You’re engaged – yay and congratulations! ♥ You know the first thing you need to do is think about budget – venue, food and drink, dress, transport… you’ve got it covered. Or have you? There are plenty of hidden costs to getting married that soon add up and can give you budget nightmares.
Here’s a few things to think about that may have a cost involved, to help you keep your budget on track.
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♥ Registrar and certificates
Getting married in a Register Office is pretty cheap. Having a registrar at your venue is not! And is dependent on the day (this is true of most things – midweek weddings are much cheaper than prime time weekend weddings). And they vary from place to place. So before you decide you want to get married four towns over because it’s really pretty, check out the cost of the registrar four towns over.
You also have to pay a Notice of Marriage/Civil Partnership Fee that is around £35 PER PERSON.
If you want more than one marriage certificate they’re typically around £4-8 each. And you need to let them know before the day how many you want so factor this in too. Getting additional certificates after the wedding may cost more.
♥ Include yourselves in the headcount. And any staff
I’ve lost count of how many couples have forgotten themselves when it comes to catering numbers. Most venues will (should!) ask if the figure you give includes you both but some caterers may not, assuming that you are not daft enough to have missed out the most important people on the day.
You should also account for feeding your photographer and videographer (especially if you’re miles away from anywhere and are catering the wedding). And anyone else you have for the day (a Wedmother for example….) Those extra five or six heads can mess up your budget if you forget to add them in.
And don’t forget, if you’re getting ready at your venue you might want a sandwich platter to keep you all going. If you’re getting married in the afternoon, and had breakfast at 6am (because you were awake!) then you’re all going to be a bit peckish. And trust me, no matter how nervous you are you’ll need to eat something – keep your blood sugar steady and help with those nerves.
You’ve found the most beautiful invitations, they’re perfect. BUT in this digital age have you forgotten that you’ll have to physically post them, and that stamps are not cheap! Ask yourself – can they be posted with a standard 2nd class stamp or will you need a large letter stamp? This could be the deciding factor in which design you go for. And notice we put 2nd class – there’s no need to post invitations out 1st class these days, there’s very little difference in the time scale and unless you’re getting married four days later 2nd class will work just fine.
Image from Royal Mail
♥ Clothing alterations
Your dress, his suit and your bridesmaid dresses take up a big chunk of the budget but it doesn’t stop with the purchase. Many brides totally underestimate the cost of dress alterations or enhancements and almost all forget to include any alterations for the groom! Going on a health kick on the lead up to the wedding could lead to a lot needing to be done (the ultimate budget buster … losing so much weight your dress can’t be altered and you need to buy a new one..)
Be sure you check with your bridal boutique if 1) they do alterations on site or if you need to find a wedding dress seamstress and 2) what is the cost. There are often separate costs for shortening, taking in, and fitting and additions like these lovely bra strap covers.
Image from: Bridal Dress Alterations
You will need to have a discussion with your bridesmaids about who pays for their dresses AND the alterations. We had a deal – either they split the cost and were responsible for any alterations or I paid for it but the dresses we mine to sell on after the wedding if I wanted to. They went for option 1 and have kept the dresses with a plan to shorten them and make them cocktail dresses (this has not happened yet!).
And that brings us to…
♥ Dry Cleaning!
Your dress and (if it wasn’t hired) his suit will both need to be dry cleaned after the wedding. And don’t fall into the trap of leaving it. Your dress will (eeeww moment here) have sweaty bits in the armpits and your waist, will have been touched by a hundred (naturally) greasy pairs of hands and several (not so naturally) dirty pairs of small hands. It is a bit of a bio hazard and if you just pack it away with all that stuff still on it you could find the next time you pull your beautiful frock out that there are a few things that have made it their home…
♥ Hair and Make-up
We know, we know, you’ve included the hairdresser and make-up artist in your budget. But did you ask if the TRIAL was free? And is it free for everyone? Who’s paying for the bridesmaids? (TIP – if you want them to have the same style, you need to pay for it. If they just want nice hair, they can foot the bill). Forget to ask this and you could be adding up to around £50 a person to your budget.
So you’ve booked your car. You’ve sorted out how the groom is getting there. You’ve even remember to plan in the bridesmaid car.
BUT have you thought about how you get home the next day if you’re staying over. Or if your wedding venue doesn’t have rooms have you thought about how you’re going to where you’re staying overnight? And back again! Family members may be able to help here but if not there’ll be taxis to think about, possibly both ways.
Image from Wikipedia
♥ Extra hours at your venues, or tidy up the next day
Venues, marquees and suppliers will want their space or property back the next day – how soon that is you’ll have to work out but if you don’t want to be getting up and clearing out at 9am after your big day you may have to negotiate a fee for the extra hours. If a venue would normally have a wedding in the next day that fee may be quite high, and if they already have a wedding booked – well, set your alarm!!
Check with your venue if there is a cleaning fee. One may be levied if you don’t leave the venue to the expected standard so be sure to understand what that standard is and what it takes for the fee to be applied.
♥ Printing your photos, frames and albums
In this digital age we’re not in the habit of printing out photos but you really should! It’s amazing to hold photos in your hand and flick through them, choose which ones go in the album and the frame. You can of course get digitally printed books made, or canvas prints, or even a painting done of your photo. Whichever way you go there’s a cost involved. Discount sites can help with books and prints, research who prints photos and look for frames and albums in the sale – or ask for them as wedding presents.
Actual printed photos in a frame!
Going on honeymoon straight after the wedding? Then you better check your passports are up to date. That’s if you have one! Either way there’s going to be an additional cost.
So there you have it – a few more headers to add to your budget planner! Need help with your budget? That’s also a Wedmother speciality – get in touch and we’ll help you map out a budget that will make planning the day as simple as, well, 1-2-3! ♥