Real Advice: Unexpected Wedding Costs

Budgets are difficult to nail down. You figure them out and re-work them over and over until you are satisfied with the outcome. Then an unexpected cost comes out of nowhere and throws the whole thing out of whack. We are here to give you a little heads up about a few costs that may arise and wreak havoc on your perfect wedding budget spreadsheet.

  1. Damage Deposit – It’s just that, a damage deposit. You will get your deposit back when you return your rentals or linens undamaged. But what happens when something does get broken or lost? Your rental company will keep the deposit. It’s built into the process of rentals as it has happened before. Rental places need to cover the cost of these things up front – it’s more of a replacement fee.
  2. Postage – Mailing out save-the-dates and invites can get pricey. Watch that your packages don’t fall into the oversized category to avoid an even higher increase in postage cost. You could hand deliver invitations when you can. Those guests will feel extra special when they are invited to the wedding in person by the bride or groom.
  3. Overtime Costs – Weddings don’t always run on time. Your vendors have all been through this before. Most have an overtime cost that kicks in the moment their clock runs out. Talk to your hourly vendors about their overtime policy beforehand so you know what to expect on the day of.
  4. Wedding Dress Alterations – Depending on the material of your dress and the alterations it requires, you may end up making a few trips to your seamstress. Most do charge by the hour, but if your hours start to add up, the cost will too. These people know their dresses/ fabrics and should be able to give you a ballpark idea of how much your alterations are going to cost.
  5. Gratuities – Tipping isn’t a forced practice for most vendors. If you have your reception at a hotel it will be included in your grand total of the room rental and meal. Most couples don’t always realize this is an added cost. For the rest of your vendors it won’t be an obvious line on the receipt. Don’t feel that you have to tip all of your vendors, but it is very appreciated. They will work hard to make your day perfect. If you feel like showing a little appreciation it will not be overlooked and will be warmly accepted. Don’t think that you just need to dole out wads of cash to everyone. Get a little creative and gift them some jam you made from the raspberries in your garden or a pass to a local zoo or attraction in your city.
  6. Transportation – No, we are not talking about your pimped out limo bus. Some vendors might have an extra fee to transport items to your venue – as in your cake, flowers, or any rentals for your reception (linens, chairs, tables, etc). When working with these vendors ask about a delivery fee. This way it won’t be a surprise on your invoice later.
  7. Out of Season Items – Saskatoon berries are always going to be in abundance around these parts, however if you are after other seasonal fruit for your dessert they may not be available, or may cost you a pretty penny to bring in. Same goes for flowers – there are some stems that are only available certain times of the year. Your florist can help you figure out a substitute. One last thing about flowers: even when blooms are in season some of the most beautiful ones come with a price tag. My personal favourite are English Tea Roses. To me they are worth every cent. The best way to cut down on cost of your favourite pricey flowers is to opt for only having a few of them in your bouquet or on the head table. You don’t need to create your whole decor around them.
  8. Wedding Favours – Getting caught up in trends you see in magazines and on the bridal tv shows can start to add up. You want to give everyone their own individual replica of your wedding cake as a favour? That sounds like a great idea. However when that total comes around and it is way above the price you are willing to pay per guest, you may change your mind. It’s a great idea to keep your cost per wedding favour around $2 per guest.

Was there an unexpected cost that you encountered on your wedding day? Let us know!

Photo Credit: Danielle Stasiuk Photography

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