Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Four More Unexpected Expenses Couples Forget

Last week I gave you the run down on four of the biggest expenses many couples forget to include when budgeting for their Big Day. But that list wasn’t all-inclusive.

In fact, I missed some biggies.

Here are four more unexpected expenses couples could easily overlook when planning their wedding budgets.

1. Welcome Baskets
In addition to the money you will need to create welcome baskets for your out-of-town guests-anywhere from $10 per basket minimum and up-the hotel could tack on a holding and/or a delivery fee-sometimes as much as $7.00 per basket.

If you are holding your wedding at the hotel, they should waive this fee-but only if you negotiate it when you book them. If the hotel is used for your room block only, then discuss basket delivery and holding options. Depending on the competition for your room block, they might lower and/or eliminate this price altogether.

2. Rentals
Many couples assume having a wedding at a self-catering banquet or church hall is the least expensive option-however, they could be wrong. Most self-catering halls don’t include the cost of flatware, dishes, serving platters, cups, glasses, napkins, etc, etc, etc … hotels or special event rooms do.

Depending on your guest list and menu, these small items could add thousands-yes, thousands!-to your bottom line. Additionally, many rental companies charge an extra fee-usually between $50.00-$250.00-for delivery!

Be sure you do your math before you commit to a location or caterer and ensure all of your rentals are included in the price. I was able to host my reception at one of the best hotels in my city at a fraction of what other brides paid for a church hall. The difference? The rental fee!

3. Tax
Although you know you will have to cough up the dough for the additional taxes, it isn’t something many couples consider when they ask a vendor for a quote. Additionally, big ticket items have big ticket taxes, a fact many couples forget to include in their budgets.

To be safe, always-always!-ask your vendor for a bottom-line quote and ensure they include tax. If they don’t, figure the tax amount yourself and add it to your database of quotes.

4. Grats
Like tax, gratuities are another area many couples forget to budget for-a lump sum that can sometimes put a couple over budget.

The biggest chunk of your gratuity budget will go towards your servers and/or caterers. To make sure you and your caterers are on the same page, ask them specifically what their “service charge” covers. Many caterers pass on the cost of paying their servers an hourly rate, but don’t automatically include gratuities. Other caterers do.

I was happily surprised when my banquet manager told me the “service charge” I’d already paid went directly to the servers as their gratuity for working my event.

To help alleviate the possibility of busting a budget, I always include an additional 10-15% “Miscellaneous” category when helping brides budget. This helps account for other “unexpected” surprises or new ideas we get along the way.

What other expenses do you think many couples forget to include in their budget? Did you overlook anything? If so, what?

2 comments:

Banquet Manager said...

Good info. Heck, I sould know.
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Cherrye Moore said...

Thanks for your comment, Banquet Manager. I'm sure you have a wealth of valuable information for brides on your site! :-)