The first episode of my HGTV show, “The House My Wedding Bought,” was the perfect example of what great savings can do for both a home purchase and a dream wedding. It was also a great example of how different each partner in relationships can be when it comes to purchasing priorities! I’m glad I started with a couple that was fun to work with, as most of my clients are. Here’s what happened with Ray and Allison.

Couple (left) and host Breegan Jane (right) pose in front of a reception venue in Austin, TX. As seen on The House My Wedding Bought.

Should You Spend More on a Home or Wedding?

I found it so interesting that out of the two, Ray was the one who wanted to spend more money on the wedding! That’s atypical, but it makes so much sense when you get to know him. He’s the socialite of the two, and I could tell he loved being the life of the party. For the wedding, he wanted to have 150 guests, a DJ and a live drummer. He also wanted multiple food stations, several bars AND drink donkeys roaming the event. To his credit, he did prefer to split their $60K savings down the middle on the wedding and home.

Allison proved to be the more investment-focused one of the couple. Her wedding tastes were much more reserved and focused on an intimate event. I wasn’t shocked that she wouldn’t rule out eloping at one point! That being said, Allison preferred a smaller backyard wedding with fewer frills. Growing up in Hawaii, she simply wanted to be surrounded by tropical flowers, and that wasn’t an unreasonable request in my book. Focusing more on the home, Allison wanted to budget $10K on the wedding and use the rest of the savings on the house.

When I look at Ray and Allison, I saw how opposites could attract, as the old saying goes. But when I looked at how they wanted to utilize their savings, opposite desires proved to be a serious balancing act of give-and-take. I decided to show them home and wedding options that ranged in price and amenities, and crossed my fingers that one (or more) of the choices would please them both.

House Hunting for the Best Value

While house-hunting, Ray was more about the plug-and-play amenities. One of the only things he agreed with his partner on was wanting a more open concept for the home. But he *had* to have his “dude dungeon,” and he didn’t want to put money into maintenance and upgrades. His ideal home was ready to move in with all amenities ready to be used. He also wanted a large backyard for their dogs—and for over-the-top entertaining. It’s not often that I work with couples where the groom is pickier than the bride! (Maybe an HGTV first??)

Though she wanted to spend more on the house than her to-be husband, Allison’s house requests remained practical. She wanted to find a modern farmhouse with lots of windows and natural light. She was very open to working with Ray on his house requests. But, she wanted to maximize the investment and money put into whatever they decided as a couple. I hope all couples consider that as they work together. Whatever the wants and needs are for your home, make sure you get the best bang for your buck, and don’t focus on things that can be easily modified or acquired down the road.

The couple saw three homes. They first saw a below-budget home in a cute cul-de-sac that needed minimal customization. I then showed them a brick home that met their financial goals and monthly payments. But, it needed some personalized renovations that would take more of the savings. I finally showed them a farmhouse build that was higher than the rest, but could be managed with some exterior upgrades. The choices ran the gamut, but it was up to them to decide which fit their needs most. If you’re an avid HGTV fan, you know how hard these choices can be!

Picking the Best Wedding Venue

I wanted to make sure that the wedding venue Ray and Allison had didn’t lack any of the accommodations they wanted for their special day. And, it was important to me to make sure the venue would help them utilize their savings in a way that maximized their home investment. There were two places that I thought would fit the bill perfectly.

We first looked at The Terrace Club, and I chose this space for a couple of reasons. It was outside, which appealed to Allison. It also had a large open space with pockets of space for more intimate activities or grouping. This allowed both of them to get the sort of atmosphere they wanted. But with the amenities they wanted, the space would cost them close to $25K, which was much more than Allison wanted to spend.

The second venue, Vintage Villas Wedding & Event Center, was also an outdoor setting, but it had an AMAZING view of Lake Travis. It was ridiculously inexpensive to rent, and with on-site catering, it was a steal of a venue. The flipside was that it allowed fewer guests, which blind-sided Ray’s 150+ attendee plans. He was also concerned about the traffic noise that could interrupt their ceremony, so that had to be considered. Still, the total cost would give them a bit more to spend on their house.

Host Breegan Jane poses for picture in Austin, TX. As seen on The House My Wedding Bought.

House vs Wedding: Decisions, Decisions!

So, which house and venue did they choose? You’ll have to catch the show on HGTV or discovery+ to find out! I will say that they made really great and wise decisions that set them up nicely for their future together. Though they disagreed on some things, they came together in the end, and that’s ultimately what matters. It makes me confident they’ll be excited to show their friends and family, “This is the house my wedding bought!”

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