Caili’s Second Tier wedding Priorities: Where to Save vs. Splurge

Every time I photograph a wedding I get inspiration for my own future wedding. I notice what I do and don’t like, what has the biggest impact on how enjoyable the night is, and what seems unnecessary. Through wedding experience, I have developed my own wedding priorities. While this list is completely based on Caili Chung’s super biased opinion, I figured I’d share it anyway.

Weddings are expensive and figuring out your priorities allows you to better choose what to save vs. splurge on. I’ve split up my personal values in first, second, and third tiers.


1. Hair & Makeup

Professional makeup really makes a visible difference. It photographs beautifully and does not move despite any crying, sweating, and kissing you do. A professional makeup artist can make you look and more importantly feel beautiful. They also provide an enjoyable and stress-free experience.

But if you really feel comfortable with your own makeup or have a makeup savvy friend, go for it. You’ll be stunningly gorgeous on your special day no matter what.

2. Lighting

Casa Bella Bay Area Wedding Photography Caili Chung

A sea of hanging lanterns or twinkling string lights can transform your venue. Lighting is the most cost-effective way to upgrade your room. String lighting, paper lanterns, uplighting, fairy lights… They all create amazing ambiance and decor.

Garden Valley Ranch Wedding Pink Sparkly

3. Bride’s Flowers

I love gorgeous bouquets. I really do. I am so amazed by beautiful and truly creative floral arrangements.

I believe that the bride and bridesmaids’ flowers are musts. Bouquets are in so many of your photos, they add so much to an image, and they give your hands something to do. Investing in a gorgeous bridal bouquet will make your whole wedding look more high end.

Small, spare, decorative flowers can really go a long way.

Big, decorative floral pieces can be really epic. But I personally don’t think they’re a worthwhile investment. Eye candy as they are, I don’t think it makes sense to spend a lot on something that doesn’t last/something you can’t really take home.

4. Food

I love food… More than a healthy extent. Brides and grooms need to feed their guests! Food doesn’t need to be expensive to be delicious. As long as the food is good, your guests won’t complain.

But people do tend to be very impressed by an amazing dinner. And let’s be honest, providing dinner to a large group of people is going to be decently pricey no matter what. McDonald’s for 50 still adds up.

Meadow Club Fairfax wedding Caili Chung Photography

5. Alcohol

If you want to get people drunk on a budget, consider only offering a few drinks or a signature cocktail to cut down on expenses.

Fairview Napa Wedding California Caili Chung

6. Videography

I prefer photography because I value print. You can hang photos on the walls and keep an album on your coffee table. Digital media is not as accessible in everyday life. However, a talented videographer can really capture how things felt in a way that photos do not. Videography is valuable for many of the same reasons photography is.

Planning a wedding can be overwhelming! But I gotchu 😉 After going to so many events as a photographer, I’ve got plenty of recommendations and experience with everything wedding-related. Click here to learn more about the Caili Chung Photography Wedding Experience <3

For Brides


Caili’s Second Tier wedding Priorities: Where to Save vs. Splurge

share this post


get in touch!

want to learn more about working with caili?

download ,my session style guide

we will be in touch soon

thank you