Tuesday, November 10, 2015

15 Wedding Expenses You Forgot to Budget For

You helped plan the budget, select the venue, book the vendors, but now your clients are having to dip into their own pockets for the rest of the expenses. Oops! Looks like those hidden expenses wiggled their way into your planning and not the budget. Adhering to a budget is hard enough, not to mention all of the unexpected expenses that make their entrance without proper introduction. So the Inspherio Crew got together to figure out the most overlooked event expenses brides, grooms, and planners forgot to budget.

1. Beauty Treatments: Brides and their bridesmaids might have chosen the hairstyle and makeup they would like to have for the big day and allotted money in the budget for it, but what about the trial-runs? Our advice would be to put enough money aside in the budget to make sure that the bride and her hairstylist are on the same page when it comes to the bridal look—you don’t want them to disagree on wedding day. Also, the bride’s hands will be photographed a lot throughout the day, so make sure she puts away any additional funds for a mani/pedi.

2. Stationery: The invitations and save-the-dates are not the only paper goods you need to purchase for the big event. You still have the programs, the escort cards, place cards, and the menus. These expenses can add up quickly! So make sure to spare extra lines in the budget for them.

3. Meals: Your clients have budgeted a lot of money on food and sampled the menu options so much already that they’ve forgotten there are other meals happening that day. We’re here to help you remember that meals prior to the wedding are just as important as the reception dinner. Of course, you don’t need to budget a lot of money for the lunch, we still suggest you budget something. If the wedding is early, a simple bagel and fruit platter is great for breakfast, where sandwiches are good for lunch. Keep it light, and non-junk food related—your clients are nervous enough without the added stomach sickness from food.

4. Vendor Meals: And since we are on the topic of meals, don’t forget to budget meals for the vendors. Yes, you, the photographer, videographer, and everyone else who is with the bridal party all day need food. Don’t forget to add yourself and others to your budget. These meals might only cost you an extra hundred dollars but they’re important to include.

5. Alterations: Your client found the perfect dress, and it fits her budget perfectly. But did she factor in the cost of alterations? Hemming the gown, taking it in, or other structural changes cost money, and sometimes a lot of it. Some studios that the bride purchases a dress from will include a flat fee, while others might charge hundreds for alterations. Be sure to let your bride know of the potential expense.

6. Transportation for Guests: This means transportation to, during, or after the event. At weddings, generally a bride and groom will invite older relatives that may have difficulties walking around a lot. What’s your plan to help them get to and from? I experienced this issue one time when I was coordinating a wedding. The bride and groom both had older relatives who couldn’t walk through the fields to get to the wedding site due to all of the hills. Luckily, they had a friend that lived close to them who lent them a golf cart to help transport guests to the site. Although you might not have enough in the budget to rent a golf cart, this is just a good expense to keep in mind when picking a venue.

7. The Unexpected Guest: It never fails. You get all of your RSVP’s returned to you and you set the headcount based off the no’s, yes’, and plus ones. But someone turns up who originally selected “no” on their RSVP or brought a guest when they said they weren’t going to. Our advice is to always plan for at least five extra guests, especially if you’re having a dinner.

8. Favors: Giving wedding favors to guests is one of the surest ways to show your thankfulness. Many people travel from out-of-town for your wedding day, so let them know you appreciate their efforts to be present. And although these favors cost anywhere from $3 to $8, they can definitely eat into your budget. If you don’t think you have room in the budget for it, try the DIY route. Give these DIY wedding favors a try.

9. Lighting: Lighting is expensive but an important part of setting the atmosphere for your venue. Luckily, we wrote a blog about six money-saving tips on event lighting that you should check out to save you major budget bucks!

10. Decor, and Not Just the Flowers: When you see a beautiful centerpiece, most people see the flowers. What they fail to see is the non-floral supplies: the hurricane globes, flatware, wood pieces, etc. Although the flowers are the most expensive part of the centerpiece, the cost of the additional items you need to bring the look together can add up quickly. Our suggestion is to allot about 30% of your decor budget to these non-floral elements.

11. The Backup: The weather is uncontrollable and can be unpredictable, so don’t fret over backups the day-of. If your client wants an outdoor event, be sure to save just a little for a tent. In our previous blog all about tents, we suggest renting an event tent with a cancellation policy. But no matter the result, you’ll need to put money aside for a clear backup plan. If your clients don’t have to use a backup option, that’s extra money they can add to their honeymoon fund. It’s a win-win if you ask us!

12. Sales Tax and Service Charges: No one thinks about the sales tax when they get a quote from a vendor. So it’s your job to remind them. If you are included in the meeting with the florist, be sure you find out if the quote they’re providing includes sales tax or service charges. For caterers, a “++” means there is a service charge and tax in addition to this price. Make your clients aware of this so they’re not sending off bad reviews when the event ends.

13. Gratuities: To build off of sales taxes and service charges, gratuities are also an important budgetary item to include. Remind your clients that they need to express a “thank you” to those who helped make their dream day possible. We suggest budgeting 5% to 10% for gratuities. Be sure to check the contracts carefully, though, some vendors already include the gratuities in their overall quote.

14. Presents for Family Members: As exciting as this day is for your clients, remind them that it’s also a bittersweet moment for their family. Suggest that your clients create a sweet reminder to their parents to show their appreciation. Our friends at the Bridal Guide have ten thoughtful ways to say “thank you” to the parents. Share these ideas with your clients, but include the cost of making these reminders in the budget.

15. After the “I-Do’s”: Unfortunately for your clients, the costs don’t stop after they say their “I-do’s.” They have to send thank you cards, print pictures, clean the gown, and make photo albums. These expenses can add up just like every other pre-wedding expense. So remind your clients not to start off their new marriage worrying about money.

Prepare for the unexpected so you don’t unexpectedly become the unprepared. Expenses are tricky and budgets are hard to maintain, but with Inspherio on your side, you can manage it all in one, easy-to-use location. Check out Inspherio’s Expenses and Payment features to see how we can help you.

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