My family has had a lot of weddings in the last year, my brother, my dad and my mom all got married (not to each other though). And being the sister and daughter to three weddings means I got a first hand look at all the things that you don’t exactly think to put in your wedding budget but still have to pay for. Its the little things that I think that end up blowing the budget, it certainly did for us.
The thing about wedding budgets is they get inflated with out a whole lot of effort. Wedding’s in St Louis rival the national average cost according to my friends at Kuhs farm right at $30,000. So its not too shocking that weddings often go over budget, that average is about $2000 more than last year.
There are countless items that need to be purchased for a wedding that simply gets left out of the budget. When you sit down to complete a budget for your wedding, don’t forget to factor in the items listed below!
HIDDEN WEDDING EXPENSES
- Postage for wedding invites – The truth is that you are gonna mail a lit of things, save the dates, invites, thank you’s from the wedding, any showers, engagement parties
- Outfits for an engagement party, engagement photos, rehearsal dinner, bachelorette/bachelor parties, honeymoon (yes these all count towards your budget) not to mention any lingerie or undergarments you might need for the big day. A lot of folks under estimate the cost of dress alterations as well. Not to mention the cost of a veil. (the team over at Mia Grace does a wonderful job of making the whole dress process simple)
- Hair and makeup trials – most make up artists charge if not the same rate, about 75% of your wedding day rate. And you should expect your hair stylist to charge you as well.
- Tips for your vendors -While some of your vendors include a tip 9like catering etc) Its very generous if you decide to tip your team, its never required but always appreciated.
- Meals for your vendors (most of your all day vendors have clauses in their contracts that require you order them guest meals, not a day old deli sandwich that some caterers like to “serve” as vendor meals. Super pro tip, feeding our vendor what you eat is a great way to foster confidence after they pour their heart into working the whole day with you) And don’t forget to include yourself in the head count, I know that seems like a no brainer but you’d be surprised.
- Overtime for vendors (if your day runs over you want to be able to choose to keep your team until the natural end of your day. And overtime is per hour so keep that in mind.)
- Marriage License fees
- Insurance – After the wonder that was 2020, I cannot stress enough how important it is to get wedding insurance. You don’t need a big paragraph for this one do you?
- Delivery, set up, tear down of rentals, décor, flowers. This is very important if you have serious flower installations or gorgeous breathtaking décor. What goes up must come down.
- Hotel rooms for the nights before rehearsal dinner through the night of your wedding. You should be settled before all the wedding festivities start.
- Boutonniere and corsages for the grandparents
- Flowers for the ceremony space
- A tent floor
- weather related needs – if your wedding is outdoors, then umbrellas, rainboots, fans and or blankets depending on the time of year you choose
- some hotels charge a fee to deliver welcome bags, who knew?
- Audio for your ceremony location
- Lighting or generators at the receptions
- Day of Coordinator when you realize you need the extra help!
- Breakfast and Lunch for your bridal party – you guys gotta eat. And a light brunch (I took my moms bridal party Songbird Stl for breakfast on the morning of her wedding. It was lovely.)
- Manicure and pedicure you’ve got to have a lovely nail set for the bling right?
- Gifts for the Parents
- Gifts for your bridal party
- Beauty treatments, if your mom is like my mom then you have to go to the spa, she sent me for my wedding, and went for hers as well.
- honeymoon expenses like – renewing your passport
- Unexpected (or even uninvited!) guests (we had a wedding that had 40 extra people show up, it was so important to note that the dad was prepared.)
These smaller expenses can add up pretty quickly. We just want you to be prepared as much as possible! If you already included all of the above items in your budget you are smarter than me. I offer my sincerest congratulations, you are amazing!
I would tell you to make a 10% overage for the unexpected budget section, and an %10 emergency fund. That way when you encounter a unexpected surprise that you weren’t planning for, you won’t have to worry about a how to make that end meet, and you wont be scrambling to make things work.