Wedding expenses and wedding budget. The words that sends shivers down most people’s spines. But creating a wedding expense budget is something that I truly believe will set your wedding up for success and avoid those costly mistakes a lot of couples make.
I know, I know … wedding expenses and budgets are not people’s favourite things to do. Hey, I get it. It’s annoying and quite frankly you’re creating a wedding budget when in most cases you have no idea how much things cost in the wedding industry. THAT IS HARD!
How are you supposed to budget for items you don’t know the amounts for as well as maybe have no idea that you need something to make your wedding day a success. Below I have listed to top 18 wedding expenses I have found in my experience that couples tend to either forget or just don’t know they need for their big day.
Probably one of the most important factors when setting your day up for success is a Day/Month of Coordinator. Yes, you may have a Venue Coordinator – however that is not the same thing. A mistake that a lot of couples make, that the Venue Coordinator doesn’t handle all details of their day. A Venue Coordinator only handles aspects that directly involve the venue. E.g., Catering (only if it’s inhouse), Table setup (most times doesn’t include styling or decorating).
Now what does a Day/Month of Coordinator do? A Coordinator is someone who can professionally execute all of your hard work you put into planning your big day. Creating run sheets, timelines, floorplans, contacting all vendors to make sure they know the details you require on the day, coordinating setup, cueing music and festivities, plus so much more. A Coordinator understands the logistics and timings of a wedding and will personally oversee all planned festivities to create a beautifully effortless and seamless day. No matter how good anyone’s planning is something will always happen that can’t be controlled. This also means handling any wet weather arrangements.
Being your first point in contact, this frees you from any stressful situations that you don’t need to be involved in on your big day. Everything will be taken care of so that you can concentrate on the important things, like getting married!
Another big element couples don’t know to add into their wedding expenses is providing a meal for their ALL DAY vendors. These are your Wedding Planners/ Coordinators, Photographers, Videographers, DJ’s, etc. Essentially vendors that have a very long shift on your day. In many cases vendors have this added in as part of their contract to be supplied a meal. But hey think of it this way, these people have gone above and beyond for you on your wedding day to make it absolutely perfect. They haven’t had lunch because they’ve been by your side. At most they have shoved a cracker or muesli bar into their face that’s been steaming away in their hot car. Look after your vendors because they most certainly have looked after you.
Not a big expense. It’s $50 bucks. But a lot of couples don’t realise that they are responsible after their wedding to purchase their wedding certificate online via the Government site. A fantastic celebrant will advise you of this. It’s their job to submit the legals after your day and in most cases, they will send you an email once this has been done and when and where you can purchase your marriage certificate. If in doubt, ask your celebrant. They can help.
When it comes to wedding attire unfortunately one size does not fit all. Annoying I know. Generally, these alterations take place roughly one month out from your big day. Sometimes it is a small amount, other times it’s significant depending on the circumstances. Ask your bridal store for their recommendations when trying on your gown or suit.
A trial is testing out an artist’s skills to see if they can nail your Pinterest inspiration and if it suits you and your bridesmaids. Keep in mind sometimes it doesn’t work out and there might be multiple trials to get a result you want. Also factor in if you are wanting trials for your bridesmaids, flower girls, mothers, etc. While it’s not necessary (especially for the kiddies) it’s something to think about when planning your wedding expenses.
These can be any number of appointments. Tanning, waxing, eyebrow sculpting, teeth whiten, haircuts, dying your hair, skin and beauty products, nail appointments. It all adds up. Have a think of all the things you want done, because hey, treat yo self and incorporate them into your wedding expenses.
You’ve ordered your invitations, but have you thought about name placement cards, wedding favour tags, menus, table numbers, welcome signs, seating chart, little signs for your candy bar or dessert table to let people know that it’s gluten free. There are so many options out there. And sure, of course you don’t need it all but if you do … put it in the wedding budget.
Another expense that people overlook. Delightful postage costs. For wedding invitations you’re generally looking at approximately $2.00 per invite.
This is one of those things that no one thinks about. This is more for our DIY venues, for example a rural property or out in a field. You need to think about how you are going to get power and lighting and sometimes heat to your reception. This might be in a form of a heavy-duty generator. Be mindful that generators are noisy, and this might put a dampener on the evening. Overloading the power source is another thing too. I’m my experience hot water urns are notorious for shorting out the power.
Again, for those DIY weddings in most cases these venues will either charge for rubbish removal or outline in their contract that you the couple must be responsible for removing rubbish off the premises. This also might mean you’ll have to purchase bin bags etc.
Deciding whether or not to give gifts to your bridal party is totally up to the couple. Depending on how many people you have in your bridal party this may get slightly expensive for some. Bridesmaids, Groomsmen, Parents, Grandparents, other significant others as well as gifts for each other to present on your wedding day.
Don’t forget to feed your crew! Brides and Bridesmaids are getting up early in the morning to get ready will need breakfast, snacks and lunch. The boys generally speaking have a little more free time but definitely need to be fed as well. Think of it this way, you and your bridal party don’t get to eat until 6pm. I always like to suggest to my couples that a grazing board or picnic basket is prepared for the bridal party when you go out for your photos after the ceremony.
This includes jewellery, hair pieces, hair extensions, shoes, bag / clutch, undergarments, this almost might include purchasing your bridesmaids’ accessories too if that’s what you are wanting to do.
People always remember to book accommodation for the night of the wedding but seem to forget they need accommodation to get ready in. Some couples like to do this at home or a family members premises. Just keep in mind it needs to be a place big enough for all people involved including your vendors and it needs to have good lighting for your Hair and Makeup artists and Photographers/Videographers.
In most cases celebrants have their own PA system to use at the ceremony that (usually) allows for music from a Bluetooth device to be played through the system. This will be a conversation you will need to have with your celebrant. If they don’t have one, yep you guested it, put it in your wedding expenses.
It’s so funny how many couples that I have worked with that forget to add themselves into the head count. The most important people on the day who are 100% going sometimes get forgotten. Make sure you are adding yourself and your partner into the guest numbers.
Oh, those delightful guests that just randomly show up. Unfortunately, this does happen. But in most cases, it could have been avoided. Their RSVP got lost in the mail, perhaps you made a mistake on your count, or just forgot to mark them down as a yes. Double checking with those who you either haven’t heard from or have ticked no is ideal when confirming your final guest numbers. Also mentioning that kids aren’t invited, or they don’t have a plus one to avoid confusion on the day.
There are just some things you can’t anticipate or expect. I like to allow for a 2% buffer on your wedding expenses budget for these random items you may have forgotten or unexpected additions that need to be purchased. Things happen, it’s better to be prepared.
Concept/Planner/Stylist: Olive Rose Weddings & Events
Venue: Summerland Camels
Photographer: Smile Darling Photography
Videographer: McLeish Film & Media
Cake: The Sweet Society Co
Celebrant: Married By Hannah Lea
Florist / Ceremony Décor: Emunah Events
Reception Decor: Berry Vintage Hire
H&MU: Blush’d Brides
Gown / Jewellery: Sajawat Couture
Stationery: Elefont Stationery
Models: Dress Your Inner Self Mannu Kala
Henna Artist: Sharmeen Thomas Official
Evie the Camel
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