The wedding budget is very crucial in planning your entire wedding. Having a wedding can be expensive especially if you are not keeping a sharp eye on the money that is coming in and the money you are spending. That is why it can be difficult to stick to a budget especially if you are caught in a blur of negotiations and spur-of-the-moment expenses like upgrades to your bridesmaids’ spa day package or additional archways dripping in floral arrangements for that spectacular grand entrance.
If you’re working on your wedding budget, make sure you consider adding this list of 13 unexpected wedding costs that you need to prepare for.
1. Bridal Party Proposals
Lately, it’s becoming a custom of going out with a bang when asking your best friends and family to become part of your special day. Preparing special gift boxes and having a party to celebrate the great announcement would really call for some special time and budgeting.
Saver’s Tip: Go DIY, especially if it’s something you’re really good at. Focus on what you need for the wedding and reassess if it is something that you really need a party for, or if you can save all your money, and just have one grand pre-party celebration for all the bridesmaids, groomsmen, and family members who have come to help put the occasion together.
2. Beauty and Spa Treatments
You are the highlight of your wedding and you’re definitely going to want to look your best on your special day. Beauty and spa treatments might be at the top of your lists such as getting a tanning treatment, a massage, or a facial. But you might try getting a hair and make-up trial session to see what the best look would be on your special day. Or you might want to treat your bridesmaids to a spa treatment and beauty makeovers as part of your bridesmaid proposal or pre-wedding party and spend some girl time a few days before the celebration.
Saver’s Tip: Don’t say no to a beauty and spa treatment; you deserve it. But if it’s for a bridesmaid proposal party, try to go a cheaper, alternative route such as giving them a bridesmaid’s favors box with spa treatments that they can enjoy in their own private time. Or make a day of it and do DIY spa and beauty treatments complete with spa tumbler gifts.
3. Bachelorette/Bachelor Parties
Ideally, it’s supposed to be a surprise for the bridesmaid. But nowadays, since it’s a special day and it’s the perfect excuse to party. But if it’s a destination bachelorette party, then you really need to allocate a good amount of money for that. Your bridesmaids might pay for their own airfare, and you will, too. You might split the bill with them or they might treat you as a gift for you, but you’re going to be spending some extra money on outfits to wear, and things to bring.
Saver’s Tip: It’s fun to travel, but if you can, choose locations near your area. Remember, you still have a honeymoon, and if that’s a destination honeymoon, then you’ll want to save your energy for that. You can make anyplace special with great bachelorette decor!
4. Pre-Wedding Party Outfits
This isn’t something you would put at the top of your wedding budget list, but it’s definitely going to find its way in your receipts after you start buying new outfits for the bachelorette party you’re going to, the rehearsal dinner, the engagement party, and a whole bunch of other parties that you will find yourself in before the wedding.
Saver’s Tip: Don’t worry, you won’t have to wear old outfits. The great thing is, you can rent an outfit for special occasions from several stores online or find an inexpensive white dress for the occasion. You’ll be able to wear a different outfit at a fraction of the cost of a new outfit.
5. New Lingerie or Undergarments
A wedding gown made means you might need underwear that is either going to match or be invisible in your wedding gown. I know I’ve done some major undergarment shopping when I attended my friends’ weddings. Getting your existing underwear collection to hold up with your wedding gown might be tricky.
Saver’s Tip: Buy your wedding dress early, and have it altered so that it fits properly. That way, you won’t have to buy new underwear, and if you would, you’ll probably just need a longer bra strap. Make sure you do multiple try on's to make sure you have proper undergarments for your wedding dress.
6. Postage Stamps for RSVP Cards & Invitations
If you are mailing out your RSVP cards, and later on the wedding invites, you will need postage stamps. Plus, you’ll also need to provide postage stamps so that your guests can send their RSVPs back. You need to factor in those wedding invitations as well. Keep in mind that heavy wedding invitations and special boxed invitations cost more to send. Be ready to factor in at least $2.00 per invitation for mailing.
Saver’s Tip: Thank goodness for the internet! Go for online RSVPs. They are faster to design, easier to send out and costs absolutely zilch. Plus, you can easily keep track of who is going and who isn't. If you want to save more on postage, use lighter cardstock for your invitations, or skip the fancy boxed invitations unless your guests are local, or you’re only sending a few out.
7. Wedding Band and DJ Equipment
What most people don’t realize is that paying for the wedding band fee only includes the fee for the musicians’ time and minimum hours they would play. But what you might not know is if the band or the DJ might need additional equipment like speakers, lights, or microphones to accommodate the size of your venue, then that will be an added cost.
Saver’s Tip: When you discuss the details of the wedding with your band or DJ, make sure you include details on the size of the venue. Make sure you have a copy of the layout or have your band visit the venue so that they can see the place themselves. And make sure you check the contract to see what is included.
8. Corkage Fees
Most venues have a preferred list of vendors that tie into their contracts including bakers, venue decorators, and caterers. This does help with planning, and you can get everything in one place. The thing is, if you don’t use a preferred vendor from their list, your venue will charge you a corkage fee of some percentage.
Saver’s Tip: It’s highly recommended to stick to the list. Check customer and guest reviews of the venue and their vendors to get a good idea of what you’ll be paying for.
10. Vendor Meals
Most people are under the impression that when they book their vendors on the day of their wedding, they’re only paying for the hours and the time. What you might not be aware of is that this does not usually cover meals. You want to make sure that your vendors are doing well and feeling great so that they can be at the top of their game on the day of your wedding.
Saver’s Tip: Keep your vendors fed so that they can perform well on the day of your wedding by working with your caterer to include their meals. If they are included on a preferred vendor’s list by your venue or caterer, it wouldn’t be hard to work this item into the contract. That way, you’ve got your bases covered, and you can cover all bases.
11. Overtime Costs
It isn’t unusual for the party to end late, hence the overtime fee. If the party tends to run longer than intended, or you happen to start late, you will more often than not end late.
Saver’s Tip: Make sure you get the overtime costs in writing. Another one way you can avoid any overtime costs at your wedding ceremony is to make sure that your wedding coordinators -- if you have any -- start on time.
12. Clean-up costs
When you rent out most venues with a flat-out fee, that usually does not include clean up and garbage removal costs. This is also something that you will need if you are celebrating in a non-traditional venue.
Saver’s Tip: Keep an eye out for garbage removal and post-reception cleaning fees that might be added to your contract in case it is an additional cost in your wedding venue. Consider other venues that do not have that additional fee if the fee seems an exorbitant amount.
13. Additional Service Fees
Most venues charge extra fees to cover the cost of hiring their staff. These include servers, coat checkers, and bathroom and parking attendants. Another fee that is usually charged is a cake cutting fee. A cake-cutting fee is charged by the wedding venue if the cake is provided by a baker that is not affiliated with them, or on their preferred vendor’s list. The cake cutting fee is a fee you pay the venue to handle the cutting of your cake, plating it, and serving it to guests.
Server’s Tip: Include this item when you are asking for additional costs. Find out if there are any such fees for staff, coat checkers, and cake cutting, and make sure to factor these into the cost.
Kara has been with Wedding Favors Unlimited for 2 years. She’s been giving wedding and style advice for the past 5 years from bridal magazines to bridal boutiques. Feel free to ask Kara a question below!
What's on This Page
- 1. Bridal Party Proposals
- 2. Beauty and Spa Treatments
- 3. Bachelorette/Bachelor Parties
- 4. Pre-Wedding Party Outfits
- 5. New Lingerie or Undergarments
- 6. Postage Stamps for RSVP Cards & Invitations
- 7. Wedding Band and DJ Equipment
- 8. Corkage Fees
- 10. Vendor Meals
- 11. Overtime Costs
- 12. Clean-up costs
- 13. Additional Service Fees