9 Wedding Items That Are Worth the Splurge

Want to know a secret? No one cares about wedding favors. They don't care about invitations, tablecloths or cake forks, either. Keep your checkbook close unless it's for one of these wedding extravagances that are worth the splurge.

1. Bridal Gown

Say yes to the dress! This is the big, show-stopping number of your wedding, the shining jewel of the day's festivities that will be immortalized in all of your pictures and portraits and memories. Go ahead and spend what you need to pay to feel like a fairy tale princess. If you have to eat ramen for a few months afterward, so be it.

2. Shoes

The thrifty bride will sometimes buy cheap shoes to hide under the layers of her gown. This bride also has major blisters by the end of the evening. Your footwear is an important part of your wedding day ensemble, so don't cut corners when it comes to comfort. Whether they're heels for the church or sandals for the beach, make sure that they'll support you for all the walking, talking, toasting and dancing ahead.

3. Drinks

Don't blow your budget on fancy plates of escargots de Bourgogne. Most of your guests won't notice or care what they're being served as long as the alcohol is good enough, so funnel your funds into the bar instead. High-quality liquor will keep the fun rolling in a way that butter-encrusted snails just can't match.

4. Flowers

Between the wildly tossed bouquet and the carefully-arranged table settings, weddings can be very floral affairs. It's worth the expense to make sure that you're choosing the right flowers with the true meanings. You don't want to find out from a sniggering Aunt Sally that hepatica wildflowers represent anger or that marigolds are most commonly found in funeral homes!

5. Music

Maybe you want a wedding band to play covers of your favorite songs throughout the night. Maybe you want a live DJ to spin tracks and get everyone grooving on the dance floor. The type of music isn't nearly as important as the quality of what you play, so shell out for a professional music experience with a guilt-free conscience. It's worth the cash to have fun.

6. Hosiery

Again, there's a common train of thought that if you can't see it, you don't need to spend a lot of money on it. But don't underestimate the value of comfort and convenience during the biggest day of your life. If your garter is too tight, have it altered so that it doesn't dig into your skin. If it's cold outside, splurge on thick and toasty winter tights. You don't want to get up in front of everyone and shiver, "I d-d-d-do."

7. Lights

Whether you're hosting a reception hall dance-off with flashing disco balls or a relaxed outdoor party with lanterns dotting the trees, your lighting can set the mood of your wedding. Don't be afraid to get creative, and don't worry about the final bill. Lights that are too harsh or too weak can prematurely end your festivities as guests seek a more comfortable evening elsewhere.

8. Venue

This applies to both the ceremony itself and whatever area you'll be using for the after-party. If you want a grand, traditional wedding in a big church with wooden pews and stained glass windows, go ahead and make that down payment. If you want a winter wonderland wedding under a fresh layer of snow in the mountains, go ahead and book that resort. It's your wedding and your choice, so walk down whatever aisle that you'd like.

9. Photographer

You're paying a lot of money for the perfect wedding. Don't you want it documented with the same level of perfection? Avoid blurry candid shots and open-mouthed chewing photos by hiring a professional wedding photographer who knows how to capture people at their best angles. Even if their rates are a little high, think of them as a long-term investment that will pay off every time you view your wedding album in the future.

These are just a few areas where it's okay to go over your bridal budget. Weddings can be expensive events, so it's important to save your money for the things that actually matter. Toss out the customized candles and say hello to the catered cocktails!