Thursday, July 9, 2009

Four Wedding Expenses You Might Not be Expecting

I know you ... you are a budget-wise bride. Right? You have set your budget, you’ve done your homework. And you know what to expect when it comes to your expenses.

Or do you?

Here are four of the most common expenses many couples overlook when setting their wedding budgets.

1. Postage
Currently running over 40 cents a head, postage stamps are one of the first things many couples forget to include when setting their budget. To manage your costs, it is important to ask your stationary supplier for a weight estimate before committing to an invitation and specifically ask how many stamps you will need. You could also consider creating your own wedding invitations online, trimming your guest list or forgoing pre-stamped RSVP cards (and consider online RSVPs instead).

2. Corking / Cake-Cutting Fees
I think both the corking and cake-cutting fees-a $2.00-$5.00 per guest fee added to your bill by overzealous caterers and directors in an attempt to suck every last penny from your purse-is well, crap.

It is!

Where else in the world will you drop thousands of dollars on food and wine and then be charged extra for them to slice it up? Many caterers claim the fee is charged on drinks or cakes purchased from an outside vendor, but I’ve seen more than my share of caterers who try to sneak in this fee on wine or cakes you bought from them.

Talk to your caterers BEFORE you sign a contract and negotiate any corking and cake-cutting fees out of your contract. If they really want your business-and believe me, they do-they’ll be happy to give you a break on these fees.

3. Alterations
Although oftentimes you can limit your dress alteration needs by purchasing the appropriate dress length, choosing your shoes wisely or selecting a corset-back dress (that can accommodate a three dress-size difference), you still might find you need a nip here or a tuck there to make that dress fit like a glove. If so, these costs can add up-especially if you secure a seamstress through your bridal boutique.

Additionally, most bridal gowns don’t come with a bussell, so unless you want to spend the night dragging your dress off of the floor-you don’t, by the way-then, you will have to cough up the cash for this alteration, as well. Ask other brides in your area for recommendations and take your business outside of the boutique. I saved close to $300 this way.

4. Vendor OT
Nowhere else is it as important to 1) create a wedding day schedule and 2) read the fine print, as it is with your vendors-especially your photographer, videographer, transportation and band/DJ. Why? Because time is money, my friend.

When you book your vendors, you are purchasing their time and experience for a set number of hours. If you go over, you will pay the price. Oftentimes starting at $250 per hour for photographers and videographers, $150 per hour for transportation and $100 per hour for band/DJ, even running over half an hour could bust your budget.

Think I’ve covered it all? Well, I haven’t. Be sure to come back next week for four more big expenses many couples forget to budget.

Photos courtesy of Mirnanda and spudballoo

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