Wedding & Family

7 Hidden Costs When Planning a Wedding

Budget-savvy brides already know that there are plenty of little details than can increase the cost of a wedding. Even the most attentive couples sometimes find themselves dealing with expenses they weren't anticipating. Here are seven items many people forget to include in their budget plans:

1. Big Day Stationery
You've already figured out your wedding invitations and save-the-date cards, but what about the pieces of stationery you'll need for the wedding itself? Many couples don't think about items like place cards and programs until the date gets closer. Consider these costs ahead of time to make sure you've saved enough to handle the expenses.

2. Taxes
It's all too easy to overlook taxes when you're coming up with a budget plan for your wedding. After all, this additional fee isn't applied to the cost of most items until the very end and is often not included in original quotes or estimates. When you're talking to vendors, ask if they can calculate what the total will be after tax. If they can't, this is usually a calculation you can do on your own – find out what the tax rate is for the area, and add that cost onto your budget.

3. Tips
Although most people know they should be tipping their vendors, this cost still slips many people's minds. This is partly due to the fact that tipping is actually kind of complicated – it can be hard to know who you should and shouldn't tip, and how much you should be tipping, exactly. According to The Knot's tipping cheat sheet, the standard tip can be percentages or specific amounts, depending on which vendors you're tipping.

4. Sound System
Pay close attention to your agreement with your DJ or band to see if the contract includes the cost of a sound system. If not, you're going to need to pay extra to make sure your music can actually be heard during your reception. If you're having an outdoor wedding, you will also need to have a sound system at the ceremony itself. Unless you're having a very small wedding, guests aren't going to be able to hear your vows from far away when you're in the open air.

5. Overtime
Your wedding reception will probably be a fun night that you never want to end – which means that there's a good chance you'll run over your expected time limit. Vendors like bartenders and photographers, along with the venue itself, usually charge hourly for any time over the contracted period. This hourly rate is usually pretty steep, and can leave you with a much larger bill than anticipated. Either plan for these costs ahead of time, or be willing to pay close attention to the clock during your event.

6. Postage
Engaged couples spend a lot of time sending and receiving mail. When you're planning your stationery costs, be sure to figure out what postage will cost as well. Many wedding invitations end up costing additional postage, due to either weight or shape. To figure out postage cost, take one fully stuffed envelope to the post office and have a postal worker estimate postage. This way you'll have official confirmation of exactly how much to budget for.

7. Furniture
If your venue doesn't include tables and chairs in the cost of the rental, you'll need to either pay an additional fee, or rent seating through another source. You may also want to do this if the provided tables and seats don't match the look of your event. When you're talking to the rental company, make sure the cost of delivery is included. The odds are good you don't have the means to transport 200 chairs, so plan on adding that expense to your budget.

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