Nearly half of married couples regret this big wedding expense

Bride and groom embracing.
Getty | Halfpoint

Between the cake, food, music, dress, photography and flowers, coordinating a wedding can feel like a massive undertaking. That's why many couples hire a wedding planner — yet nearly half of them end up regretting it.

That's according to a recent survey from Novi Financial Inc., which collected 1,000 responses from people ages 18 to 54 who married in the past decade. Participants were asked to rate different wedding expenses and share which they felt weren't worth it or were a waste of money. Of those polled, 48.5% said wedding planners weren't worth the cost, followed by 36.7% who said videography and 36.1% who said wedding favors.

In most cases, men were more likely than women to say that a given wedding expense was not worth the cost. While 15% of men said wedding photography was a waste of money, just 8% of women responded that it was. The only exception was the wedding planner: Both men and women agreed that hiring a professional wasn't a worthwhile expense.

Participants were also asked which wedding expenses they decided to forgo. Of those polled, 43.5% passed on wedding planners. Other popular responses include skipping videography (37.8%), a champagne toast (30.7%), wedding favors (21.1%) and photography (13%).

There are three wedding expenses that more than half of survey respondents agree are worth having on your big day. A full 56.6% said the bride's dress was a worthy investment, followed by photography (53.1%) and the wedding cake (52.4%).

How to decide what's worth the splurge

In 2019, weddings cost an average of about $39,000, according to this year's Newlywed Report from Wedding Wire. However, that doesn't mean you should aim to spend that much if you can't afford it.

"When you're starting out, the worst thing you can do is put yourself in debt for your wedding. I know it sounds romantic to spend a lot of money — it's crazy to do that," Kevin O'Leary, an investor on ABC's "Shark Tank" and personal finance author, tells CNBC Make It.

Instead, part of the wedding planning process should be to sit down and determine how much you realistically would like to spend. Then, begin budgeting out your money to see which wedding expenses you can afford and will be worth it in the end. If wedding favors or a champagne toast don't make the cut, so be it.

For an idea of how much vendors generally cost on average, check out this helpful guide from The Knot.

For more ideas on how to save money on your wedding day, check out:

Disclosure: CNBC owns the exclusive off-network cable rights to "Shark Tank."

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