When you’re budgeting for a wedding, it’s easy to remember to include big things such as the dress, venue, catering and flowers. However, there are a few costs that often sneak up on couples and can easily blow a budget (eek!) if not planned for properly. Take a look at these five often overlooked wedding expenses to avoid any surprises!
1. Postage: An inevitable expense, the cost of postage is important to keep in the back of your mind as you shop for those beautiful invitations that can include multiple cards, carrier envelopes and even presentation boxes. Avoid sticker shock by compiling one complete invitation, including any enclosures, and taking it down to your local post office to have it weighed before making your final invitation purchase. (You might start rethinking those adorable presentation boxes after you calculate your total cost!) You should also ask the post office about any upcoming postage increases as you may need to buy the Forever Stamp, which is good no matter how many increases are made through the U.S. Postal Service.
2. Tips: You will quickly learn on the big day that there are a number of service providers that will be expecting a tip from you. Before you sign any vendor contracts, make sure they specify whether or not gratuity is included. For example, many catering companies include tips to be divided among the workers, but be prepared to pay 15 to 20 percent (just like eating at a nice restaurant!) of the catering bill if it’s not included. And don’t forget to bring a little extra cash for your limo driver and DJ!
3. Delivery and Setup: This may seem like a no brainer, but many couples don’t realize how quickly floral, linen and any other rental services’ delivery and setup fees can add up. Discuss these costs with each rental company before signing any contracts. You can also try to save a buck or two by asking friends and family members to lend a hand. Perhaps your aunt has a few extra minutes to go pick up the linens or, if you have a planner, they will most likely be happy to arrange your flowers!
4. Cake Cutting and Corkage Fees: If you’re bringing in a cake from an outside baker, expect to pay anywhere from $1 to $3 per slice. Want to cut the cost? Consider serving cupcakes or cake pops! They’re easier to transport from the bakery, available in a wide variety of flavors and are super cute!
Thinking about bringing your own alcohol? Be prepared to pay a corkage fee of $10 to $25 bottle. Alcohol is lucrative for venues, and this is their way of deterring you from bringing it in from outside.
5. Favors: Spending $3 per wedding favor for your 150 guests won’t seem like a big deal until you tally up the cost and realize that you’re spending almost $500! Be sure to consider all of your options when it comes to saying “thank you” to your guests. DIY favors or place cards that double as favors can really save on cost in this department.
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