When you first get engaged, you may find yourself going through stages of excitement and terror. Having been engaged now for 10 months, and with 3 months to go until the big day, my feelings have gone through the following stages:
- Excitement (months 1-3)
- Terror (months 3-6, worried about costs and location availability)
- Boredom (months 6-9, had everything big lined up, now what?)
- Terror/Apathy (months 9-10, because everything I thought I had under control is now not under control, but I almost don’t care anymore)
Part of this is due to things outside my control, like a chosen hairstylist disappearing entirely, but part of my terror is realizing that I didn’t plan for a lot of little expenses.
Little expenses, you might think, are no big deal. $40 for a cake tasting here, $95 for dress alterations there – it’s all manageable. However, once you start counting up all the little things, and I mean every little thing you randomly have to pay for, it starts to add up.
I estimate I’m going to spend around $1,000 in “little things”, especially things I didn’t think about. In an effort to spare you some of the financial horror I’ve encountered, here are some unexpected wedding costs I’ve found over the last 10 months. For the already-married couples out there, please share your experiences in the comments!
Cake Tasting Expenses
Since when did you have to pay to taste wedding cakes? I take that back – I knew in fancy markets, like LA and NYC, paying for cake tastings is fairly standard. After all, bakers are taking time out of their busy schedules to provide you cake slices (or, in some cases, cupcake versions of their cakes).
I suppose I just didn’t expect this trend to strike Phoenix so early. After all, even though Phoenix is the 6th largest city in the country, it doesn’t really feel like it (I say that with love, as a native of Phoenix). I just assumed cake tastings would be free, which was a bad assumption to make.
So far, we’ve spent exactly $100 on cake tasting. It’s $100 I didn’t anticipate spending and, when you’re trying to keep your wedding to under $5,000, $100 makes a difference! (Also, fun fact: one of the bakers who didn’t charge us for a cake tasting is the baker we’re probably going to go with)
Pre-Wedding Hairstyles & Make Up
According to my coworkers and friends, finding the right stylist for your hair and make up isn’t supposed to be hard. However, having gone to 2 different stylists for make up (and spending $50 each time), everyone agrees after seeing me that I still look hideous.
Okay, just kidding, no one says I look hideous, but their faces tell me the real story. In fact, my fiance did tell me I looked like a “scary” version of myself when I came home one afternoon with a face full of wedding make up.
I don’t know why it’s so difficult to find the right hair and make up person. Maybe I’m picky? Either way, it’s so far cost me $100, and that’s without having any pre-wedding hairstyling. I see another $100 in my future trying to get the right look – something that doesn’t terrify the fiance!
Transportation for Guests
With an open bar, I knew I would have to figure out transportation for guests sooner or later. Part of me just hoped they would stay nearby and maybe get a cab, but the nice part of me says we definitely need to at least offer transportation.
While I haven’t yet tried it, UberEvents has come to Phoenix and may be the option we choose for guest transportation. Apparently, I set the date of our event (plus the time, if I want to restrict people using our Uber code to certain hours), send out guest passes, and our guests use these guest codes to get free transportation to and from the wedding.
Free for them, but how much for us? It’s a little difficult to determine how much we’ll spend right now, as we don’t have a guest count, but I’m estimating anywhere from $100-500.
All the Stationary. So Much Stationary.
Apparently you need stationary for save the dates, invitations, tables, greeting cards, thank you cards, welcome mats, your mother, your grandmother, the sacrifice of your firstborn, and it goes on and on and on.
I should have just gotten a big whiteboard and wrote everything on it, but I’m afraid my classier guests would be horrified, so I’m buying the stationary.
Stationary will cost us approximately $500. Seriously… stationary?!
No one tells you this, but apparently sometimes you need to wear other clothes underneath your really expensive clothes. I’m not talking about regular underwear, either.
It’s different for every person, but you may find your dress (or even suit) doesn’t lay as nicely without certain undergarments, including shapers like Spanx. My dress, for example, is a little sheer (especially in bright light), so my tailor recommended I buy something for underneath the dress.
That something cost me $90, and we haven’t even determined yet what my fiance is going to wear! He better not need any Spanx…
As much as these unexpected wedding costs can pop up and (potentially) derail your budget, it’s important to keep it all in perspective. Not everything will go as planned, so prepare to have some cushion in your budget to handle unexpected costs.
Just avoid the stationary. I’m not buying it that it’s worth it – who remembers stationary after the wedding is over?!
For our married readers, what unexpected wedding costs did you encounter, and how much did they cost you? Are there additional unexpected costs I didn’t mention?
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Michelle Schroeder says
I had no idea that some places charged for wedding cake tasting. Mine was free thankfully 🙂
I know, isn’t that crazy? I understand they want to make sure they’re not just wasting their time, but ughhh. $100! Super unexpected! 🙂