9 wedding expenses you didn’t see coming.
Since August 12th 2006, I have been happily married to my best friend. I’ve also been a wedding DJ for more than half my life and have seen a lot of couples go through the wedding planning process. The funny thing is, even with all of that acquired knowledge from other couples, I still ended up not knowing everything I needed to know when it came time to plan my own wedding. There are a lot of things to think about when planning a wedding budget. There’s the obvious things like your venue, photographer, DJ, etc… But even with a lot of DIY weddings (like mine was), there’s still a lot that goes unnoticed until it happens.
1. Transportation to and from the wedding.
While most would say, “Just hire a limo and you’re good” that comes with a price. In many cases, couples may indulge in some adult beverages and cannot drive themselves home or to the hotel before the honeymoon. So having a reliable transportation resource is always a good idea. Even if you don’t pull out all of the stops and get a stretch party bus complete with full bar and club lighting, a ride in the back of a comfortable large SUV with room for your gifts and bags is always a nice thing to have at the end of your wedding.
While we’re on the topic of post wedding expenses, don’t forget to have a roof over your head. When you’re a couple who is headed to a honeymoon the day after the wedding, you won’t want to go very far to get to the airport or bus terminal. Be sure to research hotels in advance to make sure that they are convenient to travel from. In some cases, hotels may even offer a shuttle to and from the airport if they are close by.
3. The Rehearsal Dinner
You’ve taken great measures to ensure that everything about your wedding is as perfect as your soon to be spouse. After you’ve gone through the motions of rehearsing your ceremony a couple times to tie up any loose ends, you’re going to have a lot on your mind and probably won’t want to entertain a house full of wedding guests at your house so, consider a rehearsal dinner following your dress rehearsal. It doesn’t have to be anything crazy but, if you have the ability to hit up a restaurant that can comfortably accommodate your bridal party and family, it’s definitely worth it.
4. Thank you Cards
As of late, many couples are opting to make their own thank you cards. If you head to your local retailer and pick up cards, you will find yourself writing until your hands fall off trying to personalize every card that you send out. Of course you want to thank all of your guests for attending your wedding and for any generous gifts they may have given but, if you’ve got 150 couples coming to your wedding, that’s a whole lot of writing and a whole lot of time. Consider a mailing service like Vistaprint.com or sendoutcards.com for your thank you cards. You can customize a card that fits you and enter in a database of addresses and they will print, stamp, and mail them for you. It’s a small price to pay for the hours you could spend writing them all out yourself.
5. The emergency kit
Think emergency kits are just for expectant mothers? Think again. On your wedding day, you’re going to be living in the moment and may need a few things. Things like bottled water, gum, protein bars, first aid, makeup, shoe polish, feminine products, pens, cell phone chargers and any other thing you might need in a pinch is a good thing to have on hand. Head over to your local Target store and hit up the travel sized toiletries aisle.
Although gratuities are never expected, they are always appreciated. So if your wedding team exceeds your expectations and you’re feeling generous, set aside a few dollars as a thank you to your vendors. Tips don’t always have to be money. They can be Dunkin Donuts cards, Movie tickets, or anything you would want to thank your vendors with.
7. Your Marriage License
Yes, this is a big one. With all of the finite details that you’ve painstakingly planned, you want to actually be married at the end of the day. Check with your local state and town government to see if things like blood tests, and any ancillary fees there may be for obtaining a marriage license. Your officiant might be able to shed some light on this as they have to sign the marriage certificate.
8. Don’t forget the dancefloor
If you’re planning an outdoor or backyard wedding, you will want to shelter your guests. But you also need a place for your guests to dance. Outdoor weddings are subject to changing weather and dancing in a pile of mud is just no fun (unless you’re in to that type of thing) Be sure to ask your events rental company about dancefloors and what you will need to provide a clean, stable, and safe surface for dancing.
9. Your rent or mortgage
You’re probably thinking, “Of course I’m going to pay my rent/mortgage!” With all of the added expenses of a wedding, some times this gets overlooked. Especially if you’re going on a honeymoon. Before you leave for your honeymoon, be sure to go through your monthly living expenses and where possible, have your bank do an auto-deduction to make sure that you don’t get charged late fees while you’re away.