We posted this last year, and thought it was worth repeating:
It’s that time of the year, and calculators are busy cranking up numbers. No it’s not tax time yet, but it IS time to set your wedding budget. There are plenty of wedding resource websites and magazines that give couples a cookie cutter budget format to guide them on how their wedding budget will be spent. I personally feel that budgets are subjective. What is important to one bride may not be important to the other. So as a bridal couple, you should prepare a list of items that are of absolute importance to you, and another list of those that are not. For e.g. a high end photographer with a photo journalistic style of capturing your wedding day is a must but a videographer may not be as important. I have worked with couples that have put a higher emphasis on the food then on the flowers, or on securing a specialty venue and not the caterer.
As to any budget that is set, whether buying a car, home or vacation there are always those unexpected costs that can put a dinger on your spending limit. So consider the following when setting up your budget Excel spreadsheet:
#1 Venues that charge a service charge: Clarify if the service charge will be taxable. It won’t devastate your budget, but it may impact you by few hundred dollars.
#2 Gown Alterations: You may have just spent thousands of dollars on that perfect gown, that will make you the trendy sophisticated bride that you are, but to get the right fit you may need to spend some time with a seamstress. Alterations may not be included in the price of the gown.
#3 Stamps: AAHHHH Stamps. The current price for your mail to travel in style is $.44 cents. Not only will you need the stamps for the Reply cards but also if you are sending out “Save the Date” cards. In addition I have yet to have an invitation that fell in the weight category of first class mail. I have clients that have paid as much as $5 in stamps per invitation, to mail their invitations to 300 of their closest friends.
#4 Make Up and Hair Trial: To make sure you have stylish hair style and photogenic make up, Brides will need to spend time with a Make up Artist and Hair Stylist before the big day. A consultation to create the glowing look on your special day is extremely important. There should be no surprises on the day of the wedding. In doing so, keep in mind that these trials do cost money. You can expect to pay as little as $50, to as high as $250, just to finalize the style and glamour of your beautiful day.
#5 Night Pick-up: Depending on the time your event finishes, and the ability of the venue to let the flowers/décor/specialty linens stay in the reception room you may incur additional charge. This is a must have conversation with your venue. If the venue requires that your floral/décor/linen company pick up the items at the end of the reception time these vendors may charge you for a night pick-up. The cost can be $125 to $900 depending on the work that will be involved. Having too much fun dancing and want to keep going? Don’t keep them waiting to start tear down or you may be stuck with overtime fees as well.
Let us know about costs that you have had that you didn’t account for.