gragg, Dallas Affaires Cake Co.

Go with whatever means the most to you. If you stay true to your own style, I can’t imagine that it would be over your budget. –Heidi Allison, Sugar Bee Sweets Bakery


Don’t overdo it – sometimes less is more! –Alicia RIco, Bows + Arrows

Scale back on the cocktail reception. Keep it simple there with something elegant yet understated. Another option is to cut back at the ceremony, as most people spend more time at the reception. –Lisa Pritchett, Lilium Floral Designs

Wedding Planning

Keep the guest list in check and spend accordingly. –Todd Fiscus, Todd Events

Save your money when it comes to Champagne toasts. There is so much waste, and people are perfectly content toasting with their favorite drink. –Jordan Payne, Jordan Payne Events

Save with a weekday wedding or non-peak hours. –Maya Jareou, House of Tales Events & Design

We love it when clients use their personal property or a family estate as a venue. It saves money and creates a rendering that no one else in our market has seen over and over. –Lottie Fowler, Grit + Gold

The best place to reduce your expenses is to reduce your guest count. An intimate wedding is all the rage. –Julian Leaver, Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek & Rosewood Crescent


If the venue has beautiful linen, utilize this and rent more statement linens for the head table and cakes. –Marsha Ballard French, Weddings by StarDust

A bride can save money on the decor featured during the cocktail hour, and put more of her budget toward the reception. Since the cocktail hour usually lasts no longer than 45 minutes, we recommend keeping things simple and tailored and prioritizing the reception florals and other design elements. This is where most of your pictures will take place, and guests will spend more time enjoying this space than any other on your wedding day. –Alison Baker & Mary-Frances Hurt,  DFW Events

Save on investing in too many uplights in a room. –Angela Morgan, The Ritz-Carlton, Dallas

Select linens that fit your tables correctly and get lighting when you need it for the ceremony sites at night. –Angela Rollins, Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden



The invitation is the first glance your guests get of your wedding weekend. To grab your guest’s attention,

I recommend an engraved, double-thick invitation beveled with a color of your choice and adorned with hand calligraphy throughout the wedding suite. –Krishna Parmar, Needle in a Haystack

Splurge on your personal joint monogram that can then be used  on all pieces of the wedding stationery suite. –Kerri Davis & Margretta Wickert, Ellis Hill

Pick the thicker paper for the main inviation, and go for beautiful printing. This is the piece that sets the tone for the event. –Annie Roche, 5 by 7 Designs


Take care of guests during the cocktail hour. Often, ceremonies start around the same time guests would be having dinner. The small bites offered during cocktail hour will keep them happy and comfortable. –Doug Brown, Beyond the Box

Don’t skimp on staffing. You have to have the appropriate number of staff for attentive and timely service. –Vivian Morgan, Culinary Art Catering

Splurge on a venue known for phenomenal service (staff and an on-site venue coordinator), as the price of a well-executed event cannot be discounted! –Rebecca Wright, Truluck’s

If you have friends and family who are constantly scouring the globe for the best eats, upgrade your beef selection or add custom hors d’oeuvres. –Ashley Love, Ashton Gardens


Get good cake! A simple, yet delicious, cake is better than beautiful, intricate, and tasteless. –Bronwen Weber, Frosted Art Bakery & Studio


The head table is always a highly photographed space at the reception and, therefore, a great place to allocate heavy floral decor. –Rachel Omundson, Three Branches Floral

Set the tone for the reception with a grand entrance. –Nathan Johnson, GRO Floral Event & Design

Wedding Planning

Always allow room in the budget for a videographer—this is the bride’s biggest regret if they don’t do it. –Marsha Ballard French, Weddings by StarDust

Spend on a wedding planner. You want your family and friends to enjoy the celebration instead of having to follow-up on things on the wedding day (like where to sit people who didn’t RSVP). –Angela Morgan, The Ritz-Carlton, Dallas

A keen, storytelling photographer takes the day to a more cohesive and beautiful level. Capturing imagery with intent is a must! –Lottie Fowler, Grit + Gold

Splurge on lighting, entertainment, and photography. –Maya Jareou, House of Tales Event & Design

Spend money on great service and quality food and beverage—elements guests will really remember. –Katy Taylor, Four Seasons Resort and Club Dallas at Las Colinas


Spend on your decor—draping, linens, lighting, build-outs, and floral. –Jordan Payne, Jordan Payne Events

Something as simple as a linen can really make a statement, allowing more wiggle room with other rentals. –Lauren Hedstrom, La Tavola Fine Linen

Items that stays in the room the longest—chairs or glassware—is definitely worth splurging on. –Medora Smith, P.O.S.H. Couture Rentals


Trend Report

WE DO: Interactive floral walls (handing glasses of Champagne through a wall of flowers in an entrance). Non-traditional greenery elements like begonia and heurchera leaves. Destination weddings. Cascading bouquets. Draping from the ceiling. Foodie-inspired designs using fruits and herbs. Shades of ivory. Mismatched patterns in china and linens. Low centerpieces. Foliage as backdrops, trailing on altars, aisles, and table runners (ivy-covered chandeliers). Rose gold accents. Velvet. Seasonal flowers. Mini desserts.


WE DON’T: Flower crowns. Tightly bound arrangements and bouquets that don’t leave room for the flowers to breathe or move. Anything rustic: mason jars, and burlap (Bye-bye, birch!). Signage everywhere—especially chalkboards (“Here comes the bride signage, why? Did the dress not give it away?” Todd Fiscus). Twinkle lights. Any food served in a martini glass. Balls of flowers. Hanging crystals. Banquet chairs. The chicken dance. Not sending a thank-you note (It’s time to use that beautiful new monogram!).