When you think of spending money on your wedding, you probably have already considered the main things: venue, dress, catering, photography…
Here are seven wedding costs that you might not have thought about, especially in the early stages of planning. Each item on this list can be looked at as an opportunity to plan ahead!
1. The beautification process.
This is a vast topic! For some brides, the “getting ready” process starts long before the day of the wedding, with personal training or an increased workout routine, skin and nail treatments and teeth whitening. These are all items to consider in your budget!
For day-of beautification, you’ll want to plan ahead. For starters, are your bridesmaids going to be getting their hair and makeup done? Are you paying for it or for a portion of it? If your bridesmaids are paying for it themselves, you may want to include the cost of tip when you tell them how much it will be. Always try to be courteous and think of your bridal party’s budget, too!
The cost of bridal hair and makeup can really vary from about $150 to $250, depending on the stylist and makeup artist. Those looking to cut costs here have many DIY options. YouTube has countless makeup and hair styling tutorials that you can practice ahead of time. Just make sure you do practice and that you’re not stressed about doing it yourself on your big day! Sometimes the cost of a professional service is worth the stress-relief alone.
2. Cake cutting fees.
Your caterer may charge you a cake cutting fee and include pricing for extra plates and dessert forks if you are serving your wedding cake. Be sure to ask about it so it doesn’t sneak up on you. You can save money by providing cupcakes to your guests instead.
3. Accommodations the night of your wedding.
Those who don’t set off for their honeymoon right after the reception should remember to include the cost of a hotel or bed and breakfast in their budget. If you want to save money, check out websites like Air BnB that can have hidden gems nicer than most hotel rooms for cheaper! (Just make sure you check the box for “Entire Home/Apartment.”)
4. Bridal party gifts.
Gifts for your bridal party can cost a pretty penny, especially if you plan on having lots of bridesmaids and groomsmen. These days many couples put together packages or small gifts to ask friends and family to be in the wedding. These range from simple but sweet cards and photos, to full-on gift boxes. Plan ahead so you can anticipate this expense and don’t forget to include postage!
Additionally, couples often give their bridal party small gifts at the rehearsal dinner or the morning of the wedding to say thank you. For brides, these gifts can be jewelry each person wears in the wedding, a picture frame for a photo taken on the big day, heartfelt photo collages and notes, or whatever you think would be special. Popular groomsmen gifts include ties to wear to the wedding, cigars, beverages to toast with before heading to the ceremony or personalized koozies.
Transportation to and from your wedding shouldn’t go overlooked in budget planning. If you and your fiancé want a car service to and from the ceremony, you should start looking at options about 4 months out. This goes for shuttles for guests, too. Make sure you have a service locked in at least a month out and don’t forget to include gratuity in your total. If you’re looking to save money, see if local relatives or friends wouldn't mind carpooling with others.
6. Open bar.
The cost of alcohol for an open bar can add up very quickly, especially if you are offering a vast array of alcohol types. Our recommendation? Provide open bar for beer and wine and perhaps two “signature cocktails” if you want hard liquor. Some couples choose to do a half hosted half cash bar. If you’re going to host beer and wine but have a cash bar for other drinks that is totally acceptable, just make sure everyone knows about it!
7. Taxes and gratuity.
Tipping all your vendors can add up to quite an expense! Plan ahead and pay close attention to your invoices to see if gratuity is included or not. Vendors that you typically pay gratuity to include: caterer, bakery, florist, photographer, wedding coordinator, bartender(s), DJ and photo booth attendants or other entertainment.