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Preparing For Surprise Costs When Planning Your Wedding

A bride and groom stand under a floral arch at their destination wedding, overlooking a sunset at a seaside, in an intimate pose with the groom kissing the bride’s head.


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Your wedding comes around once in a lifetime, and naturally, you want the day to be absolutely perfect. 

Every bride wants the most gorgeous dress, a picturesque location, and mouthwatering delicacies that will have your guests talking about it for days. 

However, the reality is that there is a budget to follow, and this can end up souring your fun a bit. That being said, budgets are extremely important tools that can help you curb any unnecessary spending. 

The truth is when you are budgeting for a wedding, it is easy to overlook certain costs or end up surprised by a sudden cost that crops up. This can cause trouble, especially if you don’t have the means to cover the costs.

A smiling couple in wedding attire walking hand in hand with applauding guests in the background at a beachside Dreams Aventuras Riviera Maya ceremony.

Why Are Weddings Expensive?

It is no surprise that weddings are expensive, given the rising cost of living and inflation, but what is the ballpark we are looking at? According to Forbes Advisor, the cost of an average wedding ceremony and reception can easily go into the $30,000 price range. As this is the average, we can take it with a pinch of salt as the costs per State and preferences of people also need to be taken into consideration.  

Speaking of preferences, there are certain factors of you wedding that can greatly influence the cost – like where you’re having the wedding and how many people are attending. 

Destination Weddings

If you plan on taking your wedding to international waters, it can cost you more depending on whether you are footing the bill for your guest’s transportation and accommodation. That being said, look at vendors that offer all-inclusive packages for you wedding

Themed Weddings

If you are following a designated theme for your wedding such as celestial or cottagecore, the amount of personalization and effort to find decor and cuisine that aligns with your theme can prove to be costly. 

Incorporating Traditions

If you are hosting a multicultural wedding, you need to consider the traditions that form part of the nuptials. In certain cultures, weddings are events that take place over several days with rituals being performed. This means you need to factor in costs to hire religious pundits as well as all the items you would need to perform the rituals.

Peak Vs Off-Peak Seasons

When you have your wedding also plays a big role in the cost. Peak weddings which take place in late spring, summer, and early autumn tend to be more expensive than weddings that take place in the minor autumn-to-spring window. For certain venues, seasons play a role in their peak periods, so to make sure that you are getting the best deal, check in with them and find out about their calendars and availability. 

How Many Guests Are Attending

The amount of people you invite can greatly impact the cost of your wedding. It affects the amount of seating that needs to be prepared, the amount of food that needs to be catered, and even accommodation if the wedding is taking place away from your hometown.

A smiling couple in formal attire embracing by a body of water with floral decorations nearby at their wedding.

Budget And Checklists

The best way to manage your costs and spending is to have a budget and checklist of what you need to prepare. By keeping track of this, you will know how much money you will have spared for any surprises that crop up during the preparation.

Savings And Pooling Funds

Once your budget and checklist are done, you need to look at the funding for your wedding. If you and your partner have been saving separately, you can now pool the funds together and work from it.  Additionally, if there are family members or close friends who are making monetary contributions, then you can add them to the budget pool. Alternatively, if people want to sponsor specific aspects of the wedding, then you can just mark it off your checklist.

Additional Funding

In the event you need more funds for your dream wedding, you can consider getting a micro loan, a personal loan, or using app-based loan options. These are flexible and have less red tape for approval. When using these options, be sure to look at fees and interest rates so that you won’t be stuck in a financial pinch post-wedding.

What Are Some Key Costs?

There are some obvious costs that you will have for your wedding and these include the attire for the bridal couple, the wedding rings,  and sometimes the wedding party. Your venue will take out a large portion of the wedding budget, and a larger fraction will go towards getting the right vendors. Vendors that you need include decor, florists, lighting, entertainment, and catering. 

Costs That Are Not At The Forefront Of Your Mind

These are costs related to the key costs. They won’t always be what you factor in at first, but it is important to be prepared for them.

• Logistics charges include getting everyone to the venue, and the costs for vendors transporting goods to and from the venue

• Taxes and service charges for the vendors and venue

• Venue imposed fees include licenses or permits for alcohol or pet inclusion. Sometimes venues can impose a fee for not using their in-house vendors – it is important to check these clauses when seeking out a venue. 

Wedding insurance may seem like an extreme option, but anything can happen and you need to be prepared. This will ensure that any unforeseen circumstances can be covered by the insurance.

• Tasting and trial runs especially for catering and the wedding cake.

• Alterations on outfits or jewelry can sometimes be necessary.

• Marriage licenses need to be taken into consideration, and the costs attached can differ by state. 

• Souvenirs for the guests in attendance as a way of saying ‘Thank You’

• Wedding attire is not the only outfit you need to prepare. You will need clothes and accessories for events leading up to the wedding and afterward.  

Costs That Can Crop Up

These are some of the costs that you won’t expect to happen, but sometimes they can.

• Your wedding will have a lot of service staff working to make everything pan out smoothly, and for these workers, you will need to factor in tipping and catering for them. 

• If it rains on the day of your outdoor wedding, you may need to come up with a quick contingency plan.

• Certain venues charge for parking on-site, or in nearby locations.

• If your wedding runs longer than you anticipated, you need to pay overtime fees for the vendors and venue.

• Penalties can come if your wedding ends up breaking any venue rules or if equipment gets damaged under your care.

• After the wedding you will also need to buy thank you gifts and cards for integral members of the wedding party and guests who bought you gifts. 

• Sometimes people don’t keep to their word, and pull out from buying your wedding dress for you or sponsoring the drinks on the day. If this happens, you will need the funds to People pulling out from their promises

A couple sharing an intimate moment at a romantically set table by the beach at Grand Palladium Punta Cana.

Smart Marriage Money Moves

Leading up to your wedding, there are a few ways you can cut down on costs and save where you can.

• When you are choosing a venue, look for ones that offer package deals and all-inclusive costs.

• If you are buying multiple of an item, opt to buy in bulk, as it would be more cost-effective than buying individually.

• Weigh all your options and shop around in different spaces before making a final decision. 

• If you are a creative person, put your skills to the test and DIY some of the decor and invitations to cut back on costs.

• Rent rather than buy. This is cost-effective, plus this is more of an eco-friendly option as well. Your wedding attire can be rented, as well as the decorations, and diningware. 

• Practice restraint and be able to say ‘no’ to things that are not necessary for the wedding.

Wrapping Up

Your wedding is one of the biggest moments of your life, and you want to bring your imagination to life. Even if you strictly follow your budget, a surprise cost can crop and throw a spanner in the works, but the key is creating a checklist that accompanies your budget so you won’t be taken by surprise on your big day.

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