Planning a wedding budget requires quite a bit of research, and making sure you don’t overlook any details makes a difference to your overall wedding planning experience. Here, we look at some of the most common wedding budget oversights, as identified by our lead wedding planner at Easy Weddings.
Lily Jenkins is our wedding planning expert. She’s in charge of building dream teams for couples and helping them sort out their venue, suppliers, and wedding day details. Lily says that one of the biggest stresses for couples is not knowing how much money to allocate for every wedding category. What’s worse is that there are many common wedding budget oversights that couples don’t even realise exist until they’re too deep into planning.
To minimise your budget stress levels, here’s what you need to know about the wedding budget oversights Lily sees many couples making by mistake.
What are some of the most common wedding budget oversights and hidden costs of wedding planning?
Many couples are surprised by fees that they maybe had no idea even existed. Here are a few examples: cake cutting fees, corkage fees, compressed installation window fees (usually this covers extra staffing), setup and breakdown fees. If you’ve never planned an event, it’s likely you didn’t know to ask about these fees, but now that you know about them, you can ask informed questions to make sure you include some cushion in your budget.
Are there any catering costs that are common wedding budget oversights?
Catering is such a difficult cost to budget for with weddings, as it really does vary across a wide span depending on your wedding location. While many caterers and venues charge a per-head cost, that may only include the food and beverage service. Things like staffing, setup and breakdown, tastings, travel costs, and additional rentals like crockery and glassware might not be priced into that initial $100/guest number you’re quoted. I always recommend that couples ask as many questions about additional fees as possible so they can budget accurately from the start of working with their caterer.
A lot of couples get sticker shock when they see their floral quote. Are there any hidden fees snuck in there?
It depends largely on who you’re working with for flowers. Many florists line item additional costs so you can see where your budget is allocated. While many couples think florists just buy flowers and pop them in a vase, there’s quite a lot more to it. In addition to a lot of planning and design process, florists have to factor labour, materials, and transport into your total cost. For most weddings, the arrangements are actually made off-site and then brought to the wedding in a refrigerated truck. There might be a whole team of people planning, sourcing, arranging, installing, and breaking down your floral décor. So, even though there’s just one person you’re communicating with, it often takes an army to pull off those beautiful bouquets and intricate floral installations.
What about the cost of wedding entertainment? Are there any surprise costs hidden in there?
I think the thing that surprises couples the most is that not all wedding bands or DJs include lighting and sound systems in their quotes. Of course, it feels like those costs should be automatically built into a quote, but that’s not always the case because different venues require different setups. None of these costs should be a surprise, as most musicians will mention this when they give you a quote, but it is one of those things a lot of couples don’t even think about until they’re asked.
What do most couples forget to include in their budget that could be considered a common wedding budget oversight?
I’ve seen a lot of couples forget to plan for their wedding day transportation and accommodation. It’s like they’re so focussed on preparing a great experience for everyone else that they forget themselves! I usually suggest that couples factor in an allocated line item of the budget for this, because you don’t want to be stuck at the end of all your planning with no funds left for something as important as actually getting to and from your wedding.