The Wedding Budget – The Little Things

As I was paying bills today, I was thinking about the bills that go along with a wedding. We call it a budget and it can be the source of problems for some. Every couple starts out with their budget, and some end up way over it. Many different reasons can cause this, but the one I am going to talk about today is the small items. We are so concerned with the big items, reception hall, dress, photographer, that we sometimes forget about the little items that we still have to pay for. When you set up your budget, make sure to leave a little wiggle room in each of your categories for the things you have not thought of yet. Here are some examples of things people forget.

Postage – Couples find that perfect invitation and it costs $200.00 for the all of them. Great! They change their budget to reflect the amount and move on. What about postage? This is a cost that you will incur, but is often forgotten. If you have 100 invitations and assuming you stay at standard postage, it will cost $44.00. You will also need to have postage on your RSVP cards (if you use them). If they are in envelopes you need to add another $44.00 or $28.00 for post cards. You have added $72.00 – $88.00 to your invitation cost, did you account for that?

Tipping – Again, you find your vendors and update your budget. Did you remember that you will need to tip some of them? Depending on the vendors and how good their service is, you can add a couple hundred more dollars to your budget.

Programs – This is something that sometimes gets forgotten until the end. You do not think about putting it into your stationery cost and one month before your wedding, you start making them. You have not put them in the budget and did not consider all the materials that you wanted to produce that perfect program. Again, depending on how you want them to look, you could be spending another $50 – $200. Remember they are not like invitations, everyone gets one. Those same 100 invitations may be for 200 guests. You may think $0.50 per program sounds great, but that is another $100 to your budget.

This is not anywhere close to a complete list of “little items” in the budget, but it should get you thinking. Also, none of theses items are a large part of the budget, but they do add up. In the above examples, you could be adding another $500 to your bottom line. They can add up quick when you are not looking. I am not saying you need to make a budget that has 400 lines of items. My goal is to get you to think about this stuff. Leave some room in each of your categories for the little stuff. This way you will not get a surprise later down the road and have your budget get out of control.

Budget Tip: Look for End of Season Decorations

One of the problems that most couples face is the growing budget. Everyone wants every detail to be perfect and sometimes the price gets lost. Here is a cost saving tip. Plan ahead and try to purchase decor items at the end of a season. For example, if you are having a winter wedding next year, go out after Christmas this year and look for items for your wedding. Even if you are not doing a Christmas wedding, you can probably find items that will fit your scheme. I was at the store yesterday and saw a cone tree shape made out of round ornaments in silver or gold. It was a beautiful arrangement that did not have to be just Christmas related and it was already on sale. This could easily be placed in your ceremony or reception decor. This budget saving idea can also work for spring, summer and fall. If you take the time early to look for and decide on some decor ideas, you will come out ahead. This will help you save money for when you need a little extra for that perfect wedding dress.