Today’s weddings have gotten expensive – and if you’re the first in your family to get married, both you and your family may get sticker shock every time you price out another piece of the Big Day. (You want white napkins instead of beige? $5 per person. You want to use our ceremony chairs for your ceremony? That’s $10 per head extra for us to carry them to the lawn. Did you want to breath on your wedding day? Oh, that costs extra too…)
Some places where you thought you could save money may not work out in your favor, and some things you may forget to price out at all! So if you are planning your wedding financials, don’t forget to add these five important things to your budget!
1. Wedding Rings
This is the number one thing friends have said they forgot to budget for – the rings! You can’t really skip this important symbol of your marriage, so don’t forget to add it to build it into the cost of your wedding. And if the price tag comes as a surprise, try skipping the tradition of the wedding gift and make the rings your wedding gift to each other.
Speaking of gifts, you’ll need a lot of them for everyone that’s a part of the wedding. Bridesmaids, groomsmen, ring bearers, flower girls, and even your parents – you’ll want to thank them for their support, and depending on how many people you have in your wedding party this can add up.
You probably booked your venue and/or caterer based on the per head cost, which hopefully already fits into your budget. But depending on your contract, that may only include chicken and pasta, not include the filet mignon that you pictured serving your guests. Most couples will opt to upgrade at least some of the food and/or alcohol, or even other little things that the venue might up-sell you on: changing table linen colors, upgrading to chiavari chairs, etc. If you haven’t signed a contract yet, you can always try to negotiate these things upfront. But if you haven’t decided on those details until closer to the wedding day, you can always ask to see what your venue and/or caterer is willing to throw in!
Some brides are lucky enough to have a room block at a hotel that offers free shuttle services to the wedding venue – however, don’t assume that’s the case! Many hotels will offer a list of preferred vendors, but it’s the couple’s responsibility to pay for it. You certainly don’t want to leave your guests without transportation to and from the wedding, especially if there is going to be an open bar. And if you’re having a large wedding, getting multiple buses to shuttle everyone back and forth can get pricey, so call around to a few bus and limo companies, and plan ahead!
Some couples may not consider this part of the “wedding budget” per se, but you do need to make sure that after all of your wedding vendors are paid, you still have the money for your after-wedding escape! The timeline for your honeymoon costs will likely coincide with your wedding expenses, so it’s important to keep this in mind as you’re planning for the Big Day!