One of the biggest steps after you have announced your engagement is to sit down and set a budget. This can be an intimidating task for most couples. Of course you start with the big expenses- your venue, catering, flowers, photography, etc. But there are smaller expenses that you may not initially think about that can cost you a pretty penny and can catch you off guard by blowing your budget.
Here are 10 costs to add to your wedding budget:
Most couples when they allocate funds for their "invitation" category, they can forget to add the postage entirely, add postage for the return envelopes (R.S.V.P.'s), additional postage for size, or for the postage on the save-the-dates. Those little stickers add up quick, currently at a minimum of $.94 per invitation!
We all know that most wedding dresses are going to need some form of nips here tucks there, but the actual cost can sometimes catch you off guard. Also, keep in mind if you buy an inexpensive sample gown off the floor that needs lots of work done to fit you like a glove, you may end up paying just as much or MORE than you spent on the actual dress! It is good to discuss the prices with the in-house tailor (if they have one) before you purchase a dress that doesn't already semi fit you.
HAIR & MAKE UP TRIALS
It is important to have a trial of your hair and make up before your big day to ensure how you envision yourself is executed perfectly and looks just the way you want. You may think you want a sexy smokey eye, but when you see it on yourself in the mirror and your immediate thought is that you look like you are channeling your inner Jersey girl, you will be very thankful that you can redo it and change your look! I always recommend these trials, however, they are not always included in the total service fee. Sometimes these trials can cost as much as an actual wedding day service, so be prepared!
Many venues and catering companies charge an additional fee to slice and serve the cake, usually around $1 or so per slice! It sounds crazy and expensive, but it is a common practice. It's best to ask before signing contracts to find out if it's included or not.
It's considered proper and polite to tip most if not all your vendors. You will need to check your contracts since some gratuities may already be included as part of their vendors fee. 15 to 20 percent of the total fee is what is normally recommended. Make it easier on yourself and go ahead and put the cash in labeled envelopes (DJ, waitstaff, coordinator, coat check attendants, parking attendants, etc.) and have them ready to hand out, or give them to your coordinator to pass out to the designated vendors.
GROOMSMEN, BRIDESMAIDS, & PARENT GIFTS
Bridal parties come in all different sizes, and even a non-expensive gift can add up quickly with a big wedding party. Same goes for the parents gifts!
These are not necessary, but they are such a nice and thoughtful surprise for your out of town guests. The kicker is not all hotels hand out these bags at check in, and they charge a fee per welcome bag to drop off in your guest's room. Ask ahead of time so you are not caught off guard!
Depending on which venue and caterer you choose you may have to rent anything and everything from tables and chairs, to linens and flatware, to plates and glassware. It would be wise to factor in monies for these charges when you make your budget.
Some churches may not charge a service fee to use their facility, but a donation is expected.
I've heard so many stories of brides not hiring a day-of coordinator because the didn't budget for it or there wasn't enough in the budget. But after the wedding day they all wish they would of had someone there to orchestrate the event and have someone to deal with all the little details that naturally arise. Your wedding day is the only day that is about you and your fiancé, and solely for the two of you. All you should have to think about is enjoying yourselves...same for your mom and bridesmaids! None of you should have to worry if the deliveries have been made, your reception has been set up just how you wanted, and if everything is flowing effortlessly. My motto is "A bride (and mom) deserves to be able to just be a bride on her wedding day."