5 Hidden Wedding Expenses That Can Break Your Budget
November 25th, 2013
It's no secret that weddings are all about expenses. In order to keep costs under control, you have to sit down and make a budget before you start reserving banquet halls or ordering flowers.
However, even the most budget-savvy bride and groom can get stuck with some unexpected costs. Here are five hidden wedding expenses that can break your budget.
#1 - Equipment for the Wedding Band
When you hire a wedding band, you are paying for their time and basic equipment. In some cases, the band may need to rent extra equipment, like microphones and speakers, particularly if the reception hall is quite large.
In this case, you would likely be charged extra for that rented equipment. The fees could range anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars.
To avoid this expense, carefully read the band's contract before you sign.
Clarify the size of the reception hall and whether additional equipment will be needed. Just make sure that all of these details are ironed out before you commit to hiring the band.
#2 - Postage Stamps
It may sound silly, but the cost of mailing your wedding invitations can really add up. When you are choosing your invitations, the postage cost is not included in the price of the stationery.
By the time you stuff an invitation, response card, layers of envelopes, directions, and hotel information into that outer envelope, you could be paying as much as $2 to mail each invitation.
That can come up to hundreds of dollars of additional costs. When you are choosing your invitations, keep this in mind. A simpler design will save you money both on the invitation itself and the postage.
#3 - Alterations
The price of a wedding gown can skyrocket when you add in alterations and steaming. These services typically are not included with the cost of the gown.
A basic alteration, like hemming, may be less than $100, but trickier alterations can be much more. There can even be an extra charge to steam the gown so that it is free of wrinkles for the wedding day.
Ask about these charges before you buy the gown so that you know what expenses you are adding.
#4 - Vendor Overtime Charges
When you book a vendor, like a photographer or DJ, you are paying for a certain block of time, not the entire day. If the day runs longer than expected (which is often the case), you can end up paying as much as $250 per hour in overtime fees.
Try to prepare a realistic timeline, including time for getting dressed and traveling, so that you can give your vendors an accurate start time. Clarify with your vendors what the overtime costs will be, should you run late, and get those details in writing.
#5 - Cake and Cork Fees
If the reception venue is providing the cake and wine, there shouldn't be any additional charges for serving those items. However, if you bring in a cake from an outside bakery or wine from an outside vendor, you will likely be charged extra fees.
Cake cutting fees typically run between $2 and $5 per guest, while corkage fees are often between $1.50 and $3 per bottle. This can really add up, so check with your venue ahead of time.
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