Wedding Budget 102

Wedding Budget 102: 11 More Little Things that can Break the Bank

No matter how carefully you plan, there will always be little things that come up and take an unexpected bite out of your wedding budget. We ug a little deeper and found a handful of items even we didn’t think of for our first blog Wedding Budget101. So add these 11 things to your budget list, and hopefully, you won’t have too many more unpleasant monetary surprises.

  • Beauty Trials

Just because it’s a trial run doesn’t mean it’s free. A wedding day hairstyle trial can cost up to 75% of your wedding day price which means you’re essentially doubling your beauty budget! Makeup tryouts cost money, too, so always ask in advance how much your pro charges per session before you make a commitment.

  • Tasting Fees

Did you know that, depending on the venue or caterer, you may have to pay up to $25 per person to sample menu items to choose for your reception? That can add up quickly so ask in advance then decide whether it’ll be just you and your fiancé or if you can afford to bring a couple more people.

Tip: This may be something your folks would be willing to pay for especially if they’re helping with the reception food.

  • Diets and Gym Time

If you have pre-wedding day weight loss goals, you’ll need healthy groceries and something for exercise—maybe a gym membership or yoga classes, or equipment to use at home.

It’s crazy but true that fresh veggies and quality protein cost more than pizza, and gym memberships usually aren’t cheap. But it’s also true that your body will learn to need less once you start feeding it the really good stuff and there are affordable gyms.

Tip #1: The fewer the amenities, the cheaper the gym, so for starters, choose one without a pool and also one with less floor space and fewer pieces of fancy equipment.

Tip #2: Find a place with a new member discount, or a couple of months free trial, or sign up with your fiancé for a family discount.

  • Non-Approved Vendors

Read the fine print very carefully, because if your venue has a list of pre-approved vendors they recommend, but you choose an outside vendor, there may be an upcharge. Some places will charge you up to 20% more—and that’s if they let you use an outside vendor at all. So read the contract very carefully then check out those pre-approved vendors before you insist on your own outside service.

  • Coat Check

Not all venues have coat checks although hotels usually do. Depending on the place and the size of your guest list, coat check fees can eat up to $300 of your budget so again, read all the fine print.

  • Valet Parking

Depending on the location and the number of guests, you may be looking at a valet parking fee of a couple hundred dollars up to $1,000 or more. Be sure to ask about this before you decide on your venue. Free parking may be worth a little less luxury in the reception hall itself.

  • Power Supply

If you’re getting married in a unique venue like an old building that’s not generally used for larger events, or if you need electricity for lights and music for a tent reception, you might need to rent or buy a generator.

If yours is a backyard wedding, you may need to borrow or invest in outdoor extension cables. Also, budget in a little extra for the higher electric bill you’ll generate due to the reception.

  • Chairs

Some venues have standard seats for every type of event. Some will let you upscale. If you’re renting your own chairs for a DIY wedding, for sure, you’ll have choices. It may sound trivial, but depending on the chair you choose, they can run anywhere from $3 to $10—each. (Ouch!)

  • Cake Cutting

Believe it or not, even if your cake is included in the package, you may be charged for cutting. There’s no way to get out of it if it’s a formal venue that has the right to charge whatever it wants. If you’re having a DIY wedding and can’t get a friend to cut your cake, you may be looking at $2 to $5 per guest for the caterer to do the job. But cake cutting fees will be in the fine print so just ask ahead of time to be sure.

  • Corking Fee

There are a few reasons why you may be charged a corking fee:

  • If your venue lets you bring in your own wine or champagne, they’ll probably charge you a fee to uncork each bottle.
  • At some venues, bartenders are told not to waste any liquor so they’ll charge a corking fee each time they open a fresh bottle.
  • Your DIY wedding caterer may charge a corking fee although you may be able to have a friend do it if the caterer allows.

Tip: Even for a classier venue, if they’ll let you, consider kegs. Also, just because it’s a keg doesn’t mean to have to serve cheap beer. Check out local breweries and see what they have to offer.

  • Set-up and Tear-down

Some venues build in the setup/tear down charge into the contract. Other vendors will charge you if the staff has to do the work. A casual DIY wedding will most likely have family and friends willing to help you out. But if you have to pay a la carte for this service, budget in somewhere between $250 and $500 depending on the size of your group.

For a few more little things that count for a lot when it comes to your wedding budget, check out our blog:


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