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Most couples understand the basic needs to stage a wedding. When you ask them to list the needs, the lists will include, food, drinks, honeymoon, clothing, and venue. But when you ask them to drill down the list into what will be included, most couples come short. It is not usually the big ticket items in a wedding that blow the budget. It is the hidden wedding costs that add up to major dollars.
We will point out some of the hidden charges that you may be unaware of, and give you an idea of how to spot them in advance.
You know there is a rental fee for the venue and you expect a set-up and break-down fee. But there are other fees that are not always included. Here are some things to look for:
Barn weddings are shabby chic and very trendy. However, making that rustic barn look wedding-ready requires work. Hidden fees could include:
A generator for electric power
Preparation for parking and the entryway for guests to attend
Flooring for the wedding party and a dance floor
Removal of materials and clean-up
Outdoor wedding (park, vineyard, etc.)
Outdoor weddings are lovely. Many couples like the idea of being married in a gazebo or near a pretty pond. But there are some situations that can creep up on your checkbook.
Back-up facility in case the weather doesn't cooperate
Upcharges for providing electricity or generator rental to provide your own
Charges to decorate and clean-up
Hidden charges for all venues
Even if you have your wedding indoors in a chapel or ballroom, there are fees you may not expect.
Even if your choice of venue has furnishings, it does not mean they are included in the rental. Make sure you know what you are getting in the deal.
You may have rented a bar for the evening, but that does not mean the cost of the bartender is included. Also, watch for overtime charges in the event that the reception goes past the allotted time.
Some venues charge a fee if you use vendors that are not on their approved vendor list. Be sure you understand the terms of the vendor requirements.
Hidden costs in other areas
When selecting your invitations, reply cards and announcements, take the weight of the card stock in consideration. This directly affects the cost of mailing them. Use lighter stock, and consider reducing the amount of paper to be mailed by setting up a wedding website.
If you are having a destination wedding and you have welcome gifts for your guests, be sure the hotel does not tack on a fee for giving them to your guests at check-in. Some hotels charge up to $15 per gift and that can add a lot to your hotel expense. Instead, arrange a welcome party and hand them out yourself. However, if you have champagne or wine served at your welcome party, ask is there is a uncorking fee.
Fighting the budget-blowing battle
Make sure you get an itemized quote on anything you arrange and request an itemized bill at the end to compare.
Limit the alcohol you serve to beer and wine to save money. Have a set time that the bar is to close.
Use technology whenever possible
Set up a wedding registry and encourage your guests to access it to gift you. Plumfund is free for the couple and the guests. It allows guests to pay for the expenses the bride and groom choose.
It is possible to have all the things that are important to you for your wedding. The trick is to watch for hidden expenses and know what you must have and what you are willing not to have. With these two simple concepts, you can design your dream wedding.
This post was written by the staff at Honeyfund.com.