You’ve got the dress, the venue, the flowers, and the invitations. When it comes to planning your wedding, you’re confident you’ve nailed it. Almost everyone who is planning or has planned a wedding has that all-important checklist of things to do. And almost everyone who has gone through the wedding can tell you something will fall through the cracks. There might be an item you forget or others that might never have occurred to you. Here’s a look at six hidden costs that could trip you up and put a dent in the best budgeting.
Whether it is dresses or tuxes, the odds that you will find the perfect fit the first time are small, and changes might be necessary. Before you make a purchase, check the store’s alteration policy. If you’re renting tuxes, the odds are good that the alterations are part of the package. Dresses can be a bit different. Some bridal shops may include a flat fee while others will charge extra for every change to a hem or a seam. Make sure you figure that into your fashion budget to avoid any surprises.
Beyond Just Flowers
When you think of decorations for your wedding, flowers are generally at the top of the list—and that is okay. Floral arrangements, from bouquets and boutonnieres to arrangements for the ceremony and reception, will likely make up the most significant portion of your budget for decorating, but they aren’t the only item. Candles, table cards, favors, balloons, or even tablecloths can add to the bottom line. Experts recommend choosing flowers that are in season for the date of your wedding. This can help save on some of the costs. Just remember that flowers are only a portion of the décor and plan for the expense of additional decoration—the more specialized it is, the more money you should allot.
Okay so the cost of a marriage license might not break your budget, but if you forget you must have it ahead of time, it could derail the entire wedding. The cost of a marriage license varies from state to state. In North Carolina, for example, a license costs $60—cash only. Fees range across the country from as little as $15 to more than $100. Some states also have charges that are set county by county, such as California. If you’re planning on a destination wedding, make sure you have a license for that location. Check ahead because some places have a waiting period, which may require additional travel or early arrival to fulfill local requirements.
Taxes and Tips
When you budget for goods and services, don’t forget to add the costs of taxes and tips. While getting prices from prospective vendors and venues, don’t be afraid to ask if taxes and gratuities are already figured into a price quote, or if you will need to add that to your estimates. Don’t forget to save up for your honeymoon. You will want to have cash on hand for tips if you’re traveling or staying at a hotel or resort.
Plenty of people are pulling long hours on the day of your wedding to make sure it will be perfect. Your photographer and videographer could be with you from morning until the end of your reception. They need food and drink too. And they may not be the only ones depending on the size and type of wedding you’re planning. So when you give your caterer a number for how many people will be eating, don’t forget the hardworking professionals behind the scenes.
Wedding Prep Hotel Room
That relaxing day you have planned in a hotel suite for you and your bridesmaids to get ready for the ceremony could become nerve-wracking if you haven’t paid attention to check-in and check-out times. To be safe if you’re planning to prepare at a hotel, book your room for the night before as well as the wedding night. This allows you to check in early, sleep a little late, and still have plenty of time for pampering. With a room engaged for the wedding night as well, it gives everyone a chance to unwind and pack up.
Even the best plans can fall prey to some last minute jitters and forgetfulness in the midst of all the excitement. It’s a good idea to keep some extra cash on hand the day of the ceremony to make sure you’ve got those unexpected expenses covered.