10 Unexpected Wedding Costs
When I begin planning a wedding with my brides and grooms, one of the first things that we go over is their budget. It is great to dream and want things to turn out beautifully, but costs can add up quickly if you don’t think things through when planning. Here are ten costs that are normally not thought about when considering your budget and when you begin planning for the day of your dreams:
1: Sales Tax – when signing a contract or when you are quoted a price, make sure you check to see if tax and other fees are included. From the photographer to the caterer, make sure you read the contract and see where tax will be added. Also, for some vendors, they may charge you a 3% additional fee if you pay with a credit card – it is better to always write a check when paying for items for your wedding if you are trying to save some money.
2: Tips and Gratuities – For some wedding professionals and caterers, a tip may be built into the contract, so make sure you read the fine print. For example, if you have a running bar tab for your guests to enjoy a few cocktails during the reception, make sure you tell them a total amount you do not want to go over, with tip included. If you don’t, after it is totaled at the end of the night and if you have a $1000 tab, you may be expected to tip another $200-$300 on top of that. It’s nice, but not expected, to also have tips for the band, DJ, photographer, wedding planner, hairdresser, coatroom attendants, limo driver, bartenders, and servers.
3: Venue Fees – A venue may have a lot of particular rules that you need to follow, with certain tablecloths that need to be used to particular caterers that must be used. They may have event insurance that you need to purchase for the day, or if you want all day to set up for your wedding, you may pay additional fees there as well.
4: Setup and Delivery Fees - Do you want your flowers, cake, and chairs delivered? Sure, that can be done for you, but it will cost additional fees. For example, if you need to rent white wedding chairs for your ceremony and a rental company gives you a quote of $4 per chair to rent, that cost does not include tax or the cost of delivery, setup, and takedown – especially if you are getting married on a Saturday and they need to pick up chairs at the end of the night, those fees can almost double the cost of the original quote. It takes a long time to set up a room – and you will pay accordingly for it. If your florist is delivering the flowers, they may need to make a couple of trips, or hire additional help for the day to make sure it is all ready by the time your wedding begins.
5: Bar Setup Fees - A bar can take at least an hour to set up, when you consider all of the items they will need to bring and display for your guests. Also, glasses may need to be rented for your guests to drink from as well.
6: Cake Cutting Fee – Your incredible wedding cake may look absolutely beautiful, but when it comes to cutting it for your guests to enjoy, it will require a professional to take apart the layers and cut 100+ slices in a matter of minutes. They also will need to supply additional plates and forks. This fee can cost anywhere from 75 cents per slice to $3.
7: Overtime - When you sign a contract, if you have a photographer for six hours and a band or DJ for four, that may sound like a good idea at the time, but on the day of your wedding, if you’re enjoying your reception and you want to extend it later, if you want the photographer or DJ to stay later, you may pay upwards of $200 per hour.
8: Stamps - When you get invitations and save the dates, you need to think about the cost of stamps as well. The heavier your invitation, the more postage you’ll have to pay. Also, you need to factor in the cost of RSVP’s as well – if you have a postcard reply card, you can save some costs, but it will still add up. Take your invitation to the post office when it is all together and have them weigh it for you. If you have 150 invitations to mail out, you can spend anywhere from $200-$400 on just the postage.
9: The Guest List - This is where prices can really add up. Think of it this way – it may seem like a few more people here and there is okay to add, but for every few people, you’ll need another table, another centerpiece, more chairs, and more food … and that can easily increase the cost. Pick a number you want to stick to, and actually stick to it.
10: Wedding Party Gifts - If you have bridesmaids, groomsmen, ushers, and other people who are going to be right alongside you during your wedding, chances are that they have bought a dress, rented a tux, attended a bachelor or bachelorette party, attended (or given) a shower … they deserve something from you to show them you appreciate them taking the time and being there for you throughout your wedding planning. Or, if you have a friend or relative that sings for your ceremony or actually performs it, they need to feel appreciated as well. The cost can add up – with an average that is spent around $50 per person on gifts from you, the cost can add up.
Most importantly, make sure that you read your contracts! There are things that may be in the fine print that can really add up when you are planning your wedding. As long as you stay on track and keep yourself realistic, you can prevent yourself from budget shock at the end of your wedding planning.
Adapted from TLC’s Weddings.
Posted on November 12, 2011, in Planning Tips and tagged bar fees, bridal party gifts, cake cutting fees, pensacola wedding planner, planning a wedding, venue fees, wedding costs, wedding fees, wedding guest list. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a Comment.