One of the biggest parts of planning a wedding is the budget, but most Brides (and Grooms) jump straight to the most obvious expenses and don’t consider the extra fees and add-ons which then leaves them short if not handled correctly. So here are our top five hidden costs to watch.
1. Postage – Right from the very start you should think about how you’re delivering your save the dates and invitations. A first class stamp may only be 65p for a normal letter but if you have 70 guests this equates to just over £45 for save the dates, and the same again for invitations. If you have fancy invitation suites or ones with triple folds which exceed the size limits for a standard letter you may be paying 95p per invitation, another £66 which you didn’t allow for.
2. Alterations – Keep this in mind for both your dress and your bridesmaid dresses. If you know your girls are likely to need alterations it seems like common sense to choose a less expensive dress but you would be surprised at the amount of brides who don’t think about the varying shapes and sizes that us women come in when purchasing the dresses. The same will go for your own dress, so make sure you know the dress shop’s policies and costs before you say yes to the dress.
3. Unapproved Services – Some venues will charge money for using services such as DJs if they themselves already offer one. Make sure you know exactly what your venue offers, if they have an in-house or preferred baker for example, get a quote and balance this against a quote from an outside company, being sure to add in any extra costs the venue add on. This doesn’t happen so much in the UK as it does in the US, but I’ve heard that like with corkage, some vendors are known to charge for a cake being brought in, and then a further charge for having to cut it and using their plates to display it, so just be sure to ask.
4. Permits and Fines – Some venues may expect extra to be paid if you want candles due to health and safety, and countryside places such as barns may not want you to use artificial flowers for confetti as they’re more difficult to clean up and not too good for the environment, so make sure you check this. If you have considered having an outdoor wedding to save costs, make sure you have researched any permits you need. You then have to factor in rentals for items such as tents, marquees, heaters and generators so it’s worth calculating all of this before you make your final decision.
5. Parking – PLEASE discuss this with your venue and if it’s not the same place, the hotel. It may be cheaper to arrange a shuttle for people from one place to another rather than paying for two lots of car parking charges. You may also assume that parking is included for you and your bridesmaids but this is not always the case.
The points I’ve raised will depend on where you’re getting married and the type of venue you are going for. A lot of venues are more than happy to give you all this information up front so as to save them time answering questions further down the line, and wedding advisors will want your day to run as smooth as possible without any unnecessary stress, but it’s always worth keeping these things in mind if you’re not quite sure.