The Hidden Costs of Weddings

Monday, July 14, 2014

wedding costsCouples and their parents planning a wedding usually remember to budget for a venue, food, beverages, a cake, clothes, beauty treatments, flowers, invitations, photos, and music. Still, weddings normally present some unanticipated costs that can send the most responsible families far over their wedding budget. These include the following:

  • Stationery. Once you have budgeted for the invitations and the wedding programs, remember to add $100 or more for envelopes and stamps for invitations and thank-you cards. You also need thick paper for menus, place-name cards, and so on.

  • Beauty treatment trials. The bride, her bridesmaids and her mother will probably want to try out some beauty treatments before settling on the final look. These trials can become extremely expensive. 

  • Clothes and accessories. Presumably no one will forget to budget for the groom's suit and the wedding dress, but other clothes, shoes, umbrellas, gifts, jewellery and other accessories are often tagged onto an already overloaded budget as an afterthought.

  • Preparation sustenance. Keep the wedding party fed for the hours during which they get ready for the big moment. This includes the bridal party, the musicians, the photographer and/or videographer, and the florist.

  • Tips for casual participants. After setting aside a budget for the musicians, videographer and florist, you still require money to tip drivers, delivery staff and any other people with small but important roles. Check whether the venue fee includes payment for servers and bar tenders, and add them to your tip list if it does not.

  • Sound and lighting. Check the sound system and lighting at your preferred reception venue before you decide to exclude them from your budget. Venues unaccustomed to hosting large events may require a sound system boost, and any temporary themed lighting will be the families' financial responsibility.

  • Taxes. Read all quotes to ascertain whether all sales taxes are included, otherwise you must add them yourself.

Read the venue's rules carefully. They may charge extra for events that run overtime, for the use of outside bakers and florists, for cake cutting, and so forth. They may also charge extra for cleaning up afterwards, instead of including it in their quote. A good strategy is to make a list of services you may need from them, and to request explicit written confirmation of whether each item is included in the quote.