When you plan your wedding budget there are dozens of factors that can increase your costs and before you know it, your $30,000 budget is now $10,000 over. Not planning for extras and add-ons can put you into a deficit quicker than you think.
1) Remember to take your time into consideration. For instance, if you will have to take time off from work to handle fittings, tastings or sign contracts and will not get paid for the time off; you have just ‘spent’ money by not earning it.
2) When looking online at pricing, the numbers can be deceiving. $35 per person sounds like a great price for a reception until you realize that doesn’t include an entree, a napkin or a fork. Make sure the price is for a complete meal.
3) One of the biggest costs is for alcohol, so some couples try to sidestep this and be thrifty by providing their own alcohol and bartender (an option at some reception venues). This will save you very little money. Between corkage fees and the retail costs of alcohol, you would be wiser to offer an open bar and not use top shelf liquor… or limit it to just wine and beer.
4) When buying your wedding gown, ask about the cost of alterations up front. Just as the salon will make you sign a contract agreeing to purchase the gown, pay the 1/2 deposit and the balance when the gown arrives – you should require the salon to give you an alterations quote in writing. A good place for this is on your receipt. Expert alterations can cost hundreds of dollars.
5) The cake is another quagmire. Having a wedding cake large enough to slice off a piece for 200 guests is costly and can be difficult to maneuver. Consider having a smaller (more manageable) wedding cake for the cake cutting and having your baker make sheet cakes of the same exact cake and frosting to serve to guests.
6) Speaking of cake, check this out: Cake cutting fees can be as much as $3.50 per slice. This is just the fee that the reception site charges to cut your cake, put it on a plate and serve it. Add this onto the cost of the cake and you could increase the cake budget by 50% or more. Consider the options of mini cakes or cupcakes to serve to guests. Cupcake bakeries are super chic right now so why not get in on the fun?
7) Service professionals often rely on tips. If it is not added into your total automatically, make sure you allow for this at the end of the event.
Overall it is estimated that individual wedding costs increase by 25% from the original quote. In order to avoid this happeneing to you… don’t forget to factor tax, tips, add-ons and fees into your budget and make sure you get everything in writing!
-Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago