We just got married a couple weeks ago. As you can imagine, it was not cheap. TheKnot puts the average cost of a wedding around $35k. We had saved up our money and had a pretty solid amount set aside and a relatively bullet-proof budget – or so we thought. It turns out there were several things that added to our bottom line. These things were easy to underestimate or totally overlook, and took a toll on our budget over the course of a few months.
Without further ado, our budgeting blunders:
Yes, stamps. Hundreds of dollars of stamps. It’s very easy to underestimate the cost of stamps if you have a sizable invite list. Initially you may think that it’s only a stamp or two per invitee, right? We had just shy of 100 invites that we needed to send out. Thankfully our invites were a hair under the weight limit to needing additional postage.
Postage doesn’t just apply to your invites. You also have to worry about your RSVP’s and Thank You notes as well. We knew we’d have to spend some money on stamps, but an extra hundred bucks in stamps caught us off guard. Our bad.
Signage and Menus
Our second budget blunder was signage and menus. If you’re having a traditional wedding chances are that you’ll have at least a little bit of signage. We hired a calligrapher to create a few sweet signs for us for our gifts table and a welcome sign. She also hand-wrote all of our envelopes (which were awesome). Unfortunately, however, they weren’t cheap. Our gift sign will be reused or resold, and our welcome sign will end up in our new home somewhere.
The menus we ordered were also not accounted for initially. They weren’t overly expensive, but all the little things added up.
Yes, we were the ones who were supposed to be getting the gifts, not giving them! But we are suckers and wanted to get something for the wedding party and parents as well. We knew we wanted to do this, and had a budget in mind for it, but ultimately couldn’t find what we wanted within our price range. As a result we spent a bit more money than we had intended on the gifts, but we did get exactly what we wanted.
It’s easy to keep costs on gifts down if you’re crafty (we are not) or have a smaller wedding party.
Wedding Expenses We Remembered
Of course, with all of the expenses we forgot, we still did remember some of the miscellaneous ones that cropped up as well. Since we went with a wedding planning company, almost everything was already taken care of. Doing that made the entire process stress-free, and made sure we didn’t need to remember things like umbrellas for the sun for our guests.
The big ones that we were on the hook for were transportation for the wedding party and guests, and our photographer. Our rehearsal dinner was also something that we had kept in mind. We knew roughly what to budget for these things, and thankfully came in under-budget on both the transportation and rehearsal dinner. That buffer made up for the extra stuff we’d forgotten about.
Not All Bad
Thankfully since we paid for everything ourselves and had plenty saved up we were able to roll with the punches. If we hadn’t, however, the extra expenses definitely added up. We were able to save some money on my tux because we had five groomsmen who subsidized the cost for me (thanks guys!!). Our rehearsal dinner also ended up being less expensive than we’d anticipated, so that was a nice plus.
Overall our wedding did have some costs we didn’t account for. Since we made sure to save diligently it all went off without any trouble. Not being stressed on your wedding day is a good feeling. With everything else going on, the last thing you want to do is think about how you’re going to pay for everything. When your budget has a bit of padding on it, though, even the little things that add up tend to not be that big of a deal.
What are some of your budgeting blunders – either from your wedding or just in general? How do you try to mitigate the chance of them happening?