9 Commonly Forgotten Wedding Budget Items


No matter the size of your wedding budget, I find there always is one. And there should be. It’s important to track spending, have realistic expectations of what you’re going to invest and how. Creating a wedding budget from the beginning will also help you determine what your priorities are and where to spend more or less. This should leave you feeling good about your decisions – because they were intentional. But there are commonly forgotten wedding budget items that can¬†unexpectedly tip the scale. So before you break the bank (no matter the size), keep in mind these commonly forgotten line items leading up to your big day.

1. Gifts:

Bridal shower hosts, engagement party hosts, bridal parties, parents and even your future husband or wife are all recipients of gifts during the wedding planning process or on the wedding day. Don’t forget to add in a budget to gift all your loved ones that you want to say thanks to!

2. Transportation:

Are you getting married in a church or temple and then celebrating somewhere else? You’ll need transportation not just for you but for both wedding parties, usually the parents too and perhaps even the wedding guests. Transportation costs add up quickly so keep in mind when and where you’ll need to have a ride (in style of course).

3. Lighting:

Lighting costs may not seem important but it’s well worth the investment. Without great lighting, all the other decor details won’t shine, you guests won’t look their best and your photos won’t be your favorite. Plan extra funds in the budget for amazing lighting on the night of!

4. Getting ready suite amenities and bites:

Chances are you aren’t getting married until later in the day. But you’ll have a long day of celebrating and getting ready with your friends and family before the official festivities begin. Plan ahead for snacks and substance to be delivered to the getting ready room or bridal suite before the ceremony starts so you don’t walk down the aisle starving.

5. Alterations:

Your wedding dress is a big purchase and likely a large investment too. The salon or designer will take your measurements when you purchase the dress. That doesn’t however mean it will fit right the first time. Wedding dress alterations can be a few hundred dollars to much more than that, depending on the materials and work to be done. Plan for alterations no matter how many measurements they take.

6. Sound:

Bands need lots of equipment, DJ’s need a booth and no matter your form of entertainment, sound costs should be considered. Some companies will bid the project with the sound included but if you’re traveling with your favorite DJ or musicians, that equipment may need to be rented at the location. Discuss in advance any additional sound costs that may need to be taken into account (especially for larger groups).

7. A Weather Plan:

Getting married outside? Always have a backup plan! Even if you expect the weather to be perfect, plan for the imperfect just in case. That may mean a tent (a much larger expense) or it could mean moving into a ballroom that needs additional draping, decor and design elements to create the mood you’ve envisioned.

8. Gratuities:

Saying thanks to the team that brought your wedding to life is part of the process. Plan tipping expenses in the budget for people like your DJ, banquet captain and other key members of your wedding day team.

9. Pre and Post Wedding Events:

Are you hosting a welcome party at a destination wedding, a rehearsal dinner or post-wedding brunch? If so, make sure the budget can accommodate all your events (assuming someone else isn’t hosting these for you).

Keep these line items in mind and you won’t have any surprises as you spend for the big day!



Photo: Nicholas Wray