Okay so now that were getting super close to our wedding day (53 days to be exact!) and I feel like I have enough experience in the planning department, I thought it’d be a good time to add a wedding section to the blog! Although I’m by no means an expert wedding planner and I’ve kind of just been learning things as I go, Dustin and I are doing this whole thing on our own (with the help of our wonderful families of course, but sans planner, I mean), so I’d like to share some of our experiences with y’all in hopes that all you couples getting ready to plan your own big days can catch a little inspo or at least learn from our mistakes. That being said, today’s topic is 10 unexpected wedding expenses that nobody really talks about (but you definitely need to make room for in your budget).
In our case, we’re fortunate enough to be gifted a lot of the money from our families for the wedding but our goal is to save at least a quarter of it for life after the wedding. Because of this, we’ve set a strict budget for ourselves and have been trying to save as much money as possible through this whole process. When we first set our budget, we took into account all of the obvious expenses such as venue, food, cake, flowers, alcohol, DJ, photographer, etc., etc., but as we dove deeper and deeper into the details, we started to realize that we had still left SO much unaccounted for—It’s funny how little you actually notice as a guest at a wedding but when you actually start to plan your own wedding, it’s the little, unnoticed things that add up the most. While these little expenses aren’t the end of the world and we haven’t had too much trouble making room for them in our budget, they still kind of took us by surprise, as they aren’t exactly obvious for two amateurs with zero wedding planning experience. With about a month and a half left of our wedding planning journey, I’m sure more unexpected expenses will pop up, but below are the ones we’ve encountered thus far:
- Dresses/Outfits for Pre-Wedding Events. Call me naïve, but this is one I honestly never really thought of. My initial thought process was, “okay, my wedding dress will be a total splurge, but hey, that’s all I’ll really need to buy other than shoes, right?” Wrong. There’s the bridal shower, the bachelorette party, and the rehearsal dinner, all of which you need something relatively nice (and probably white) to wear.
- Wedding Stationary. This one may seem obvious, but I’m not just talking about the invitations and save the dates. It’s likely that you’ll also need programs for the day of, place cards for seat assignments, table numbers, and possibly more depending on your plans (we’re doing the bare minimum tbh).
- Hair & Makeup (for you and your girls). Ladies, this one kind of shocked me and I’m not really sure why. Hair and makeup just for myself is going to be almost $200 and then almost $150 (each) for my girls. I initially wanted to foot the whole bill so that my bridesmaids wouldn’t have to worry about it but now I know why most brides aren’t able to!
- Miscellaneous Décor. Whenever I go to a wedding, I always notice the pretty centerpieces so those have always been an obvious wedding expense to me. What I don’t usually notice is everything else: candles, candleholders, vases, signs, accent furniture, decorative flower arrangements, etc. Turns out, all of this stuff matters in terms of filling the space and contributing to the ambience just as much as the centerpieces do, and add up VERY quickly—Go figure!
- Gratuities. Yes, you have to pay your vendors for their services but guess what? You have to tip them too.
- Extra Alterations. I’m going to preface this one by saying I absolutely love my dress and am in awe of how perfect it is however, it wasn’t cheap. $2100 to be exact. Well, let me rephrase that: $2100 was in fact, the “exact” price of the dress, but that doesn’t include the couple hundred dollars in alterations its going to take to actually get it to fit properly.
- Hotel Rooms. This is an obvious one for your guests, but not really for the bride and groom. We knew we needed to block rooms at a nearby hotel for all of our out of town guests, but what we didn’t really think about is the fact that we too needed somewhere to sleep.
- Delivery Fee’s. Budgeting for things like the flowers and the cake are pretty much a given because these are obvious expenses, the cost of actually making sure they arrive at the venue however, is not.
- Gifts for the Wedding Party. Okay, okay, this one isn’t really a mandatory expense but what kind of bride would you be if you didn’t give your girls a little somethin’, somthin’ for putting up with your ass this whole time?
- The Marriage License. Yes, this is absolutely required, and no, it isn’t free. Who would’ve thought?
Side Note: My outfit in these pictures has little to no relevance to wedding planning but nonetheless, its adorbs so I’ve linked the deets below. Thanks for tuning into my very first wedding related post and stay tuned for more to come!
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