Planning an inexpensive wedding is next to impossible, despite how frugal you are, and despite the budget cuts you take, you will always end up going above your budget. This is partly because there are many hidden expenses that aren’t taken into consideration when planning for a wedding budget. When planning my wedding, I found there are four major expenses that I didn’t account for when creating my budget that caused me to go significantly over.
Labor: I may just have been ignorant, but I was unaware that when a caterer quotes $25 per person, that the quote did not include the labor. It doesn’t include the chef’s hours, the assistants, the servers, or bartenders. Depending on the amount of people you are serving this adds a huge amount to the cost of food, a cost that I was not prepared for.
Rentals: There are so many hidden fees regarding rentals. You may think your venue provides the chairs and tables, and they may, but many do not. They can provide tables and chairs but at a cost. One venue offered to provide chairs for $1.50 per chair, plus $8.50 per table renter, not including linens. Others will provide basic square tables, but allow you to upgrade to round for an additional cost. And for your caterer? Tack on another $900 for rentals, because most don’t include the use of their china or water goblets in their catering quote either, that’s an additional expense that again, I did not account for.
Invitations: Invitations are actually an expense that I assumed would be rather easy to budget. With minimal research I found that I would likely be spending $1.50-$3.00 per invitation. Prior to ordering my invitations I spoke with a friend who’d just sent out her invitations for her own wedding, she told me about her huge mistake. “I have 150 guests, so I ordered 150 invitations”. I assumed her mistake was she ordered too little envelopes and messed up, but no, she had ordered almost double of what she needed because she didn’t account for the number of guests living the same home getting one invitation. (Mr. and Mrs. Jones do not need two invitations…) Luckily, she told me this before ordering mine, so I was able to calculate how many of my guests were actually in a party of two (or more). I was able to avoid wasting a ton of money on unused invitations.
Pre Wedding Prep: The year prior to my wedding I joined a gym, naturally wanting to look amazing in my wedding dress. That is an expense. I have terrible skin, so invested in great face cleansers and moisturizers, if my skin still isn’t up to par, I’ll be seeing a dermatologist, getting facials, microderm abrasion, anything to make sure my skin is flawless on my wedding day. This is an expense. All expenses that I was not originally accounting for and yet, all expenses I feel are absolutely necessary.
Besides the obvious, dress, food, booze, and photography there are an enormity of expenses that appear when planning a wedding. Although some can be avoided there are some hidden expenses that are unavoidable. The best way to plan a wedding budget is to research and ask those that have recently planned there own wedding what surprises appeared that smudged their budget. No matter what type of wedding you are planning the more knowledge you have the more power you’ll have over your wedding budget.