Caili’s Third 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. I feel like it’s kinda insulting to make something “third tier” and I don’t want to belittle anything in this list. They’re still important, just less important to one young Asian girl.


1. Invitations

Personally, I have no interest in assembling addresses, writing addresses on envelopes, stamping things, going to the post office, waiting for responses, etc.

Do your invitations digitally. It’s so much more convenient for both you and your guests. And will save on invitation expenses.

However, I do recommend having one invitation for your photographer. Styled paper can really tie the vibe of your detail photos with the rest of your day. Something pretty with your name on it truly enhances a ring shot.

Pulgas Water Temple Wedding Caili Chung Photography

2. The dress & Accessories

The wedding dress is iconic. And it should make you feel beautiful. But it really is something that you can only wear once. If you’re planning a wedding on a budget, spending a lot on something with such limited utility doesn’t make much sense.

Borrowing jewelry from family members is a great way to involve family heirlooms and honor/include everyone who helped you get to this special day.

Pulgas Water Temple Wedding Caili Chung Photography

3. Cake

I’ve seen leftover cake at so many weddings. I highly recommend opting for a smaller cake so you’re not wasting money on something people don’t even eat. In addition, if a cake is smaller, it is likely to be more moist and tasty!

4. Table Decoration

Elaborate tables are super fun to photograph, but if money is tight, going all out on tables capes isn’t the best bang for your buck. Centerpieces often just end up being thrown away at the end of the night. You can save on your table decor by doubling up bridesmaids bouquets as floral table decor. And considering decor that lasts like candles or Pusheen stuffed animals if you’re a cat lover 😉

Table decoration is a great way to personalize your wedding, but doesn’t need to be expensive. Consider engagement photos, postcards of places you’ve been together, funny childhood photos, etc.

Meadow Club Fairfax wedding Caili Chung Photography

5. Pretty Chairs

Weddings will inevitably look more high end if they do not include plastic chairs. Wooden chairs and other higher-end seating options make more of a difference for indoor weddings than outdoor ones.

Cinnabar Hills Wedding Rainy San Jose

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

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Caili’s Third Tier Wedding priorities: Where to Save vs. Splurge

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