Your wedding day is approaching, and you’ve budgeted for the dress, venue, music, invites and photographer. But there are plenty of hidden wedding expenses that can pop up as late as the big day. We spoke with wedding experts who exposed those tricky little costs, so you’ll have a beautiful walk down the aisle without financial fears tying you down.
Why it’s hidden: You paid for your vendors months in advance, but nothing in the fine print told you about a tip. While a tip isn’t mandatory, it’s expected for good service, said Alison Phillips, president of Engaging Events by Ali.
The cost: If your wedding planner did a great job, you could tip 10 to 20 percent of the fee, or up to $500 at the end of the wedding. You could also tip your wedding ceremony officiant up to $100 if he went above and beyond. If your ceremony musicians did a fantastic job, you could give them $15-$20 per musician. Also optional is a tip for the band or DJ, which could be up to $25 per musician or $50-$150 for the DJ. While those tips are optional, the tip for hair and makeup is expected, and it should be about 20 percent. The person who delivers the wedding cake and flowers should also be tipped $5-$10 per person.
Why it’s hidden: Many couples decide to extend the wedding, but they’ll incur overtime charges from everyone working on the wedding: the venue, the music, the photographer, video, bar, transportation and more, said Cristina Verger, of Cristina Verger Event Planning & Production in New York.
The cost: It could be thousands of dollars for just 30 minutes or an hour of overtime. “This is a very important item that should be well thought out on the onset of the planning,” Verger said. “If the couple feels that they would like their wedding night to last longer than the allotted time, it is best to buy overtime at the beginning of the planning stage, as it is often more negotiable.”
Fancy hard liquor
Why it’s hidden: You paid for a hard liquor package, or perhaps you decided to pay per consumption. But if the more-expensive alcohol is on display, your guests could choose a drink you didn’t plan for. “You want to make sure the venue has removed any hard liquor you don’t want that resentful cousin or fun-loving friend with costly tastes to see, and run the risk of them ordering a 50-year-old scotch and you footing the bill,” said Ashley Douglas, owner and creative director of Ashley Douglass Events in New York. “It happens.”
The cost: Depending on how many people are ordering that top-shelf liquor beyond your package, it could be thousands.
Why it’s hidden: There are entire magazine spreads dedicated to invitation designs and save-the-dates. And let’s not forget about your thank-you notes. But did you consider postage?
The cost: The price of a first class letter just went up from 47 cents to 49 cents. Multiply that by the number of guests you have and the number of announcements and letters you plan on sending them, and this cost could add up quickly. “Mailing the save-the-dates and invitations can cost a few hundred dollars,” said Camille McLamb, founder of Camille Victoria Weddings in Illinois.