It is one of the most exciting times in your life, you’re engaged!

You have been getting calls from family members and friends congratulating you and have basked in the glow of recent engagement! Now you are entering the newest stage of engagement, wedding planning. To keep the glow shining and minimize stress it’s important to start figuring out the budget you are willing to spend on your big day.

Although weddings are expensive, it is a time of celebration that you should allow yourself to enjoy and let loose! And that doesn’t mean that you have to take a bank loan out for your big day, with the right planning you can make sure that your dream wedding falls into a budget that you can manage.

There are lots of unexpected expenses that can make you go over budget that brides forget to account for. If you think about them ahead of time they won’t surprise you and you can avoid financial stress! Budget even for all the small things, and don’t forget these 5 common expenses on your wedding day!avie-event-planning-wedding-jordan-josh14

1. Alterations

The wedding dress is the centerpiece of the Big Day. We all dream about what our wedding dress might look like one day, and now you have the chance to realize your imagination. Dresses can be costly all on their own, but they likely don’t fit you perfectly right off the hanger. In order to get that true fit, most women will need to get their dress taken in and adjust the hem. You can go to a boutique with e a price range, but you need to keep in mind that alterations need to be a part of that budget.  This might not be a problem when the dress falls significantly under the budget, but when the perfect dress is right on the mark that doesn’t account for alterations which will easily put you over. Always be sure the leave a few hundred dollars of gap for alterations. And don’t count out the men. If you’re groom is buying a suit, it will likely need to be tailored as well!

2. Rentalsavie-event-planning-wedding-jesse-matt-31.jpg

Brides, be careful when choosing the venue for your reception. Many places that host weddings may already have tables, chairs, linens etc. included in the space you’re renting, while others are simply use of the room. Rentals are an easy way to spike your budget overboard. For an average sized wedding of about 100 guests, the cost to provide tables, chair, and basic linen is roughly $3.5K. Not even accounting for things like an arch, dishware, draping, decor etc.


3. Day-of Snack

This is easily the most forgotten. The meal for the reception is, of course, planned- maybe even breakfast has been meticulously accounted for. However, what is easily forgotten is the gap between your breakfast and reception dinner. Its a busy day where, during that time you are in the middle of getting hair and makeup done, pictures taken, and preparing for the big day. If you’re not careful the gap between breakfast and dinner is about 9-to-10 hours, and you end up at your wedding hangry, or exhausted. Having food for the wedding party to pick at until the ceremony isn’t expensive, it’s just easily forgotten.

4. Marriage License

If you didn’t already know getting married isn’t free, SURPRISE! To sign those lovely papers and make everything official, the price ranges from as low as $10, to as high as $115 depending on the state you’re getting married in. In the beautiful, sunshine state of Florida, a marriage license cost $93.50.

5. Tips

Just as you tip a server at a restaurant, you should tip the vendors. You may not feel it’s necessary to tip those who simply drop something off such as the cake, but those putting in the manual labor, do appreciate the tips. These people are your set up staff, caterers, event planners, photographers and even the DJ. Yes, you already paid them once for their product or service but you’d be surprised how much extra they kindly do on the day-of to ensure the best possible night for you. Be kind and set aside a couple of envelopes with tips for each vendor. The amount is up to you, but the average falls between $20-$100 depending on how many people work for each vendor.


Weddings can be expensive, but that doesn’t mean you have to go over what you are comfortable spending. Account for the little things and the amount won’t surprise you.