Wedding 101: Hidden Costs

Weddings are expensive. Like so so so expensive. Like should I sell my kidneys to fund this kind of expensive. And the worst part is, these expenses kind of creep up out of no where. It’s the little things that you don’t really think about that tend to add up. And before you know it, your getting closer and closer to exceeding your budget.

As a teacher, I have to think of every possible scenario of how things could go. If I’m doing a project, I have to think of 5 different things that might happen and how I can be prepared for those, so that it goes as smoothly as possible. I tried to do this for my wedding too. I know, I know. It’s probably a little excessive. But I wanted to be sure I factored everything into our budget that we could. Here are the things that even I, Miss Over Prepared all the time, almost forgot about.
Dress Alterations Unless you are an insanely lucky bride that nabbed her wedding dress in her perfect size, you’re going to need to get it altered. Add these potential costs to your dress budget. I’ll tell you right know, wedding dress alterations are not cheap. However, it was something that we didn’t mind paying a little bit more for. You want your dress to fit you perfectly so you feel comfortable and confident on your big day. Spend the extra money to have it altered by the best of the best. And remember… the more that needs to be done, the more expensive it will be. Mine was hella expensive. $500 expensive to be exact. However, she had to take it in a lot, she had to remove the lace overlay to shorten it, she took a lot of the beads off and then rebeaded it and so much more. In the end, yeah it cost a lot of money, but it fit me like a glove and looked even better than it did in store.
Postage You need A LOT of stamps when you get married. You need them for the Save the Dates, Invitations, RSVP cards, and Thank Yous for your showers and wedding. At 47 cents a stamp, thats not cheap. And if you want specialty stamps (you know, so you don’t have to send your wedding invitations with an Eagle and American Flag on them it may cost even more). Also, keep in mind that your invitations will probably need more than one stamp a piece. I think our’s needed 3.
Thank You Cards You might not be thinking about after the big day while you’re planning your wedding, but don’t forget to factor in the cost of Thank You cards. And while you’re at it, you may want to add shower Thank You  cards to your budget too!
Wedding Party Gifts Not everyone gives gifts to their wedding party and families, but honestly I think you should. Did you know the average bridesmaid can expect to pay $1,600 just to stand by your side? (That’s including her dress, hotel, travel, gifts, and the bachelorette party) When they are paying so much to be there for you on your big day, I think the least you can do is show them how much you appreciate it. I also think it’s important to give your parents gifts. These things don’t have to be large and expensive, but they should be thoughtful and something more than just the party favor all the guests will be getting.
Beauty Treatments The day of your wedding the LAST thing you’re going to want to worry about is carrying your wallet around to pay for your hair, nails and makeup. Try to take care of it before hand. And don’t overlook it when budgeting for your big day… whenever you attach the word “wedding” or “bridal” to something (for example “bridal hair”) the prices seems to almost double.
Bachelor/Bachelorette Parties Thanks to Pinterest and social media, we happen to see what EVERYONE else on the planet is doing. While sometimes this can be a good thing, other times, it makes us feel bad ourselves. Because not everyone can afford to take their entire bridal party to St. Barts for a week of fun in sun. These parties can get out of hand VERY quickly. So try not to expect too much from your bridal party when they are already spending so much to be in your wedding. And also, don’t except them to pay your way. Budget for your bachelor/bachelorette parties, especially if you’re expecting a big splash.
Marriage License You can’t get married without your marriage license! And guess what… it of course is going to cost you money. The amount varies depending on which state you’re in. You can check out prices here!
Day of Paper Goods Are you planning to have a program? Maybe a menu sitting on the table? All of those things are going to cost you money, and it can easily get looked over until you’re ready to have them printed.
A Place to Get Ready This truly depends on the location of your wedding. For me, I needed to book a room the night before my wedding so my girls and I had a place to get ready on my wedding day. We got our hair done at the salon, but couldn’t sit around there all day. This won’t be a hidden cost for everyone. Just be sure you plan for it just in case!
Meals before the Wedding You can’t go an entire day without eating, and neither can your wedding party! We had food for all of us in our suite, and the guys all went out to lunch after spending the morning golfing. Just keep in mind, that feeding a lot of people isn’t always cheap. And no, I’m not telling you to make a huge buffet for everyone. Keep it light (you’ll be nervous and you don’t want heavy food sitting in your belly) and have options.
Vendor Meals When doing your food tallies, don’t forget your vendors! I would hate to see you not have enough food, or forget to feed someone. Some places offer a discount on vendor meals, so be sure to check that out before figuring in the costs. Also, be sure to ask who your vendors are bringing. For example, is your photographer bringing an assistant? You’ll have to feed them too.
Sales Tax If the sales tax is included in the price then you have nothing to worry about. But if it’s not, you could be in for a big shock. Check over your contracts to see if they include sales and service taxes or if it just has an estimated amount + sales or + sales and service. It might seem insignificant, but when it adds up VERY quickly when it comes to a wedding reception. For example… our food total was $4,207. But we had to add 20% service fee and 6% sales tax. So really, our total was $5,351.30. And those kind of taxes were added to everything. Not just food.
Include Yourselves Guys. Whatever you DON’T FORGET TO INCLUDE YOURSELVES IN YOUR WEDDING COSTS. Like don’t forget that you both need to eat. And you’ll both want to drink. While it’s only two people, it can end up being a few hundred dollars that you’re forgetting to include in your overall budget. And every penny counts
I will be the first to admit, I was very lucky when it came to planning my wedding. I was fortunate enough that my venue and vendors didn’t have hidden costs. They showed me everything and were very open from the beginning. Some brides are not so lucky. So be sure to read and re-read your contracts. I remember when I was first looking into hidden fees while I was planning (making sure I was over prepared!) I read this list. It was super eye opening to see all the other places that hidden costs can come into play.
The moral of the story here? Try not to overlook the small things that cost you big time in the end!
And now…
Guess who’s back? Back again. (Shady’s back. Tell a friend.) HAHA JK Not Slim Shady. But I can’t say “guess who’s back” without singing some Eminem. Anyways!  Trevor is back as a guest blogger on tomorrow’s blog! SO that means, you won’t be hearing from me until Sunday. I’ve got a busy weekend ahead of me! I can’t wait to share it with all of you. Enjoy tomorrow’s post… it’s a good one!
PS- Enjoy your last few days of September!

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