One of the most challenging aspects of planning a wedding is figuring out a wedding budget that you are comfortable with. The next challenge is sticking to it! Even the most organized person that is generally great with money may have a little trouble due to the many "unexpected" costs involved with planning a wedding. To help you avoid being surprised by some of those things, WhereBridesGo.com has put together a list of commonly forgotten wedding items that you need to make room for in your budget.
You know that some of your budget will need to go toward wedding invitations to let everyone know all the details about your big day. In all of the excitement of picking them out, most couples forget about the fact that postage is not included in the price. Depending on how many guests you are inviting and how heavy your invites are, that can get expensive very quickly. Get an idea of how much postage each one will take and figure that amount into your budget allowance. Also, don't forget to add in the cost of stamps for mailing out post-wedding thank you notes too.
Most of the wedding vendors that require gratuities (caterers, servers, bartenders, etc...) will probably have it added to your contract, but the actual amount may not be in the initial quote. The percentage is sometimes not added until a final amount has been decided.
For the ones that don't automatically charge you a gratuity, you may want to give them a little extra for a job well done, such as your DJ or band, hair stylist and makeup artist, valet, coat check attendant, delivery people, etc... As a rule of thumb, business owners don't need to be tipped, but if they went above and beyond what was expected of them, a tip is always a welcome bonus.
Sales Tax, Service Charges, & Overtime
Check contracts carefully to see whether or not sales tax has already been included in the price, or it will be added in with the final bill. When it's a large bill, such as hall rental or catering, that sales tax will be a hefty number.
Also look out for additional costs listed as "service charges" on a contract. Unless it is clearly stated otherwise, things like delivery, breaking down, cutting the cake, and other extras may cost you extra. Also, be aware of what each vendor charges for overtime in case you need them longer than expected on your wedding day.
Without this very important piece of paper, instead of planning a wedding you're only planning a really big party! You will want to find out the details about obtaining a marriage license in the county that you will be married in early during the planning stages. It can cost anywhere from $10 all the way up to $100+, depending on county or state regulations. If it's one of the more expensive places to get married, it could cut into your wedding budget if you're not expecting it.
Wedding Day Meals
The main meal for the day, at the reception, is something that will already be on your budget list, but don't forget about the rest of the day. It's very important that you eat before the wedding while you are getting ready so that you have the strength and energy to make it through until the end of the reception. You'll want to make sure that you have food available for your wedding party too since this is most likely an all-day event for them also.
Lots of couples don't realize that they are responsible for feeding the wedding vendors that have to stay for the reception. This will include the wedding coordinator, photographer, videographer, DJ, and anyone else that won't be able to leave to eat dinner because they are making your special day happen. Your caterer may offer special discounted pricing for vendor meals.
That may already seem like a lot of things you never really thought about, but that's not all! Next week we'll have 5 more wedding costs you probably forgot to budget for so that you can get them added into your budgeting plan while there is still plenty of time to divide the money accordingly.
Another great way to stay on budget is to shop the affordable wedding accessories online at WhereBridesGo.com. There you'll find just about everything you could possibly need to put on an unforgettable ceremony and reception, plus lots of fun stuff for the parties before the wedding and life after it. You may even find enough great deals that you'll be under budget and can put some of that money you saved toward another spot in your planning budget!
~ The WhereBridesGo.com Team
Post by Deanna Powell, Certified Bridal Consultant