Putting a wedding together is so exciting! Stressful but exciting haha. Weddings include lots of details, to do lists and of course lots of bills. To keep things organized and to stay within your budget make sure and add these things in if they apply to your big day. Forgetting little details can add up quick.
Postage: You remembered the invitation and RSVP, but think about all of the other mailings that a wedding entails. Between the save-the-date notice, the invitation, the RSVP, and the thank you note, that’s three stamps per guest at 49¢ a pop, plus a 34¢ stamp since we’re assuming you’ll use a postcard for your save-the-dates. That’s $1.81 in postage per guest. And if you’ve invited say 140, postage alone will cost you about $253.
Outfits for pre-wedding events: You’ll wear the wedding dress of your dreams for your special day, and tuxedo rental is a given, but what are you going to wear for your engagement party? Bachelor and bachelorette parties? Bridal shower? Rehearsal dinner? Not everyone will want a bunch of outfit changes but if you do it needs to go in the budget.
Undergarments and accessories: OK so you’ve got a dress. Great! No,w what about the veil? The shoes? A second pair of dance-friendly shoes for the reception? Jewelry, Bra & Spanx? Did the groom remember that he has to wear socks with that tuxedo? Ooh, and the garter. You can’t forget that, of course!
Beauty treatments: Looking perfect on your wedding day involves dozens of little things. You’re going to want to book a few extras teeth whitening, spray tans, and mani-pedis, but chances are good that you didn’t actually consider them in your wedding budget. Don’t forget manicures for the groom and groomsmen, too. You’re both going to be shaking a lot of hands in the receiving line, after all.
Hair and makeup trials: You’ll need to pay for at least one trial run with your wedding hair and makeup. Especially with your hair, you may end up trying several styles before find the one you want to wear down the aisle. You might want to test out that spray tan a few weeks or months ahead of time too, especially if it’s a salon or hair stylist you’ve never used before.
Wedding stationery beyond the invitations: Stationery isn’t limited to invitations and thank you notes. Programs, escort cards for table assignments, place cards at the tables, and menu cards are all commonplace at weddings. I personally haven’t been to a wedding where there were specific seating assignments beyond a table number, and this seems to be a good place to cut an unnecessary expense.
A tent floor: If you’re holding your ceremony and reception outdoors, you need to think about more than just the tent. First, a tent floor is a must have. We’ve heard multiple stories about rainstorms that passed through early, leaving plenty of sunshine but also soggy grass in their wake. Then a tent floor becomes an unexpected last-minute expense, not to mention it’s something you didn’t expect to have to coordinate on an already stressful day. Do yourself a favor and spring for the tent floor from the start. This one is worth the peace of mind. You don’t want heels getting ruined from sinking in the soggy ground.
Extra alterations: Nearly all wedding gowns need to be altered, but sometimes they need a second round, or even a third depending. Some dress shops include all alterations as a package with the dress, but not all. If your alterations are an add-on, build a cushion of a couple hundred dollars into your budget for last minute alterations, just in case.
Audio at the ceremony or DJ: You’re looking perfect and you are saying the sweetest things ever, but can anyone actually hear a word you’re saying? Most venues will have a sound system you can use, but it’s almost certainly going to be an added cost. Having a sound system and microphone is especially important for ceremonies outdoors, where sound doesn’t have walls to resonate against and the vows it took you months to write will be drowned out by the wind, nearby birds, low flying aircraft, etc.
Lighting and generators: A few well placed lights, whether indoors for effect or outdoors out of necessity, can run $1,000 or more. These again aren’t always necessary for indoor venues, but an outdoors reception after dark will need something to light the scene. And if you’re too far from a power source, you’ll need to rent some generators as well or you’ll be sitting in the dark with no music.
Extra decor: Everyone remembers the flowers, but what about non-floral decor? Candles, votives to hold them, and specialty linens are all extras you’ll need to account for in your budget.
Day-of coordinator: Hiring an event coordinator to make sure everything is in place the day of the wedding is becoming increasingly popular. I know so many brides love a good DIY but if you don’t want to have to deal with any stress a coordinator is a good way to go.
Feeding your vendors: Your photographer, your videographer, your wedding planner, they’re all working at your wedding pretty much all day long. Feeding them is a nice thing to do, and sometimes it’s even part of the contract. Don’t forget to schedule and budget for meals for your hired help when you’re laying out the schedule for your big day. Keep them fed! haha
Tips and gratuities: The list of people to tip includes bartenders, bathroom attendants, the catering manager, the chef, coat check attendants, hairstylists, makeup artists, photographers, the maids at the hotel, limo drivers, the wait staff, makeup artist, musicians, photographer and videographer, parking valets and your wedding planner. The cost adds up to quite a bit, so getting caught off guard here is going to hurt.
Sales tax and service charges: Venues have a ton of little things they charge for, and you’ll need to review these in detail before booking. How much per plate? Is there a room charge? Is there a service fee (and does it include tips for the staff)? How much is the sales tax? Is setting up the dance floor an additional charge? Are table linens included? If you’re serving carved meat, is there a carving fee? Or a cake cutting fee, for that matter? Does accommodating guest parking cost extra? Is there an overnight fee if you can’t clean up until the next morning? Ask for a detailed list of all possible service charges, find out what is included in your package, and make sure the extras you’re going to need are included in your contract.
Overtime costs: Along the same lines as service charges, find out how much it will cost if your party is going too well to cut it off at the appointed time. What will it cost you to extend the event by another hour or two? Make sure you have enough of a cushion in the budget to cover overtime charges – and to tip staff extra for sticking around beyond the time specified in your contract. If you go over on your contracted time you will be getting an invoice so just make sure you clarify exactly what you want.
Delivery, setup and breakdown fees: From the caterers to the flowers to the table linens, nearly everything you’ve rented for your wedding needs to be delivered to the venue, and delivery comes at a cost. Likewise, your florist is probably going to charge a fee to set everything up. The item itself is the first. The labor of moving that item, setting it up, serving it, and cleaning it up is the second – and almost always involves a separate charge. When you rent or buy any given item, ask yourself who is going to manage it, and include them as an added cost in your wedding budget.
Including yourself in the headcount: So much of planning a wedding is about giving your guests an unforgettable experience that the couple getting married sometimes forgets to include themselves in the head counts for meals, seats, what have you. Incredible, but true.
The marriage license: Its just a piece of paper, right? Small but can definitely be overlooked.
A hotel room for the night before: If you’re planning to use a hotel room as your dressing room, you’ll need to check in at your hotel the night before your wedding so that you’ll have use of the room that morning. In fact, you’ll need two, since the bride and groom should each have their own.
Model: Halee Williams
Dress & Veil: Bridal Brilliance Rentals