It’s no secret that weddings can be expensive. There are so many details to look after the last thing you want is an unexpected bill. The top costs on every couple’s wedding budget likely include renting the venue, vendors (photographer, DJ, etc.), catering (though often included with the venue), and décor (including lighting and floral arrangements). The smaller things, however; postage, tips, and taxes can easily be missed. On average, 49 percent of couples go over their wedding budget. When in doubt, we recommend budgeting a bit more than you think you’ll need which will help eliminate the chance of going over.
Before the Day
Bridesmaids and Groomsmen’s Gifts
Of course, you’re going to want all your favorite people standing beside you at your ceremony but, you have to ask them first! There are ways to eliminate this cost, by just asking them plainly in person, but some couples like to add in little gifts to make this moment extra special. These gifts can include tees to wear during the getting ready process, personalized water bottles or tote bags, and even something as simple as a card.
When preparing for the costs of your save the dates and wedding invitations, don’t forget to include postage because you can’t send anything without it. It’s important to remember that this number will differ depending on the size of your guest list. Although buying 50 stamps doesn’t seem like a large expense, buying 120+ is. While paper invitations are the most common, some couples have opted for distributing their invites via email or their wedding website which will eliminate this cost altogether.
Beauty and Grooming
Everyone wants to look their very best on their wedding day and depending on the number of services you need, this could take a small but noticeable dip into your wedding budget. For women, costs like spray tans, mani/pedi, makeup application, and hairstyling are the most common. For men, costs can include a haircut and facial grooming. Of course, everyone has their preferences on their appearance so these charges will vary from one couple to the next.
Alterations and Accessories
So, you just found your dream dress but maybe it doesn’t fit exactly the way you want…that’s where alterations come in. A seamstress has a plethora of skills in their wheelhouse, like cinching in the waist of a dress or adding boning for extra support, but each of these come with a bill. You should even think to include estimations for shapewear/undergarments, shoes, a veil, and jewelry within the appearance section of your budget. Even if you’re prepared for all the bride’s costs, you still have to buy or rent suits, vests, and bowties.
During the Day
If you’re planning a late afternoon or early evening start time you’ll want to include the price of your pre-ceremony meals. Waiting until your reception to eat something is not a good idea for your mind or your belly so you’ll need something to nourish you before you walk down the aisle. This doesn’t have to be a grand display of charcuterie boards and fancy top-shelf liquor but coffee, bagels, and sandwich platters still come with a cost.
Don’t forget to plan how you and your bridal party will be getting to the venue! Driving yourselves is the cheapest option but some may want to hire some drivers to eliminate the stress that could come from traffic. If you have some wiggle room in your wedding budget, you could even up the party factor by renting a party bus or limousine.
This is a completely optional expense so if your budget is tight you can eliminate this category. There’s no rule saying you have to give out wedding favors and as wedding trends change, guests are realizing weddings can still be enjoyable without them. Instead, couples can opt to forgo the gifts and donate to a charity of their choosing.
After the Day
Thank You Cards
There are so many things to be thankful for when your wedding day comes to an end. You’ll want to send thank you cards for the gifts and checks you receive but also to your guests in attendance. Don’t forget the postage for these envelopes too!
Taxes, Tips, and Service Fees
At our MA wedding venues, we pride ourselves on displaying all costs for our services plainly and upfront. This ensures our couples are not surprised by hidden fees for services or taxes. Try to review all your vendor contracts in detail and don’t be afraid to ask questions about any service fees before you sign. You’ll also want to remember it’s customary to tip vendors and staff after the day is over.
This might not be a complete list of all the wedding budget items you’ll need to account for but it includes the most common things couples forget. Your dream wedding can be accomplished regardless of budget, so don’t feel like you have to sacrifice your savings for this one day. We recommend utilizing a website or tracker to help allocate funds, like this one from WeddingWire. Working with a wedding planner is especially helpful during this entire process because they’ve done this a thousand times before. Luckily, when you book with SEG you’ll have access to one of our amazing Producers that will help you execute everything you want while stay within your wedding budget!