Paying for the wedding is the worst part....but it's better to be prepared than be caught off guard by those non-big-ticket items that are essentials!
#1 - Postage
Sending save the dates? Invitations? Bridal shower invitations? Rehearsal dinner invitations? You probably thought of the cost of the invites themselves. But rarely do starry-eyed brides figure postage (which is ridiculously expensive, in our opinion) into the budget equation. One of our team members JUST sent out wedding invitations for 150 guests, most of whom were couples, and spent over 70$ on it. Which may not seem like much, but if you're a traditional bride, multiply that by four for the other invitations you'll send out, and if you're doing heavier or larger invitations, you quickly realize it's a significant, if not major, cost.
#2 - Dress alterations & accessories
People tell you about this cost, but they don't really tell you about this cost. We're here to tell you - beware! Particularly if your dress is several sizes too large for you, or if you are adding sleeves or beading, or if you are removing a zipper... the total cost of alterations can easily exceed $400. Which means you're in trouble if you only budgeted $2,000 for your dress and then bought a $2,000 dress (welcome to the paradox of the wedding industry). And then, oh yeah, jewelry.
#3 - Vendor meals
Your guest count is 120. But the number you give to your caterer will be more, depending on how many of your vendors require meals (your photographer? DJ? officiant?) This information should be in the contract but be sure to clarify with each vendor just in case. And don't forget to add yourselves to the total guest count.
#4 - Tax/Gratuities
As if your amazing vendors weren't already wrecking your budget, now you have to pay them tax or tip them. Which can get to 20% or MORE. Check to see if gratuities and taxes are included in the overall fee. If not, that's something to consider!
#5 - Marriage License
This fee isn't a big deal, it will be under $100 in most states, but for brides that are pinching pennies, any little unexpected cost can send the stressed bride into a spiral. Pro tip- if you go to premarital counseling (a good idea anyway) they waive/decrease the fee.
#6 - Bridesmaids/Groomsmen Gifts & Proposal Gifts
If you have large wedding parties this can get really expensive, really fast. Especially if you don't plan ahead. Proposal gifts alone can cost as much as the actual gift, and depending on what you're able to and willing to spend, exceed a few hundred dollars! (It doesn't have to, though. But you need to factor in that cost even if you manage to get away with it all for under $100. We know one way you can get away with it for under $100 by using Kadleerobes....but if you know another, please email us and share!
#7 - Wedding favors
The freaking last thing you think of, and often the most expensive part because you left it for the last minute. Every guest needs one; they can be small, but they have to be there.
#8 - Placecards
You probably knew you had to have a large budget for decorations, but this little pesky necessity may have slipped your notice. Even if you're doing some sort of glass seating chart, you still need to have these at each and every seat as a frame of reference for your guests. And you want it to look elegant, you don't want to DIY these, so.... may be more than you thought you'd need.
#9 - Insurance or a day-of-coordinator
Some venues have the AUDACITY to require this (if it's not necessary don't be suckered into it). But many places do add that to the cost, and that may be hidden deep in the contract. Be sure you clearly understand what is expected of you when it comes to these items.
#10 - Thank you cards
Just when you thought all the spending was over! You have to send thank you cards. Which also require postage.
What else did we miss, ladies? Share your thoughts with us in the comments!
Wedding budget getting out of hand? We understand, and Kadlee is here to help! Check out our website and shop our affordable bridal party products, or check out our other blog posts on reducing costs! Your big day doesn't have to put you in big debt.
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