One of the most common advice for wedding planning is 'stick to your budget'. So is it weird that a frugal bride like myself never had one clearly established?
I love weddings, but have never looked into it besides the floral aspects (being a floral design hobbyist) prior to our engagement. Like with most purchases I make, I did not go in with a preset idea of what I'm willing to pay. My pockets are far from deep, they're just made of stretchy material. My goal is not to spend the minimal amount I can, but to attain the highest Bang-Over-Buck ratio (affectionately referred to as 'BOB' in our household).
Working without a budget is not for the faint of heart, and I don't recommend it for everyone. But if you have self control, allowing for adjustments can yield great results. Splurging on the right deal can have high positive impact. The right deal should be one you can reasonably afford, make a noticable difference, and make someone happy. For us, it was this:
Since we only want to spend money on one or the other, the Chinese Lion Dance beat out the photobooth for its festive nature and distinctiveness. For a good chunk of our guests, this may be the only time they will ever see such a performance. And even for the others, it is not something they get to see live often, not to mention up close and personal. We have attended so many weddings and to be honest, I'm not sure I will remember any of them in detail ten years from now. So this is our attempt to leave a slightly bigger imprint in their (hopefully fond) memories.