There’s so much that goes into planning a wedding it can be easy to overlook some of the costs. Hidden expenses, ones you thought were included, or anything unexpected that creeps up and didn’t make the budget.
For many couples, tying the knot is a big expense. The pandemic has only seen costs go up too. Despite more people opting for micro-weddings, vendors have increased their prices to bounce back from economic hardship since Covid hit.
Whether you’re after a big celebration or something small and meaningful, don’t let these wedding budget bombs bust your budget.
1. Venue Service Fees and Taxes
When you get your quote price, taxes and fees are often not included.
Venues may charge extra costs to cover their hiring expenses. These can include cake cutting, corkage, coat checkers, catering staff, admin and bathroom and parking attendants. Service fees and taxes can easily add an extra 10-25% to your total bill.
The best way to avoid additional charges is to book an all-inclusive venue. Always check with your chosen venue about what’s included.
Ask to see a breakdown of costs for staffing, setup/teardown, cleaning, liquor license, staff meals and tips, overtime fees, parking and additional rentals such as tables, chairs, glassware.
2. Postponing Your Big Day
Couples all over the country have had to postpone or cancel their wedding plans due to Covid.
To avoid disappointment, make sure you understand the costs and conditions if restrictions or lockdown impact your day before you book. Vendors and suppliers usually charge fees or take back the deposit if you need to change plans, so shop around to find ones with some flexibility.
It’s also a good idea to have a backup plan.
If your dream day can’t happen, what would be the next best thing? Maybe it’s a smaller, more relaxed event or flexibility with the date or venue. Be as adaptable as possible, throw out the rule book and think outside the box for cost-effective ideas that’ll still make your big day magical.
Tip: Wedding insurance is smart to consider, but understand many policies may not include coverage for known events like Covid. Make sure you read the terms and conditions before purchasing. Liability and event insurance are the two beneficial types of cover to have if anything goes wrong. Also, stay updated with any changes relating to wedding restrictions.
3. Bridal Party Proposals
Proposal and thank you gifts aren’t mandatory, but they’re a nice way to ask your chosen crew to be part of your day and thank the special people in your life.
You can save costs by creating gift or goodie bag proposals. They don’t need to be expensive, just something thoughtful to capture the moment. Thank you gifts are usually expected by guests attending the wedding, so set some funds aside for this as well.
4. Last Minute Alterations
Wedding dress prices don’t always include potential alterations and it’s not uncommon to need two-three fittings for the bridal party.
Avoid hidden costs by asking the store if they charge for every alteration. Find out before you purchase the dress, so these fees don’t come as a nasty surprise later.
Depending on what needs to be done, you can spend up to $1,000 on alterations. You’re paying for the time and care of highly delicate work. If you want to reduce costs, keep alterations to a minimum and carefully consider lined garments as these are often more time consuming and expensive to alter.
Don’t forget about how the bridal party will get to the ceremony and reception sites.
It’s rare for a wedding venue to provide transport. Distance, duration and occupancy are factors that can throw your budget out, so plan before you book the venue. You might want to secure a central hotel, and transport everyone to and from the venue(s) on the day. Just make sure to keep the logistics simple for everyone.
6. Vendor Trials
Some vendors won’t include trials or tasting fees in their prices. Even if it’s included in the wedding package, you might need to pay extra for anything else. For example, your hair and makeup could be paid for as part of the package, but you could still be required to book a trial before the big day and pay for this separately.
Other vendor costs you may need to budget for are delivery, early access and overtime fees. Ask suppliers about their additional charges when researching quotes. Research vendors in the area you’re getting married in to save money on supplier transport fees and get any extra costs in writing.
7. The Unpredictable
No matter how prepared you are, you should always have a contingency fund for the unpredictable. Set aside 5% of your budget for emergencies or unexpected expenses. For example, venues can charge extra if you bring in suppliers outside of their preferred list.
Tip: Some couples may find a personal loan useful for pre or post-wedding expenses or to use as an emergency buffer. Using a personal loan for a wedding or honeymoon is only suitable if you meet the lender criteria and can comfortably make the repayments, without putting yourself in debt.
This article is written by Jayde Walker – a Perth copywriter who’s been married for 2 years and writes in the wedding, home, travel and business industries. Catch her on LinkedIn.