When you’re planning your wedding, you have a lot to think about. Everyone’s going to try to give you their opinions on venues, flowers and even the food that should be catered. While it’s good to have ideas to choose from, you’ll have to narrow down your focus to form your wedding budget.
There are a few wedding elements that make it into almost every wedding budget. You’ll need money for your venue, the food, the people who will make it happen and the supplies to make your day extra special.
At the same time, those things include some price tags that brides don’t often expect. Read on to learn about ten wedding expenses you might not be prepared for so you’ll know what’s coming down the road.
1. Additional Sales Tax
Everyone knows that sales tax is applied whenever you buy something, but that includes wedding services and supplies as well. Your DJ, your planner and your venue all come with tax that isn’t included in their initial estimate. Research your state’s sales tax or the taxes in the state where you’ll get married to do the math ahead of time and work it into your budget.
2. Postage for Wedding Mail
Every time you send out an invitation or reminder about your wedding, you’ll most likely mail it so people have physical copies to hang on their fridge as a reminder. Remember to check the current postage rate to figure out how much postage will cost. If your mail will be heavier than a typical card, take it to the post office to be weighed before placing any stamps on anything.
3. Buying Your Marriage License
It’s not the most romantic part of weddings, but you’ll have to go out and buy your marriage license at some point before your wedding. The cost will be different depending on which state you live in, so research the cost in your state and set the money aside from your overall budget.
4. Bride and Groom Alterations
Alterations are harder to budget for because you won’t know the exact price until you know what alterations need to be made. Assume that both the bride and groom will need to have things taken in for a fitting and estimate at least a couple hundred dollars for the final price. That cost will be even higher than that if your materials are expensive or you use a well-known, professional tailor.
5. Guest Room Cancellations
Most brides set aside a hotel block for their guests, especially if a lot of them are coming from out of town. If your guests reserve their rooms and then cancel at the last minute, you could be charged extra hefty fees. Talk with the hotel you’re working with to ask about room block information and find out ahead of time what happens if your guests need to cancel.
6. Potential Beauty Treatments
Do you plan on going to the spa during the week before your wedding? Maybe you’re just looking forward to having your hair and makeup done. Add up those costs to get a final number, including any hair and makeup trials that will happen in the month leading up to your wedding.
7. Pre-Wedding Hotel Costs
If you’re traveling for your wedding, you’ll need to pay for the time you’ll stay at your hotel before your wedding day. That may be one night or it could be several. Throw that cost in with your wedding budget, including any services you may buy like an in-house spa treatment or room service.
8. Gratuity for Services
Tips aren’t only for restaurants. You’ll need to tip the wedding services you use, like your stylists, personal driver and even your caterer. Base your tip on the overall cost of the service and add on at least twenty percent for your tip.
9. Electric Bill Fees
Some venues will charge you for your part of their electric bill. That depends on if your DJ will be using any heavy-duty audio equipment and how large your wedding will be. The length of time you use the venue could be added as well. Discuss this possibility with your venue ahead of time so you’re sure you won’t be stuck with an extra bill.
10. State Alcohol Permits
Some brides get married in public parks or buildings because they’re more affordable to rent, easier to book and more flexible with the time you need on your wedding day. At the same time, they’ll require state alcohol permits if you plan to serve alcohol at your reception. Check with your state to see how much it will cost and if you need separate permits for beer, wine and liquor.
Try to Think Ahead
If you have a wedding planner, avoiding these costs is much easier than if you’re on your own. Either way, try to think ahead about little details like these so you avoid ruining your budget by having to pay for unknown costs.