Setting and allocating a budget for your wedding is one the most important first steps in planning. It ensures you stay on track, helps you from overspending and gives you a baseline for reaching out to vendors. And while you all know to budget for the major expenses like catering, photography, venue, cake, your dress and the other vendor categories, there are a few expenses that most couples forget to include.
While they aren’t major expenses like your vendors, forgetting to allocate money to these six areas could bust your budget.
#1 – Wedding Party Gifts: From asking your friends to be in the wedding to favor bags during your bachelor and bachelorette weekends to gifts for being in the wedding, the amount you spend per person on wedding party gifts can easily add up to hundreds, sometimes even thousands, of dollars. Set a budget for wedding party proposals and gifts at the beginning so you know what you have to work with.
#2 – Gratuities: The number one budget mistake couples make is forgetting to account for gratuities in the budget. While not all vendors expect a tip at the end of the night, it is recommended for some. Download our gratuity guide and incorporate these amounts into the budget now.
#3 – Small Details: Little expenses like your guest book, cake topper, cake cutting set, and card bin can add up quickly. Since these items aren’t provided or purchased through a vendor they’re often left out of the overall budget. So you aren’t surprised later, you’ll want to allocate part of your budget to miscellaneous expenses just like these.
#4 – Marriage License: Your marriage license isn’t free and while the cost varies by state, it can set up back a couple hundred dollars.
#5 – Last Minute Supplies: I always encourage people to have a contingency budget, usually around $1,000 (depending on overall wedding budget) because there are always last minute expenses that pop up. Maybe the flameless candles you tested, magically don’t work today. Or, the winds outside are so strong your centerpieces are blowing over and you have to buy marbles to weigh down your vases. Maybe you thought the bartenders were providing ice and they aren’t. Regardless of how much you plan and how much you double check everything, something will always come up. Having funds set aside for that from the beginning will leave you feeling prepared when someone has to make a last minute run to the store.
#6 – Getting Ready Snacks: Most couples plan everything they need for getting ready – toiletries, makeup, undergarments, attire, accessories, a bag for the hotel that night, etc. But, most forget to think about food. Chances are, you and your wedding party will start getting mid morning and someone’s definitely bringing champagne. To keep from passing out during your ceremony or pictures, you’ll need to eat. But, providing lunch and snacks for all of your bridesmaids and groomsmen can add up. Whether you’re going to split the costs with your wedding party or pay for it all yourself, set the expectation and budget accordingly from the get go.