So you've done all your research and you've figured out what you want and how much you want to/can afford to spend, right? (If you haven't - check out our past blog on setting a Wedding Budget) BUT.....
Do you have a contingency budget?!
This is where you say "A WHAT?!?"....
Well - it turns out that there are LOTS of little things people don't think about when they're planning their wedding budget. Little extra expenses that crop up along the way that you might not have thought of, or allowed for - and there's nothing worse than getting to the week before your wedding and discovering you've got extra costs to pay and having to dip into your honeymoon fund, or worse still, having to make last minute cancellations or sacrafices.
So to help you our here's our TOP TEN unforseen wedding expenses that many people might not have thought of:-
- Hair & Make-up Trials - some hairdressers and make-up artists will actually have included the cost of these when they quoted you - but not every one will. We occasionally hear horror stories of Brides having to fork out on the day of their wedding when they assumed that the money they paid at their trial was the WHOLE cost! Make sure you discuss ALL the costs with your hairdresser or make-up artist when you book them so you know if your trial (if you require one) is included in their quote.
- Vendor Meals - some of the vendors working your wedding will be there THE WHOLE day and it's only polite to ensure they're fed. Some won't expect it and will turn up with their own packed snacks/lunch - but some will expect it and you want to make sure you have included this in your catering numbers in advance to avoid additional last minute costs. Clarify with your vendors whether they will be there during meal times and if they will require some food (it may be in their contract) and then include this in your catering budget. (Most won't expect to sit with your guests but will be enormously grateful for the short break and the chance to refuel).
- Dress/Suit Alterations - unless you're having a custom, made to measure wedding dress or suit made - chances are alterations will not be included in the cost. This is the same for your attendants also. It pays to double check when ordering whether alterations are included in the cost, or not. In the likely situation they're not included - you want to make sure you allow for these in your budget. You may want to reconsider your budget for your gowns/suits if you hadn't already taken this into consideration.
- Postage Costs - so you've budgeted for Wedding Invitations but have you budgeted for the postage? The minimum postage cost in NZ at the moment is $1.20 (based on 1 Kiwistamp used on a DL/A6 envelope) - which doesn't sound like a lot until you think about sending 75 "Save the Dates" and 75 Wedding Invitations - all of a sudden that's an extra $180 you hadn't budgeted for! PLUS if you expect your guests to RSVP by mail - it's courteous to include an already stamped, pre-addressed envelope - so that's ANOTHER $90 again! Have you included this in your budget?
- GST - some businesses DON'T include GST in their quotes so make sure you read the fine print on all your contracts and quotes and budget for that extra 15% on top.
- Clean up Costs/Breakages - some venues/vendors may charge an additional fee should someone spill something on the linen, the carpets or if a glass or plate etc is broken etc. Check all the appropriate contracts to see if there are cleaning or breakage charges and set aside a little extra "just in case" - if you don't need it - it's always a little extra to pop in the honeymoon fund!
- Marriage Licence - believe it or not you have to PAY the government if you want to get married - it's not totally free! A Marriage Licence currently costs $150 in NZ (or $240 if you plan to get married at the Registry Office) AND your marriage certificate - should you require one - will cost another $33.
- Corkage/Serving on BYO - GREAT - your venue allows you to supply your own alcohol which works out WAAAAAAY cheaper than buying from their bar right?! BUT WAIT - do they charge a corkage fee? And - do they serve it or do you need to hire Bar Staff. Make sure you check this so you don't get a scary surprise on your final bill.
- Permits/Licences - sometimes, with certain venues - there are extra costs for things like Alcohol Supply Licence and Permits to errect marquees. These may or may not be included in your venue/catering fees. Make sure you clarify to avoid extra charges, or even worse, penalties for not having permits or licences.
- Travel/Delivery Fees - if your wedding is outside a certain area - certain vendors may charge a travel fee ON TOP of their base fees - make sure you ask this when booking. AND - if you're hiring furnishings, stemware etc and you're expecting them to be delivered - there's likely to be a delivery fee for this - make sure you've checked and budgeted for that.
So there you have it - the ten most common unexpected expenses when Wedding Planning. There are likely others that will be specific to your individual wedding so it doesn't help to have a little "contigency" budget tucked away just in case. There's nothing worse than starting your new married life with expenses, bills, debts or an overdraft hanging over your head! Set a little aside, cover all your bases and hey - if you have anything left at the end - treat yourself to an upgraded honeymoon!
Mrs MW x