4 Most Surprising Wedding Money Drains
BY CATEY HILL
You’ve made your budget and now know exactly what you can spend and what each element of your wedding will cost…or so you think. But unfortunately, weddings often come with a variety of costs that might surprise brides (and the only surprise you should have to think about is how he’ll look at you when he sees you walking down the aisle!). Here are four hidden wedding costs that brides should watch out for and add into their wedding budget.
1. Gratuities and taxes
When brides get the contract from vendors, they sometimes forget that they’ll usually have to pay sales tax and gratuity on top of the quoted amount. And this can add up – a lot. Sales taxes in some areas can hit 9% or more, so a bride with a $5,000 bill might have to pay an extra $450 just in sales tax. Add gratuity/tip to that – which is typically between 5 and 20% – and you could be looking at another $1,000 in charges. That means what seemed like a $5,000 bill could balloon up to $6,450 – whew!
Often, everything from tables and chairs to glassware and tablecloths to flowers and decorations will need to be delivered to your venue. In many cases, the vendor will charge you a delivery fee for these. Other fees to look out for are bar setup or corkage fees (many venues that let you bring in your own alcohol charge this), overtime charges (for example, if you hired the band for three hours and the reception runs over, the band may charge you an overtime fee) and a cake-cutting fee. To avoid the element of surprise, ask the vendor to clearly lay out all additional fees that you might face.
3. Invitation extras
While the invitations themselves are often relatively inexpensive – especially if you buy one of David’s Bridal’s beautiful invites – there are a couple of ways that brides can end up spending far more than what they bargained for on these. The first mistake many brides make is ordering the exact number of invitations they think they’ll need. But what happens if you make a mistake or need to send out more invitations later? You’ll then have to order more and that can get pricey since the per-invitation price is significantly more when you buy only a few vs. a larger batch. Plus, you have to think about postage: Many times, heavier and odd-sized invitations cost far more than 44 cents to send.
4. Presents for the wedding party
With so much planning for the actual event, gifts for the wedding party are often the last things that brides and grooms purchase. But these gifts can be surprisingly pricey. Let’s say you have to get 12 gifts and each costs $25. That’ll add up to $300, plus tax and shipping.