A wedding can be an expensive affair and budgeting can be crucial to maintaining your sanity. Knowing how much you will be spending and on what can help you better plan what your special day will look like. However, there are many costs you might overlook. Don’t forget to include these items when building your budget.
When you budget and start shopping for your dress, keep in mind the cost of alterations. You want to look stunning in your gown, so making sure it is the perfect fit is well worth the money. Also, you don’t want to spend your big day tripping over your hem. Budget $50-$300 or more depending on the alterations needed.
Hair and Makeup Trials
Sure, you are probably putting your hair and makeup in your budget but a trial is essential to making sure you achieve the look you are after without going in blind on the day of. Budget $50-$200 depending on the complexity of your hair and makeup and the number of trials you have (the first hairdresser might not be a good fit!).
Bridal party gifts
You have asked your nearest and dearest friends to participate in your big day as part of your wedding party; don’t forget to budget for a nice gift for them! For bridesmaids, typical gifts include jewelry to wear the day of or some piece of customized clothing. For groomsmen think about a pocket watch or a swanky necktie. Budget $50 + per attendant.
Depending on your county or state, your marriage licence might be quite cheap or quite expensive. In most states, you won’t automatically get a copy of your licence in the mail and you will have to request and pay for one after the fact. Check your state guidelines, but budget $50-$150.
Mailing save the dates, invitations, response cards, and thank-you notes can add up rather quickly. Keep in mind the cost of postage when putting together your budget for anything you have to mail. Remember too that if your invitation is oversized, it will cost even more to mail. Consider using post cards for your save the dates and response cards to keep that expense down. How much you budget will depend on how many mailings you are sending and the size of your guest list. Budget $100-$1000.
Meals the Day Of
You have probably already planned out your reception dinner, but don’t neglect to think of other food for the day of. You will need to eat a significant breakfast and/or lunch to keep your energy up for the day. Keep in mind you will not just be feeding yourself, but also your attendants, photographer, coordinator, and anyone else who is dedicating their entire day to making your moment special. Budget $250-$500
While it may seem absurd to tack on even more money to what are likely thousand-dollar bills from vendors, you do need to tip. Plan for this expense ahead of time and include it when you make your final payments to your vendors. A thank you gift/tip to your officiant, photographer, DJ/band and coordinator are also nice gestures. Budget 15-18%
Sales Tax and Service Charges
Don’t take your final quote from your vendor as the final amount due. Remember, there may be added service charges for things like delivery (or simply because it is policy). Forgetting to factor in sales tax is also a common mistake and can be quite the unpleasant surprise when it comes time to make final payments. Budget your state’s sales tax percentage and $100-$300 for added service charges.
When it comes to your special day, the only surprise should come in the form of gifts. Head off these unexpected costs to make your special day less stressful.