The hidden costs in Wedding planning can catch you off guard. This article will help you better prepare for costs that you may have not budgeted for!
Lets be honest….the little costs can add up to big expense! Plan ahead!
One of the first questions I ask brides when they ask about our services is “Have you and your groom established a budget?”. You’d be surprised at how many couples don’t even discuss budget when planning! This is a VERY important first step in the planning process.
The average cost of a wedding in the US in 2022 is $30,000. Make sure to budget, so that you know where your money is going! It’s also a great idea to do a little research on the cost of weddings in the area you want to get married. This will help you get a realistic idea of where to start on the budget! If you determine the amount you can afford to spend from the beginning, you can really save yourself the stress and more money down the road.
The most recognizable costs are the obvious: venue, wedding dress, photography, catering, flowers, and decor. It’s the small, even hidden, costs that can catch you off guard!
Asking your Bridesmaids to be a part of your wedding party:
For many brides, this is something that should be done in a fun and special way (not via text or email!). Brides are getting more creative with popping the question to their bridesmaids: unique gifts, special cards, a planned girls night out, or a special dinner or lunch. These gifts add such a special touch to the experience, but remember these costs can add up!
The bridal party usually takes care of costs for some events; however, you will still be helping with expenses. You’ll want a special outfit to wear for the night, or you may want to pay for specialty items that shouldn’t be passed over to your hostess. Maybe you want all of you to have matching outfits, or you have special decor items that you want to accent your theme. If you have any special requests for the party, you should plan to take care of those costs yourself and help alleviate the costs on your hostess! Many brides end up paying for part of the hotel room, or their own airfare if traveling. You can cut down on costs by sticking close to home, and avoid travel costs.
You may think “well duh!”, but you will be surprised at how many couples overlook this cost! The marriage license is one of the last items to be purchased before the wedding, so many times this cost gets overlooked in the beginning. The license can cost up to $100, depending on your state. If you’re flying in for a destination wedding, be sure to arrive a day or two before the wedding to complete this process there. Ask your planner about your state’s guidelines and how to arrange this! Learn more about the Las Vegas marriage license guidelines.
While most brides budget for the obvious save-the-dates or wedding invitations, many forget about the stationary needed on the actual wedding day. Programs, escort cards, menus, and signage are all big parts of your wedding day details. Adding in these special details, are sure to “wow” your guests! It’s those tiny details that stand out the most, and make a memorable impression!
Most brides do not even think to have a day of coordinator , until it gets close to wedding day and they feel the stresses hit hard. You’ve come this far with planning your own wedding, but you won’t be able to handle wedding day issues yourself. Also, you don’t want your guests and wedding party to handle them, so that they’re able to celebrate this special day with you! Just as a live show needs a stage manager to overlook the show, it’s the same for your wedding day. You need a professional to execute all those perfectly planned out details that are important to you! A coordinator will be there to act as the liaison with everyone involved in your wedding day, thus keeping the day organized and beautiful. He or she will handle all last minute issues, and be there by your side to help with anything!
Don’t forget to factor in meals for you and your bridal party while getting ready! Most likely your bridal party will be with you all day, so you don’t want them to starve!! You can keep it simple by supplying sandwiches, fruit and veggie platters, or bagels for breakfast! Don’t forget the OJ and pop the champagne!!
You want to be sure to include some vendors into your guest count for food! Your photographer and videographer, the minister, the cover band or DJ, they will be at the venue all day and need to be fed. This is a very common overlook. If you have a good planner, they will be sure to remember to check this off your list for you! Don’t forget to include yourself and your groom into the count, as well (it happens)!!
Most couples will remember to give “thank you” gifts to their wedding party, but often times forget their parents. Chances are they’re forking out some cash on the wedding, so plan to give a small token of appreciation. Your “thank you” gifts don’t need to be extravagant. It can be a personalized keepsake or cigar box, a frame, dinner for two at their favorite restaurant, or some small item that represents something they love! Buy this early on, to set aside extra money for other unforeseen costs before the wedding!
This is where that catchy little saying “Expect the unexpected” comes to play!! We all know it’s rude and impolite to show up uninvited; however, it still happens! Make sure to discuss with your planner or your venue, what the options are for this case scenario. It may be better to add on extra guests in advance for these “just in case” guests. Your venue will also have an overage of food for extra guests, and charge for them at the end. You’ll need to think about extra seating and table space for these unexpected guests, as well!
Most vendors will include delivery fees into their contract, but many couples will forget until they get that final invoice. If you do not see delivery fees in the contract, be sure to ask the vendors if there are any! Some venues may have extra service fees, or tear down fees along with their sales tax. Corkage and cake cutting fees may be another tiny hidden cost that gets overlooked in the wedding planning. Check that fine print, so that you’re not surprised when you get that final bill!
Some vendors may include their gratuities. If not, don’t forget to tip the ones that are putting in long hours or doing extra! Your hair stylist, makeup artist, officiant, bartenders and servers, photographers, and your coordinator. If they’re doing a great job and have earned it, show them it hasn’t gone unnoticed! You can put these tips in small, sealed envelopes and have your planner pass them out at the end of the night. Check out this helpful cheat sheet for gratuity recommendations!
You’re having so much fun, that you don’t want the party to end! Well you can extend the party, but don’t forget that it will extend the bill. Along with the price of the venue space, you’ll have to expect to pay for extra service too. Your servers, bartenders, coordinator, photographer, DJ, and any rentals will charge extra! If extending, be sure to give notice to vendors that need to come back to pick up items, as they will need to adjust their breakdown times.
It’s a great idea to set aside about 10-15% of your budget costs for the “other” unexpected costs. This could be for those unforeseen events on wedding day. Rain on your wedding day is a sign of good luck, but you’ll need last minute items to handle it. Maybe you forgot to invite that “close family friend” and you need to add him/her into the final head count. Maybe you’re traveling for a destination wedding, and you forgot to order one extra tie for a groomsmen. Perhaps you tore a piece on your dress, and you need a last minute seamstress. These are all things that can happen. If you plan for the unexpected, you won’t be stressed about coming up with last minute cash at hand!
Say everything goes according to plan, and you don’t need this money put to the side. Well, Bonus!! Now you have extra money to spend on your honeymoon, or the down payment on your new house! Score!!
Unfortunately, the costs don’t always end after you say “I do”. Don’t forget about the “Thank you” cards you’ll need to send out. You may want to preserve your wedding flowers, or gown to have a keepsake! You’ll likely want to print out some of your favorite photos, or create an entire wedding photo album. These are all part of wedding costs, and you can plan for them ahead of time! Ask your planner for any coupons or discounts that they may be able to share for some of these items!
Interested in learning how a wedding planner can save you money, visit our website McNeill & Co Event Planning. We would love to offer our professional advice, and assist you with your wedding plans!!