We all know the big-ticket items that we must pay for when planning a wedding, but there are a lot of little things that may get overlooked when outlining your budget. The costs for all of these extras can add up very quickly. You can avoid sending your well-defined financial plan into a savings freefall if you know what to expect!
Here are a few reminders of some of things that may go unnoticed until the last minute and need to be accounted for to help keep your budget intact.
Plants, Vases, and Lighting–The main setting for the wedding is usually well thought out. It is the smaller items that may be missed until just a few weeks or days before the wedding. These may include decorative plants, vases for your flowers, and lighting for the outer portion of the reception room.
Screens–These are important for keeping the flow of the reception moving and unsightly areas unseen. Screens are used to separate the main reception area from the catering or kitchen space, guest check-in, coat-check area, bathrooms, etc.
Chair covers–More often than not, the fold-out chairs or plastic chairs you rented will not come with chair covers or any decorative ties or bows. Usually you will be expected to pay for renting these little extras, and you may not be notified until just a few days before your event that they will need covers. Take note: purchasing chair covers online may be less expensive than the rental costs. Take the time to search for the best deal to make sure you’re getting the most out of your wedding budget.
Linens–Brides may be shocked at the total price they pay for linens. Layering tablecloths to get just the right look can double or triple your initial cost estimates. Plus, there are wide variations available with beautiful textures, beading, lace, or embroidery that come with an extra cost. You can avoid surprise by asking for a comprehensive price list at the initial consultation.
Food and Drinks
Corkage fees–If you are supplying your own wine, the venue location may charge you a corkage fee. The cost may be offered as a flat rate or vary depending upon the type of wine and number of bottles opened.
Cake-cutting fees–Many establishments charge cake cutting fees when you bring your own wedding cake. Your cake costs could increase with a per-slice cutting fee of $2 or more. The good news is that this type of charge is often negotiable.
Printing and Postage
Printing of the programs, place cards, and seating chart–Besides the programs and place cards, seating charts are very useful for guests. Prices will depend upon the paper selected, any special design requirements, and graphics to be included.
Postage for the invitations–U.S. postage rates are set to increase to 45 cents for a regular first-class letter in January 2012. Thereby, expect your wedding invite, with RSVP card enclosed, to cost you a bit more in the near future. Take a sample of your invitation and RSVP card to the post office or a nearby mail center and have it weighed for precise postage calculations.
Party for the attendants–Many couples like to host a get-together a week or two before the event to celebrate with their wedding party. You need to take into account the location, food, drinks, entertainment, or thank you gifts you plan to incorporate.
Gifts for your parents–As is customary, both sets of parents should receive a thank you gift expressing your sentiments for all of their support.
Wedding favors for guests–Don’t forget to plan for the cost of this token of welcome appreciation.
Other Important Extras
Marriage license fee–Costs can range from $10 to $100. Check with your local city, county, or municipality to find out specific costs in your area.
Tipping–Almost every wedding vendor you hire should receive a tip for their services. This will include your wedding planner, caterer, bartenders, photographer, videographer, musicians at the ceremony and reception, limousine driver, parking valet, flower delivery, wedding cake delivery, hair stylist, and makeup artist.
Portable bathrooms or trailers–Depending on your venue, you may have to rent portable toilets or the more upscale bathroom trailers.
Generators–Outdoor events will need supplied lighting to keep the party going past sunset. Generator setup and rentals should be tabulated in your total costs.
These are just a few items that may be missed and can affect your spending plan drastically. Your best bet is to set aside some money for any last minute surprises so you’re covered for the unknowns and must-haves to make your wedding complete.
Lisa is a special needs teacher and a hugger. She always makes time for everyone and lightens up everybody’s lives with her presence. When she is not chasing her students around the yard, she finds time to write about what she truly loves, and you guessed it, its people and relationships.