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10 Unexpected Wedding Expenses You Should Know About


(Photo Feature: Kate Supa Photography)

Budgeting for a wedding may seem like a piece of cake to a wedding professional, but to the couples who have never been married before, sometimes it's the big elephant in the room that doesn't want to be discussed. It's very easy to go over budget due to the unexpected wedding expenses that most couples don't take into account. As a wedding planner we are able to provide insight to our clients in order to help keep them on budget for their big day!

So what are these unexpected expenses you ask? Let us help break down the top 10 unexpected wedding expenses you should know about!

(Photo Feature: Anna Holcombe Photography)

1. Pre-wedding Beauty

When prepping for your wedding day, you'll want to take into account gym memberships, tanning, trail runs for your hair and makeup, mani & pedis, hair trims and color touch ups, etc. The beauty goes far beyond just the day of, so make sure keep track of them all.

(Photo Feature: Magnolia Photography)

2. Stationary

Of course most couples know they need invitations and even save-the-dates, but there are many other paper goods to think about. Here are a few that may not be on your radar: postage, place cards, menu cards, escort cards, programs, and especially thank you cards post wedding.

(Photo Feature: Tie That Binds Weddings)

3. Gifts

Gifts are commonly known for the bridal party. It's tradition to give a small gift to show your appreciation to your bridesmaids and groomsmen, but did you consider other types of gifts? Here are some other options typically left out of this category: Party favors for your wedding guests, welcome gifts or bags for traveling guests at the hotels, and even sometimes gifts for the parents.

(Photo Feature: Bed Bath & Beyond)

4. Gratuities

Some companies, for example transportation or catering, will include gratuity on their invoices, but that's not always the case, so make sure you double check. Although it's not a necessity to tip your vendors, it is a great way to show your appreciation to the vendors who have worked hard for your special day. There isn't a magical number that each vendor should receive, but there are ways to determine how you would like to tip. You can tip based on a percentage of the total cost owed, a flat rate, or even a gift.

(Photo Feature: KMI Photography)

5. Pre-wedding Events

You've budgeted for all aspects of the big day, but many times the couples forget about all the other festivities leading up to the wedding. There's the bachelor and bachelorette parties, bridal shower, rehearsal dinner, and sometimes even a post wedding brunch the day after. These hidden fees can add up very quickly, especially if the couple doesn't have the luxury of receiving financial help from their families.

(Photo Feature: Anchored In Love)

6. Sales Tax & Service Charges

In the moment of agreeing to proposals and quotes, sometimes it's easy to forget about the infamous sales tax and service charges that may not be on the initial quotes you've received. Some of the service charges to consider are: delivery and set up fees, carving fees, cake cutting fees, bartender fees, and even cork fees. Remember to ask about any additional service fees ahead of time.

(Photo Feature: Anna Holcombe Photography)

7. Bridal Accessories

You search high and low for your perfect dress for your perfect wedding... but what about all the accessories that MUST complete your look?! Don't forget to budget for shoes, a veil and/or any extra headpieces, jewelry, and alterations.

(Photo Credit: Magnolia Photography)

8. Vendor Meals

It's very considerate to provide vendor meals for the vendors who are working your entire wedding reception, especially the ones who are there for 8 to 14 hours. Vendor meals are provided by your caterer and should be cheaper than your guest meals. This expense can add up though if you have multiple photographers, videographers, planners, and a band. So this is something to keep in mind.

(Photo Feature: Magnolia Photography)

9. Extra Rentals & Decor

When budgeting for your rentals, it's easy to remember tables, chairs and linens, but sometimes the detailed decor falls under the radar until you're closer to the wedding date and the budget seems to be busting at the seams. Here are some examples of rentals and specialty decor pieces you want to make sure you don't forget about budgeting for... Candles, votives, dance floor, uplighting, outdoor lighting, glassware, dinnerware, flatware, specialty linens, decorations for the tables other than floral centerpieces, outdoor spaces, lounge furniture, decorative items for the bar, fireplace mantles, and food tables.

(Photo Feature: Kate Supa Photography)

10. Overtime Hours

There's nothing like yelling "ONE MORE HOUR" when you're in the moment and having one of the best nights of your life. Keep in mind that there's always a cost to extended the fun. Most vendors have a base rate for additional hours requested, but most will expect to be paid in full on the spot, so make sure you know what those costs are and that you're ready to fork up the fees to continue the party.

There you have it! 10 of the most unexpected and hidden wedding expenses to keep in mind while budgeting for your big day. We hope by educating you on some of these surprising expenses you will have a better understanding of how to budget for your wedding and the festivities surrounding it.

With Love,

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