Quick! Off the top of your head name five wedding-related expenses.
Go ahead, think. We’ll wait…
…… …… ……
Got ’em? What were they, the dress, the venue, the food/drinks, the invites, and favors, perhaps? Those are good guesses but totally undermine the other less-common expenses that, as you’ll see, are still supper important to consider. The Loverly blog explains the top ten “hidden” wedding fees you may have forgotten to add to your budget:
1. Postage: Engaged couples do make MANY trips to the post office because wedding invitations often need extra postage due to their weight and shape. (Don’t forget the stamp needed for each guest’s RSVP, thank-you card, and save the date.)
2. Service fees, tax, and gratuity: The fine print on your catering contract may indicate you’ll have to pay sales tax on your food and booze plus an additional service fee (often 20%) and an 18% gratuity. So if your venue has a, for instance, $10,000 food and beverage minimum, an 6.85% sales tax + service and gratuity could add another $4,485 to your final bill (which amounts to an additional 45%!).
3. Tips: If gratuity isn’t included in all the contracts, be careful because etiquette still dictates that you give most vendors a tip of some sort. Most couples should plan to tip the photographer, videographer, florist, musicians/DJ, driver, officiant, hair and makeup stylists, and any others in charge of providing you with wedding services.
4. Cake-cutting fees (yes, really!): Many venues now either provide a wedding cake as part of their package or require that you work with a specific bakery. But if your venue does allow you to bring your own cake, be ready because it may charge a cake-cutting fee of $1-$3 per slice.
5. Table, chairs, and place settings rentals: Before you book your venue, find out what it provides in terms of furniture and serving ware. Will you have to upgrade to get what you want? It could cost you hundreds-thousands of dollars to turn your venue into your dream wedding space.
6. Wedding gown alterations: Most brides who buy a dress in bridal salons have their dress altered to fit them perfectly…a cost that’s not included in the price of the gown. Expect to pay a few hundred dollars and ask your bridal salon about the cost of alterations before you hand over your credit card for the gown. You could also work with an independent tailoring shop (like us, where we don’t charge fitting fees).
7. Hair and makeup trial runs: If you want your hair and makeup professionally done, be sure to account for the cost of any trial runs too! Trial runs make a lot of sense as they let you ensure you and your stylist are on the same page regarding your look. However, teach session can cost extra–sometimes $100 or more. How about this: Have your trials on the day of your bridal shower or engagement photo session so that if you’re paying the fee, you can put that full face of makeup or gorgeous blowout to good use!
8. Travel and accommodations: Engaged couples (who aren’t living at home,of course!) often stay at a hotel the night before their wedding, with the bride paying for her bridesmaids to stay with her. And if you’re not getting married in your city or town, you may have to make multiple trips the city where your wedding will be held to look at venues or meet with vendors. Be sure to consider these costs when deciding where you’ll be married.
9. Packaging and labels: Don’t forget to account for the cost of ALL the elements of your favors. A HUGE bottle of local honey might cost $50 at the farmers market, which is pretty convenient, but the mini jars, labels, and calligraphy pen you’ll need to make it look fancy for your guests could add another $50 to the project. Price out all the packaging before you commit to anything.
10. Shipping: Bigger retailers may offer deals on shipping but smaller ones could have pricier shipping options. As you research these online, be sure to keep track of what they charge for shipping.
What has been YOUR biggest budget surprise(s) when planning your wedding? Let us know in the comments!