Tag Archives: hidden wedding costs

I Tip My Hat to You

Wedding budgets are always difficult. It may feel like you spend more every time you even look at something but part of you says it’s your one day to indulge. There will always be unexpected costs, some of which can be minimized or completely avoided. Others, such as gratuities for your vendors should at least be considered.

Officiant: Time and energy is spent making your rehearsal and ceremony perfectly fitted to you. This is done on top of regular job duties and already busy schedules out of joy from uniting couples in marriage. A cash gift should be given by an attendant at the rehearsal. If he/she is connected to your location (and your budget permits), a donation to the venue space is an added way to show your gratitude.

Wedding Planner: Because what is provided is done as a profession, tips are optional and don’t have to be monetary. In fact, they are usually not expected. If you feel inclined, send your gift after your honeymoon (10 – 20% is appropriate). A free option is to send some photos for your planner to enhance his or her portfolio.

Hair and Makeup: Stylists should be treated as you would in a salon if not better. Often, rates are higher for wedding days and wedding parties, but the gratuity should not be affected by that. The styles are more complicated, everything must be perfect and often, hairdressers and make up artists travel to your location. Show your thanks at the end of the service and allow photographs, if requested, for portfolios or look-books.

Reception and Entertainment: Bands or DJs and catering, transportation companies etc. typically add a surcharge to their base rates so additional tips are optional. If you give extra, follow the same guidelines you would on a regular day. However, put an attendant in charge of handling payment(s), all of which should occur at the end of your big day.

Whether gratuities are expected, optional (but typical) or out of the norm, they are always welcome. Everyone likes to know they have done a good job. However, especially at weddings, vendors understand the huge costs you have already incurred. Handwritten, individualized thank you notes are a very cost-effective and special way to show your gratitude if your budget doesn’t allow for monetary tokens of appreciation.

Best Kept Hidden Secrets

It goes without saying that every detail of your wedding, from the smallest to the largest, comes with a cost although it may be surprising that the price tag you see or are quoted is not the price you will actually be expected to pay. Many times, fees are added that either aren’t mentioned or that you certainly wouldn’t expect (although later you can be told that you should have). Here are just a few….

Invitations are representative of your motif and you want them to appear engaging, charming as well as welcoming. It is very easy to be sold on more decorative invites, heavier cardstock or are simply bulkier. What may not cross your mind is that you have to pay extra postage for each of those, not to mention the costs for RSVP cards and thank you notes all of which quickly add up. The message is the same and may be presented equally creatively in a simpler and more cost effective fashion.

While your dress should be the first (if not only) item to splurge on depending on your budget, it’s important to consider that the listed price is not the amount you are going to veritably spend.  The vast majority of dresses require alterations which are not included in the cost of the gown but your veil, jewelry, undergarments etc. must be accounted for as well. Modifications alone can set you back up to $500 unless you are lucky enough to find a bridal shop where everything is included for a set fee.

Customarily, when you pay for a service, whether a photographer, DJ, coordinator, use of your venue etc., the quoted amount is for a specific period of time. It may take you longer to get ready than expected, causing the wedding to run late and it’s easy to lose track of time during the subsequent celebration. Be aware that, just as with any other profession, additional charges accrue for overtime. Either you need to be exceptionally aware of your schedule or set aside a portion of the budget in anticipation to cover overages.

Although your wedding day is one of the most special in your life and has tremendous meaning to you, at the end of the day, to most vendors, it is a way to make a living and a means to an end. It is important that you don’t spend every penny allocated without being aware of unforeseen expenditures as almost every aspect of your special day will include them.