It’s that time of year again—women all over the country will be pulling on beautiful white gowns, walking down the aisle and saying “I do.” While getting married is a wonderful experience it can also be an expensive one. According to wedding professionals, these five areas can be last minute budget busters if you’re not careful.
Overlooked Tips and Taxes While budgeting for big items like the bridal gown, reception food and flowers is a given, experts say many brides leave out wiggle room for smaller fees like tips and taxes. These small fees can easily add up to hundreds of dollars in last minute bills if you’re not careful. The best thing to do is add cushion to your budget for unexpected or forgotten expenses.
Changes in the Final Hour
Still looking at wedding magazines just weeks before you walk down the aisle? That could be a bad idea because it may spark thoughts of changing wedding décor, hairstyles or other details. Booking wedding vendors less than a month before the big day means you’ll probably pay a premium. If you can, stick with your original plans. Just trust that you made the right call in the beginning and you’ll save yourself from added financial strain.
Here’s something to discuss with your caterer or reception venue—find out if alcohol costs are set or if they’re dependent on how much guests drink. You may want to ensure that a cap be set on the amount of alcohol served so you don’t get a last minute surprise when it turns out your guests can hold more liquor than you budgeted for.
The Day After the Wedding
You planned for the rehearsal dinner. You organized the reception. But what happens the day after the wedding? Many of your out-of-town guests could be expecting a free brunch or organized entertainment. Set expectations before they arrive by printing out a schedule or shooting them an email. That way you won’t be stuck with footing the bill for a meal you didn’t include in your budget.
While you may have paid for the plane ticket or hotel room in advance, many newlyweds fail to budget enough cash for activities, food and general spending during the honeymoon. Some couples count on using cash gifts they’ll receive at the wedding for honeymoon spending, but if guests don’t deliver you could end up racking up debt. Instead of relying on cash wedding gifts, set aside that money to help you when you get home from the honeymoon. You’ll likely need it then too.
By Alison Storm
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