So you have a budget and you’re doing everything possible to stick with it. Perfect. That’s the way it should be. You already have a venue, flowers, your dress, centerpieces, favors, etc. All the basics. But, little by little, you’re adding expenses you hadn’t thought of in the first place. Now you’re over budget and stressing out and don’t know where to get this money to pay for it without going into debt. The stress begins.
This happens. It’s not uncommon for a bride to have everything planned out to the last cent and then realize that there are things that were unaccounted for, but are necessary. This is why I always tell brides to always make their budget a bit smaller than it actually is. That way, you don’t feel it when you have to spend a little more than anticipated. To make sure these extra expenses don’t catch you by surprise, I want to share a few with you.
- Tax/Gratuity and Services Fees
Anything you purchase is taxed, and that includes things for your wedding. Also, additional to the cost of food or venue, there is almost always a mandatory gratuity or service fee included. To avoid confusion with either of these, be sure to ask the person helping you to detail exactly what you will be paying for their services, including tax and gratuity with service fees. Make sure to be fully aware of this before signing any contracts.
2. Plan B- It’s raining!
Rain on a wedding day is said to mean good luck to the couple, but that luck can easily float away when you have to whip out some more cash for your plan B. I recently coordinated a wedding where the venue did not have a plan B for rain and it started pouring the morning of the wedding. It left us hurriedly finding a way to squeeze all the guests indoors, even though it was not the ideal condition for that. If you’re hosting an outdoor wedding, make sure your venue has a comfortable indoor location your guests can transfer to in the case of rain. If that’s not possible, ask if it is okay for you to rent tents and have those set up in the case of rain. If so, call in advance and find out how much that will cost you and include that in the budget- whether you use it or not.
3. The Marriage License
Remember before you get married, you need to do it legally and that costs money, too. Our marriage license was $61. It varies per state, so find out what yours would be before you head out and include it in your budget!
4. Gifts for the Wedding Party and Family Members
As the day approaches, you’re going to want to buy little gifts for those in your wedding party as well as your family members who have helped you so much. This can easily add up, so be sure to separate a bit of money for these gifts so you don’t have to spend more than you were planning to.
5. Rehearsal Dinner
Are you paying for this yourself? Were you planning to go to a fancy restaurant or just head home and order pizza? Either way, this costs money and couples often overlook it. It is vital to have a plan for this night and do your research in advance so nothing catches you by surprise.
6. Cake Cutting Fees
This is a big one. So you’ve ordered your cake and spent a pretty penny on it. Now you want your venue to slice and serve it to your guests. Think again. Most venues are going to charge you to cut your cake and serve it. Usually it’s priced per person. A typical fee is about $2.50 per person, so for a wedding of 100 guests, that is $250 that you weren’t even thinking about! Be sure to ask what their prices are regarding cake cutting so you can include that in your cake budget.
7. Going over on contracted time
Your contract says you have 3:00pm-7:00pm to host your reception. You know what that means? You really have until 6:20-6:30. Give yourself time to do the send off and have family and friends come back inside to pick up. Without that extra clean up time, your family might go over on time, costing you quite a bit on overage fees.