May 14, 2024

6 Wedding Budget Items Couples Forget Quite Often!

When planning a wedding, every couple wants to ensure that their day goes as smoothly as possible without any financial surprises. However, amidst the excitement of selecting the perfect venue, dress, and menu, there are several wedding budget items that couples often forget to consider. Addressing these overlooked expenses early can save a lot of stress and last-minute scrambling.

1. Wedding Alterations

Alterations are a critical part of making sure your wedding attire fits perfectly, yet many couples forget to include this in their budget. Despite what many brides and moms assume, alterations for wedding dresses are almost never included in the purchase price. I once surveyed 188 bridal boutiques and found that only one boutique sometimes includes alterations. None of these boutiques offer it included in the price of the dress.

Alterations for wedding dresses range from $400-$2000 depending on the quality, city, amount of work required, and how soon it must be completed.

For those renting tuxedos, temporary alterations are essential. An ill-tailored suit can significantly detract from your wedding photos’ appearance. Unintentionally baggy or overly long pants are an eyesore. As a photographer and someone who works in fashion, I would much prefer someone buy or rent a cheaper suit/tuxedo and have it properly fitted versus a more expensive, un-tailored look.

Wedding Dress Alterations in San Diego at The White Flower

2. Rain Plan

Weather is unpredictable. Failing to have a backup plan for rain or other undesired weather can be a costly oversight. Incorporating a contingency plan such as reserving a tent or securing an indoor space at your venue is essential. Though you likely hope not to use it, setting aside part of your budget for this can prevent last-minute financial and logistical headaches.

Wedding reception tent with floral arch entrance. Candles on the path to the reception. Reception tent arch with an abundance of white, blush, and terracotta roses as well as smilax greenery and a few pops of burgundy dahlias. Winter wedding flowers. Cavin Elizabeth Photography.

3. Vendor Meals

Your wedding vendors, like photographers, DJs, and planners, often spend the entire day at your wedding. Including meals for them in your budget is a must, not only because it is courteous but also because most vendors require it in their contract. The cost can range from $15-$100 per vendor, depending on the number of vendors and the meal prices at your venue. More affordable venues will be on the lower end of that range. Ensuring your vendors are well-fed will keep them happy and energized throughout your celebration.

4. Tips

While planning your wedding budget, don’t forget to allocate funds for tipping your vendors. While not always required, if this is something you would like to do it’s best to plan ahead and include it in your budget. Read my guide on which wedding vendors to tip to help you work through this in your budget.

5. Transportation and Lodging

Couples often overlook the costs of transportation and lodging, especially when hosting out-of-town guests or planning a wedding in multiple locations. Budgeting for shuttles, Ubers, or other transportation options, as well as arranging weekend accommodations, is vital for making sure everyone involved has a stress-free experience.

Mediterranean pink wedding venue in San Diego - Fairmont Grand Del Mar

6. Electrical and Lighting

For those planning an outdoor wedding, adequate power and lighting are essential, especially for evening events. I didn’t realize I would have to pay a company to supply power at my venue – it was quite the surprise! Whether you will be relying only on moody uplights and candles or going all out with pinlights and more, don’t forget to include this category.

By keeping these often-forgotten items in mind, couples can create a more accurate and comprehensive wedding budget, ensuring a beautiful, seamless celebration. Remember, a little extra planning goes a long way toward making your big day unforgettable.