It’s wedding season, lovebirds! Are you saying your vows in the coming weeks, or planning your wedding for this time next year? Really, it doesn’t matter when you’re getting married or when you are planning for your wedding to occur; you still have a wedding budget – big or small. You have to find a way to get what you want, what you need and make your big day as perfect as possible all while staying within the confines of your budget, and it’s not always easy. For one, there are always surprise expenses that pop up here and there without any warning.
We hate those. What we hate even more is when we get a bill for something we didn’t see coming that we should have seen coming; that’s even worse than a surprise expense that wasn’t in the plan before you began your wedding day budgeting. I haven’t planned a wedding in quite a while. In fact, my husband and I celebrate our 11th year of marriage next week, and that also happens to be the same day that he proposed me to 13 years ago. Wedding planning happened a long time ago for us, but I have not forgotten that there are so many expenses that are apparently very normal, but surprise so many couples when it’s time to write those checks and pay those vendors.
Since we think that weddings are beautiful and just so special, we don’t want to see other couples suffer the same budget pitfalls we suffered. I cannot stop any surprise budgetary issues from cropping up here and there throughout your wedding planning process, but I can stop you from forgetting some of the most common expenses you simply did not know about before you began planning your wedding. Get the budget out, friends; you’re about to pay more than you thought.
What’s amazing about getting married is that you can do it just about anywhere. From your church to the beach to the local park, you can get married almost anywhere. What is even more amazing is that most of these locations allow you to do this free of charge since they are public spaces. What is not amazing is that some of these places, such as state parks and landmarks, charge you a fee to secure a permit to wed in certain places. We can’t help you determine how much a permit might be in any given location, but we can tell you that sometimes they are very little and other times they can come in at well over $1,000. I realize that it’s just a piece of paper issuing you permission to wed in a public space, but some public spaces are expensive and you have to be sure you check on this so you can add it to your wedding budget in advance.
I know that you know that it is only right to tip your vendors. I know this. However, I also know that you don’t think of these things in advance. Since the customary percent is at least 15, you’re about to shell out hundreds of dollars in tips for your vendors, but you did not budget for them. Now is a good time to start that math and add those tips into your overall budget so that they don’t end up surprising you on the day of your wedding.
When you hire someone to take care of you and do a job at your wedding, they’re working long hours. Your DJ, your band, your wedding planner, your caterer, your photographer, your wait staff and anyone else in the house working 8-10 hour days to ensure you get what you want out of your wedding day deserves to eat at some point. Be sure to include enough additional meals in the overall cost of your wedding catering to include each and every one of them so that you can be sure they’re not hangry throughout the reception. You don’t want your DJ to go into hour 7 of not eating and feel just enough resentment to play the Chicken Dance despite you forbidding him to even allow that song near your wedding reception.
Unless you live in one of the states without any sales tax, you’re paying sales tax to your vendors. That might not be something you see upfront in the paperwork or when you are comparing prices online. Sure, the venue looks gorgeous and the prices look amazing when you go through them in the informational packet you downloaded or even picked up, but unless it outlines the tax you’re paying, you’re going to see a surprise fee that’s probably hundreds of dollars on top of what you are already paying. Go ahead and consider your local taxes when you decide on your vendors, and you’ll be far more accurate with the wedding budget.
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