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Whether you have a large or small budget, we are going to lay out 4 core spends that you should NOT skimp on while budgeting for your wedding.

One of the first things couples tackle together after getting engaged is setting the budget for their wedding. Budgeting can be seen as a nightmare to navigate, as it could lead to some tough conversations with your partner if you have different spending habits. However, we are here to help!

Top Wedding Budget Spends - The Venue; Aerial View of Quaking Aspen AmphitheaterTop Wedding Budget Spends

1. Venue

Choosing the perfect venue for you and your partner is something that should not be skimped on while wedding planning. The venue sets the tone for your entire event! While you don’t need to spend all your money on a venue, it’s important to decide on a place that fits both of your needs and wants for your wedding day. Here are some things you should ask yourself while searching for the perfect wedding venue:

  • Is this a destination wedding venue? – Having a destination wedding is all the rage right now. People just want to get away and experience a new place! Pick a venue that checks off all your boxes and has some amazing scenery for your wedding.
  • Does the venue have lodging nearby? – Whether you find a destination venue or one nearby, it’s important to ensure there is enough lodging to accommodate all your guests. Did you know Warren Station has lodging just steps away from our reception venue? Check out what our preferred vendors, Summit Cove Vacation Rentals, and Keystone Resort Lodging have to offer!
  • Does the venue have any inclusions? – It will clear a lot off your plate if your venue has certain inclusions to make your day smoother. For instance, at Warren Station, we offer an 8-hour time block for your reception, and we never book more than one private event a day. We also provide chairs and tables for your reception, as well as versatile bar packages to choose from! That’s not all – read about all our venue’s inclusions for your wedding day.

Top Wedding Budget Spends - Catering Service; Passed Hors D'oeuvres at Warren StationTop Wedding Budget Spends

2. Catering Service

We’ve all been to that wedding that served dry chicken with overcooked veggies. Catering service is one of the top things you should not skimp on when wedding planning! The food being served will create a lasting memory with your guests. Here are some reasons why providing great catering services will make all the difference:

  • Unless your venue has an entire catering staff available – book a full-service caterer! A full-service caterer does it all, from setup to food service, to cake cutting and clean up.
  • A full-service caterer will help you develop a coursed menu that suits your taste. They guarantee that your guests will have plenty of nourishment by providing a grazing table or passed hors d’oeuvres during cocktail hour.
  • Full-service caterers will provide items such as linens, plates, flatware, glassware, and table decor for your event. They will decorate and set tables before your event and ensure the space is clean when your event ends, allowing you to collect back your full venue security deposit.

Having a full-service caterer is a big relief for you on your wedding day knowing that you don’t have to lift a finger – except to sip your champagne. If you aren’t doing a traditional dinner service, food trucks are also a great option for smaller weddings. Be sure to ask the right questions before booking a food truck, and make sure they will bring staff for cleanup and water service during your event. At Warren Station, we work with Colorado-licensed, full-service catering companies that will guarantee your day is flawless from beginning to end. Check out our list of preferred caterers!


Top Wedding Budget Spends - Wedding Coordinator; Warren Station Ballroom Set Up for a Wedding ReceptionTop Wedding Budget Spends

3. Wedding Coordinator

We can’t stress the importance of hiring a wedding coordinator for your big day. We’ve experienced our fair share of weddings that do not have a coordinator and trust us, it never works out the way you imagine. Sometimes a full-service wedding planner can be quite pricey but hiring a month-of, or day-of-coordinator will relieve all your worries. Here are a few reasons that explain why a wedding coordinator is essential.

  • Even the most organized couples can’t take on the stress of managing their own wedding on the day of the event. A coordinator will manage all logistics for your wedding, including managing your ceremony flow, tending to your guests, and communicating with all vendors, and the venue staff while you enjoy the company of friends, family, food, and drinks.
  • Coordinators will also take control of your décor setup, timeline, and cleanup of your event.

Luckily, we work with some amazing wedding planners and coordinators who are very experienced and love being hands-on! Check out our list of preferred coordinators and planners.

Top Wedding Budget Spends - The Photographer; Couple Photographed Atop Keystone MountainTop Wedding Budget Spends

4. Photographer

You will have your wedding photos forever, and you certainly don’t want those photos to look like your drunk cousin took them with a disposable camera. Having a good photographer doesn’t mean you need to spend all your wedding money either! Here are some things to look for when searching for a professional wedding photographer.

  • Be ready, photographers should be passionate! They didn’t become a professional photographer for just anything… Most likely, they got into photography because it’s a passion and not just a job. They will put all their efforts into making sure your day is captured perfectly. On your wedding day, there will be things that you might not see. Your photographer will make sure no details are missed and all the memories are captured.
  • A professional photographer will most likely bring a second photographer. You may be wondering why this is important… Having a second photographer confirms that you and your partner are both captured while getting ready, and/or getting photos of different angles your main photographer may not be able to!
  • Finding your style. Don’t forget to do your research on different photographers to find someone who has the style you want. There’s nothing worse than having your wedding day captured and then hating the photos. Don’t forget, you will have them forever. If you aren’t sure where to start, we can help! Look at our list of amazing and personable photographers.


These are just a few things that are always agreed upon as top priorities when budgeting money for your wedding. We encourage you to always research multiple vendors to find ones that fit best with your budget and your wedding vision!

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