7 Unexpected Wedding Expenses Many Couples Overlook
It’s no secret that weddings are expensive. When all is said and done, some weddings become more expensive than a brand new car. Sticking to the budget is hard enough – it’s even harder when you factor in all of the hidden costs that sometimes fail to become a part of the big picture. Unfortunately, most couples are going to spend more than they thought they would, especially if they overlook some of the less obvious wedding expenses. Does your checklist factor in the cost of these small details? Look again – they can add up quickly.
1. The Hidden Costs of Feeding People
You probably didn’t forget about food and cake as these are a given for every wedding. What you might have overlooked is how your guests are going to eat it. Does your caterer provide plates, cups, and cutlery? Will you have to buy or rent these things? Are you going to settle for eco-friendly disposables, or will you go all out and buy place settings? If you do, what will you do with them when you’re done? Look over your agreement with the caterer and double check on what your venue provides. These things may cost extra.
Most weddings run much longer than couples believe they will. There’s a lot to coordinate on the big day. If the ceremony starts 45 minutes later than you anticipated, you’re paying your photographer to stand still for a while. When the reception runs over time, you have to pay the photographer for that time. The same goes for any hired professional and possibly even the use of your rental space. Double check to see what happens if you run behind on time – you may get hit with fees.
When you were working out the wedding budget, you considered how much it would cost to wine and dine your guests. You might have forgotten how much it would cost to actually invite them. Every invitation you send requires postage. So will every “thank you” card you send after the wedding. Think about the amount of wedding stationery and stamps required to contact everyone you’d like to attend and thank everyone who did attend. If you want to circumvent this cost, there’s always the eco-friendly option of going digital.
If you’ve had bouquets priced, you know that fresh flowers can be quite an expense. Do you want to put wedding flowers on every table? Unless you have friends with huge gardens, you’re likely to spend a good amount. The same goes for tablecloths, centerpieces, wedding favors, and any keepsakes you intend to leave for your guests. If you’re a creative couple (or a creative family), you can save a decent chunk of money going the DIY route for these things.
Many wedding parties opt for rental tuxes, and sometimes rental bridesmaid gowns. Most people won’t have a need for these garments after the event, so making the expensive purchase outright doesn’t make much sense economically. In your rental agreement for the garments, it likely states that you are responsible for damage or cleaning. Did a cute, quirky wedding photo lead to a bridesmaid ripping her dress? Did the best man have a little too much red wine and miss his mouth? While these costs are technically the fault of the wedding party, it helps to remind everyone that they can and will come due if anything affects their rental.
Everyone’s body is different. Chances are slim to none that a dress or a tux right off the rack is going to fit either one of you perfectly. You might need alterations to the garment, and depending on what those alterations are, they can get pretty costly. If you essentially wind up with a custom dress, you can expect to spend a ton. Be sure to include the costs of alterations in your overall budget for your big-day attire.
Who is going to clean all that up? If your wedding venue has cleaning staff, it might cost extra money to hire those people. Unless it is clearly stated in the agreement, don’t expect the venue to cover cleanup. You can spend the day after your wedding cleaning it up yourselves, but who wants to do that? Develop a plan and budget for a quick and easy clean sweep.
Some of those expenses might seem innocuous at first, but they have a terrible tendency to creep and pile up, leaving thrifty couples very unhappy when the final bill comes around. Always round up all of your estimates to leave a little padding and eliminate some surprises.
About the author:
Sienna Walker is an ex-tutor, a thrifty traveler, and an occasional blogger, whose main interests include careers, self-improvement, and finances. Feel free to visit @SiennaWalkerS and say "hi".