Setting a wedding budget is arguable the most stressful part of wedding planning. It typically requires at least two families coming together with the bride and groom, usually at separate times, to determine who is contributing and how much. You may have even read through my blog post filled with tips about setting the budget.
So, your budget is set. You made sure to include the rehearsal dinner, the dress, the venue, the bridal party gifts, and on and on. Before you think you have everything you could ever imagine covered in your list, take one more look to make sure you’ve covered these items that can sneak right up and surprise you!
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- Postage. You probably have your invitations in your budget, but have you considered the postage? If you have an odd shape or size of envelope, that could add to normal postage. You also will want to include a postage-paid return envelope or postcard for guests to send back their RSVP. Postage can add up fast, so make sure you include it in your stationary budget. Don’t forget to add postage for save-the-dates if you are sending those.
- Vendor meals. Most vendors that will be present at your reception include a line in the contract about covering their dinner. Don’t forget to add those vendors, and their assistants, in your food count and make sure they have a clear place to sit during the reception.
- Tips. While tipping your vendors, officiant, etc is not always expected, it is something to consider. If you plan to tip anyone the night of your wedding, get cash out the week ahead, place it in clearly marked envelopes and have someone you trust be in charge of handing them out that night.
- Overtime. AKA: Keep the party going! This one completely depends on your venue and your guests, but sometimes the party is still going strong at the time your band, DJ, videographer, photographer and other vendors are contracted to end. Make sure you know the cost of keeping your vendors longer if you think that’s going to be an issue. Many times they will require cash payment on the spot to continue. Ask in advance so you know what to expect.
- Marriage License. This varies by location, so do some research for your area. I’ve seen anything from $20-100.
- Passports. If you are heading out of the US for your honeymoon, make sure you plan for the expense of your passports if you don’t already have them. If you don’t have a Real ID, you may be required soon to have a passport for any air travel, even domestic flights. Know what you need and be prepared.
- Thank you cards and postage. You won’t believe how often this gets forgotten in the stationary budget. Don’t forget to include them in the count!
- Pre-Wedding Pampering. This mostly applies to the bride, but make sure to plan for getting your nails done, tanning, hair cut and color, eye brow grooming, etc. These can all add up fast that month of the wedding.
I hope this helps! You can find all of my advice for wedding planning here or by clicking on the “For Brides” section below. If you have any other things that snuck up on you, please leave them in the comments so that others can plan for them.