With the average American wedding estimated at around $31,000 you might want to pay attention to hidden wedding costs before you say I do. In fact, the 31k+ is a bit misleading considering there're so many little things that could take the wedding budget to serious numbers. From taxes, emergency wedding costs, pre-weddings and others mostly not planned for, hidden costs could also come in and leave you with a wedding so expensive getting yourself out of the ropes might take years.
If you have a college loan you're still paying, credit card debt and mortgage, you might end up with a burden that with a little care you can get yourself out way before you say I do. Wedding debts have been found to escalate so much sometimes they might become a major reason for divorce months or years later. Here are a number of hidden wedding costs you might want to know to make sure your big day doesn't leave you with something that'll strain family finances and marriage while lowering your quality of life.
Wedding dress related costs
In most cases, the wedding dress comes with steam and alteration costs hidden. Lots of stores don't include the steaming fee for the wedding dress or alterations in the cost; you can be sure it'll not be done for free. Note that altering the bustier alone could take over 180 minutes. On the other hand, altering the hem alone can also be a few hundred dollars, while bodice rebuilding is over $500, on average. To avoid these hidden costs request the store where you purchase the gown to include all the charges for all the alterations before you pay for the gown.
Wedding equipment and band
It's very hard to ignore the hidden costs of a wedding band and related equipment. Most people don't know that the wedding band cost also includes the cost of the equipment and the time the musicians spend on your wedding ceremony. Remember, the grander your ceremony site, the extra microphones, speakers and other sound equipment will be needed to meet the sound quality requirements for the function. The hidden cost of the wedding equipment and band, depending on your locality, and other factors could range from a few $100s to $1000s.
Avoid this extra cost by ensuring you don't just book a DJ or wedding band and leave it at that. Prior to booking the band let them know about the wedding ceremony space layout or suggest they come and see for themselves to have an idea about the space and kind of function they've in their hands. If they need additional equipment you might want to ask them to explain the reason; if it's necessary agree with them before you part with more money or sign a contract.
Takedown and setup
The breakdown and cleanup costs are usually hidden because lots of couples mostly spend a lot of time preparing and planning for the main ceremony, they forget it'll be over. They forget something must be done to leave the place as clean as it was found, if not better. Somehow these costs are usually not factored in. In most cases, full-service locations usually don't charge much for the cleanup. However, in case of a flat fee you might want to anticipate extra charges for the removal of garbage and cleanup for more than $500 in total.
Remember, even full-service wedding venues sometimes demand same day breakdown and cleanup. It means even as you plan to get married preparing for cleanup costs is important. Those parties that sometimes go all the way to the early morning hours usually face extra charges as the cleanup and breakdown has to be done very late at night. To effectively avoid this huge cost look at the contract carefully before signing anything. Ensure the setup and takedown costs in their entirety are inclusive.
Bridal gifts and guest welcome packages
Sometimes you might want to welcome all your guests who could have traveled from all over the world or around the nation with a special gift just to show your appreciation. Bridal gifts also have a way of adding up the expenses, particularly if parents are considered, plus flower girls, ring bearers, bridesmaids and groomsmen; there're all manner of welcome favors and goodies for guests and the like. If your welcome packages aren't a must avoid them. Bridal gifts can be filled up using cheap keepsakes and homemade treats that won't add anything significant to your wedding expenses.
Pre-wedding party and related expenses
There're so many functions before the big day that you might forget all cost real money. This includes rehearsal dinner and bridal shower plus brunch, if any, after the wedding. You might even be required to have some money for the right attire for the parties as you wait for the wedding and after. Save on these additional expenses by finding old favorites to adorn during some of the less important functions and save something small for the highly prioritized functions.
Beauty treatments and makeup trials
It's very naive to ignore beauty treatments during wedding planning, especially if you're intending to have pre-wedding makeup trials. You definitely want things to be perfect on your big day and trials might be important towards this end. Sometimes the cost of the trials is almost the same as the actual fee for the real thing on the big day. It means you might have some hidden costs you never saw coming. Prepare for it by covering everything in the wedding budget. If manicures and facials treatments are included, the total expenses might end up messing up your mood a day after the wedding when the total expenses hit home.
Hidden catering extras
It's very important to pay attention to the catering bill. Sometimes non-food item costs, such as servers to be hired and rentals, raise the catering bill by 20 percent. Always read the catering contract clearly and ensure all these are covered. If you must cover them yourself and not the catering service note it down and prepare accordingly.