Today’s awesome guest post, brought to us by Kate Storey of Weddeo, is full of fun and practical ideas to help you make the most of your wedding budget! Enjoy:

When it comes to budgeting for your wedding, everything can seem like a must-have. From invitations and engagement photos to ceremony decorations and favors, it can be difficult to see where you could possibly whittle down or even – gulp – eliminate altogether.

One of the best ways to manage this is to think about some of the things that are most important to you as a couple, or that really speak to your personality. Are you foodies? Hiring the best caterer in the area might be something you consider. Are one or both of you known for your fashion sense? Donning a fabulous designer gown (or shoes!) could be where you direct a large chunk of change.

Read the full post after the cut!

But sometimes, the only way to make any of these non-negotiables happen is to let something else go, or find a cheaper way to do it. So which areas of your budget would it be a safe bet to go with a less expensive option, in order to get something amazing in another? Here are a few ideas to consider, while still having an incredible wedding!

Cut Here: Flowers Everywhere

Flowers are beautiful, and certainly a very traditional decoration for weddings – but they can also come with a big price tag…especially once you add up the cost for the ceremony, wedding party AND reception.

There are lots of great ways to DIY your flowers; but one easy (and inconspicuous) way to save a big chunk of money is to use flowers only for the ceremony, and in limited amounts. Stick with bouquets for just the bride and bridesmaids, and perhaps a boutonniere for the groom; groomsmen could wear pocket squares in your wedding colors in their tuxes or suits (bonus – monogram them and present them as their wedding party gift!).

At the reception, consider non-floral table centerpieces. Bowls or glass jars of apples in fall or citrus fruit in the winter are an in-season, cost-effective and beautiful option. A good friend placed inexpensive metal lanterns with an electric candle inside at each table, and potted succulents or herbs – even silk ones! – in solid-colored or white ceramic containers lend a fresh and unique element. And as an added benefit, you won’t have to worry about any of these centerpieces wilting in the time between set-up and the end of the reception.

Splurge Here: Quality Entertainment

Whether that means a six-piece band, the best DJ in town or even something unique like a bluegrass band, your reception entertainment will help reinforce the tone for your wedding and set just the right atmosphere for your guests.

Ask to attend an event or see footage of events where they have performed to see how they might handle transitions, like directing guests to pay attention to certain points or getting everyone on the dance floor. Just be sure to select entertainers who you feel comfortable with, and can be on the same page with…the best ones will know how to read both you (ahead of your wedding) and your guests to keep the party going.

Cut Here: Big Fancy Cake

It’s a well-known tip to get a smaller wedding cake to cut at the reception and serve guests from a sheet cake, or serve cupcakes instead – but there are many other creative ways to offer dessert for your guests that can be as casual or elegant as you’d like…and it doesn’t even have to be cake!

I have friends who love pie, so they had a few family members bake their favorites for guests to enjoy after dinner. Love milk and cookies? Purchase a variety from your favorite bakery (or even a nice grocery store!) and have glasses of milk served for dunking. Candy bars have also become a popular option, and can double as favors for guests.

And since cake is the default option for so many weddings, the more interesting your dessert option is, the more it will add to your unique style at your wedding…and be remembered by your guests!

Splurge Here: Surprise Reception Extras

Once you get to the reception, it’s time to have a little fun – so why not throw in an element that will surprise and delight your family and friends?

Think about something that speaks to you and your new spouse’s personalities. A food truck for those late-night guests? A mariachi band or celebrity impersonator mingling with guests? The options are endless, and there are lots of ways to add in something small but exciting that will make for great photo opps and have your guests talking about how great your wedding was, long after it’s over!

Cut Here: Traditional Videography

Hiring a professional videographer to capture your wedding day averages around $2,000 (or more, if you live in certain areas of the country), and typically only allows for one videographer for a few hours – leading many brides to opt out of wedding videography altogether.

But if the thought of missing out on having a wedding video makes you sad, DIY wedding videography has become an attractive option for many couples. Companies like Weddeo will mail several high-definition, handheld cameras to your doorstep for friends and family to capture video all day long, in several locations (which means the groom isn’t left out from pre-ceremony video!). Guests can even get in on the fun with a free app, allowing them to share their memories of your wedding day with video and photos uploaded from their smartphones.

Splurge Here: Honeymoon

If you directly apply the savings on traditional videography, for example, depending on your interests, this alone could pay for your honeymoon!

You could also use your already-budgeted savings to create a more deluxe version of what you were already planning. Originally limited to a short stay at an all-inclusive resort? Extend it by a day or two, upgrade your room selection (hello, beachfront!) or plan a few extra activities to enjoy. This is one of the few times in life where you’ll have a good excuse to vacation like royalty – enjoy it!

Of course, these ideas are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to finding ways to save (or splurge!) to create your dream wedding. Above all, use your imagination and think of what truly speaks to you as a couple. When you stick to these two principles, you’ll have a wonderful wedding that the two of you and your guests will remember fondly, no matter where you decided to spend or save!

Kate Storey is the co-creator of Weddeo, which helps couples easily and affordably capture all the best memories of their wedding. She was glad she saved on flowers at her wedding and wishes she had splurged on more fun extras for the reception! To learn more about Weddeo, please visit their WeddingLovely Vendor Guide profile or head straight to their website.