Surprise! Wedding Costs

When it comes to planning your wedding, you may think you have thought of everything.  While many brides think they have everything they will need accounted for in their budget, there are random items that are often forgotten.  Here are just a few of them.

Asking Bridesmaids in a Special Way

Bridesmaid_BoxesFor many brides, asking their nearest and dearest friends to stand up with them on their wedding day simply isn’t something that can be done via a phone call or text, or even on your regular girls’ night out.  Brides are popping the question to their bridesmaids with creative gifts, personalized cards, or taking them out to a nice meal.  Just remember, those little costs can add up!

Beauty Treatments

You’ve already set aside money for your professional hair styling and makeup application on the wedding day, but remember that you may need more than one trial for each in order to feel fully comfortable on your big day.  Also, keep in mind any pre-wedding beauty treatments you may want to indulge in like a manicure, pedicure, spray tan or a massage.  Sometimes there are less expensive ways to try these services, like Groupons.  So make sure you keep an eye out for ways to save money on these before your wedding day is upon you.

Bachelorette Party

Bachelorette parties today are bigger than ever; more and more groups are planning weekend getaways, like a Vegas excursion or a girls’ beach trip.  Even though the Maid of Honor and bridesmaids are supposed to pick up the tab for the party, many brides end up paying for their own airfare or part of the hotel bill to help alleviate costs for their girls.  This is especially true when the bride-to-be is the one pushing for an overnight excursion.  A great alterative and cost effective way is to stay close to home and avoid extra travel costs.  You will have fun with your girls no matter where you go.  Choose a hotel or find a big house to rent near your home and plan activities to keep the fun weekend going.

Marriage License

Don’t forget to make it legal!  Your marriage license will typically cost between $20 and $100, depending on where you’re getting married.  In most states, you won’t automatically receive a copy of your marriage license after it’s been filed.  You will need to pay for that, too.

If you are having a destination wedding, keep in mind that you may need to fly in a few days before the wedding or even make a second trip to the locale in order to get your marriage license, depending on the waiting period.  This means incurring extra travel fees, staying more nights, having more meals and possibly a second round of airfare.  Make sure you take all of these into account if you are planning a destination wedding.


When choosing your invitations, be sure to weigh it carefully.  If it’s more than one ounce, you’re going to need additional postage.  Some invitations can set you back $1 or more in postage fees.  Keep in mind that extra postage is also required for square invitations, regardless of the weight.

Also, don’t forget that you will need stamps for your save-the-dates, RSVP cards and thank-you notes.  Try not to obsess over matching your postage to your invitation theme, which can sometimes lead you to choose a more expensive stamps just for the design.

Wedding Party Gifts

Gifts for your wedding party can be as small or extravagant as you want them to be.  The most cost effective gift can be one where you buy the same thing for each of the members in your bridal party.  A popular gift for groomsmen is a flask or beer mug with your wedding date and their name on it.  For bridesmaids, some brides like to pay for the shoes, makeup or hair of their bridesmaids. While others like to buy each bridesmaid a matching necklace, tote or earrings.  There isn’t a right or wrong gift to give, most wedding party members are just thankful that you thought of them and enjoy knowing you appreciate them.

Wedding Favors

images3T1DCE5EFavors can cost anywhere from $3-$8 (or more) per person, which can make a sizable dent in your wedding budget depending on the size of your guest list.  A few ways to cut costs: Opt for one favor per couple rather than one per person; go for a DIY option if you’re feeling crafty, or skip favors altogether.  They are definitely not required, but they are something fun for your guests to leave with and remember your big day by.

The “Other”

Already included all of the above items in your budget?  Congratulations, you are a budget-savvy bride!  But regardless, every bride should set aside 10% for “other.”  This is for when the flower delivery got stuck in a storm, and you have to hire a local florist.  ‘Other’ is for when the power suddenly goes out and you have to go buy 200 candles. ‘Other’ is for the ‘dear friend’ who cried that she and her new boyfriend weren’t invited and you have to lie and say her invitation got lost in the mail.  ‘Other’ is for the broken nail that broke so low you have to get a full set of acrylics at the last minute.

If you prepare for the unexpected ahead of time, you won’t be left scrambling to come up with extra cash at the last minute and you will be able to stay within the budget that you have tried so hard to create. Happy wedding planning!