Weddings are expensive, and most people are well aware of the costs related to planning a modern wedding ceremony and reception. But until you're the one who is actually getting married, you aren't fully aware of all the teeny-tiny, as well as the substantial, expenses involved in the year, months, weeks, and days leading up to your big day. To make sure you're in the know as you plan we will let you know what to watch for when it comes to the unforeseen, and sometimes pricey, wedding expenses that most couples don't plan for.
Proposing to Your Wedding Party
These days, it's fairly common for the bride or groom to come up with an endearing yet creative way to ask their family and friends to be a part of their wedding party. Unsuspecting friends receive a special package in the mail, and upon opening the box, find personalized gifts and confetti to 'pop' the question to be by their side on the big day. As you can imagine, purchasing the items and décor, as well as the cost of sending them in the mail, can range anywhere from $100 to $1,000 or more.
Hair and Makeup Trials
Most brides hire a professional for their wedding day hair and makeup, but forget to consider adding in the expenses of hair and makeup trials. Bridal party hair and makeup for the wedding day usually runs $60 to $75 for bridesmaids and $125 to $150 for the bride. While the bride is often the only one who does a trial, she may opt to book multiple appointments to try several different styles to be sure she is looking her best on the big day.
Food for the Bridal Party
Most brides never think about eating something on their wedding day other than the menu for the reception we painstakingly planned for them. It usually occurs to them at the last minute, and the bride, her mom, or maid of honor are trying to decide what food should be made available for both breakfast and lunch. A full meals is not necessary, but you will want your bridal party to get some protein and stay hydrated prior to the photos and wedding ceremony. No one wants bridesmaids fainting at the altar.
Any hired vendor who will be staying the duration of your wedding such as the photographer, videographer, DJ, band, wedding planner, and potentially your florist will require a meal. After including your photographers, videographers, band, sound tech, planners, etc., this could be 15 extra meals and even thousands of dollars you weren't expecting to spend. Even so, this is a cost you should never try to skip. Many caterers offer a scaled down version of what you are serving your guests at a lower cost. Trust us though, keep your team happy and your wedding will run smoothly.
Even though most brides include ordering invitations and purchasing double postage as part of their wedding budget, many forget about the day-of stationery items. "You will likely be ordering menu cards, ceremony programs, and escort cards for all the guest. Cute touches like specialty cocktail signs, welcome signs, and directional signage are usually added last minute as well, so make sure that your stationery budget includes all of these small items as well. This includes table numbers, which can range anywhere from $50 to $500 depending on how fancy you decide to go. And, if you have 20 tables, that's X amount times 20.
Since many wedding guests travel from afar to attend weddings, most brides and grooms arrange for friends and family to stay at a hotel near the reception. A special way to make them feel welcome upon arrival is preparing welcome bags to greet your guests as they check-in at the hotel. These bags should have the basics...bottled water, a wedding itinerary, granola bars, chocolates, and a pack of tissues, but more elaborate bags often consist of local baked goods, luxury chocolates, mineral water, a bottle of wine, or other expensive gifts. This means couples can expect to spend anywhere from $5 to $50 per bag, depending on what they choose to include.
While gratuities are optional, it's customary to tip hair and makeup artists, shuttle or limo drivers, DJs, bartenders, wedding planners, photographers, catering servers and ceremony musicians. This should all be budgeted ahead of time so your last minute trip to the ATM isn't so painful. If a gratuity isn't possible, we always recommend that couples write 'thank-you' cards to their vendors and then leave them a positive review online.