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5 Wedding expenses that you may overlook

It is important to budget everything at your wedding. Only then will you stick to what you can afford. A common mistake is to not account for the overhead costs when booking a service or vendor. These aren’t usually stated upfront, and unless you ask, you may have a nasty surprise when you receive the final bill.

These are the usual areas where couples wrongly budget and it leads to costs they didn’t expect.

Shipping Costs for Invitations

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Vendors usually do not mention charges inclusive of shipping when you place your order for your wedding invitations. Remember that the bulkier your card is, the more postage stamps or courier charges it will cost. Where hundred or more invitations are concerned, this can quickly add up, especially if many are to be sent overseas. When you receive an estimate for invitations, make sure you account for the postage charges as well. You may rethink your preferences when you figure it in.

Wedding dress fittings and alterations

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It is unlikely to find a dress that fits perfectly, when choosing off-the-rack. Every bride requires minimum alterations. Alteration services depend on the extent and nature of work involved. You may have to pay more if you want custom changes, such as changing the neckline or adding sleeves.

First, fix an amount and set aside roughly 20% of it for alterations. Inform your bridal consultant of your wedding dress budget and mention that it is inclusive of all the overheads, so she can direct you to suitable ones. Make sure that you choose a dress that doesn’t need too much work by choosing the right size and finding one that has most of the features you desire.

Taxes and extras on services

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There are taxes on everything from venue booking to caterers,florists and other services. The actual rate may depend on the amount you spend. Find out the cost inclusive of taxes, so you know whether what you chose is an option you can afford.

Extra charges at the reception include costs for cutting and serving the cake and serving wine. Unless you take an all-inclusive package where the cake and drinks come with the venue, it is likely you will have to pay the staff who perform the service. Make sure you discuss the rates before commiting to the deal.

Cleaning up

If you have chosen a full-service, cleaning up after the function is usually included. However, if you are only renting the place and arranging the caterers and decorations yourself, you have to arrange for clean-up following the function, or else pay for it. Even if you book a full-service venue, make sure you know about any extra charges you may have to pay for late-night cleanup, should your party extend beyond midnight.

Extra equipment and overtime charges

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Unless you stick to your original wedding schedule, you have to compensate for any extra time your service providers spend at your wedding. This applies to the band, DJ, caterers, photographers and makeup artists. Book with a realistic time schedule, and you shouldn’t have to pay too much extra. Any additional equipment such as speakers or microphones, that will be required at your venue, will come at an extra cost. So, check this out right in the beginning.

For more wedding tips and advice, visit us at Best for Bride.

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Wedding venue checklist: Tips to help you recognize if the site is right for you

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When you look for your wedding venue, it is often difficult to ascertain whether a site is right without seeing it all decked up. To make the right choice, you should have a fair idea of what you want it to do, and how it can be transformed to suit your wedding plan. For many couples, this may be the first time they are hosting any event on this scale, and so it can be very confusing.

To help you do it right, here is a checklist of the various factors the site must have.

Fits your budget

Set aside a realistic amount for the venue charges. If you are getting married in a church or house of worship, you will also have to factor in the donation for using the space.

Look at places where the rent is within your budget. Ask about any other charges or overheads in addition to the rent, so you know whether you can afford it. Also ask if the package includes services like an on-site co-ordinator or staff for serving cake and wine, or whether you will have to pay separately for these services.

Practicality of the venue

The location should be easy to access and your guests shouldn’t have trouble getting there. It would be best if both the ceremony and the reception venues were nearby or in the same location. This will be most comfortable, but if it is not possible, consider arranging transportation between the venues. See if you can have parking at the first venue and make transport arrangements to the reception.

The size is right

Look at the maximum number of people the site can hold. Don’t forget to accommodate for your band, musicians, buffet table and aisle when determining the maximum capacity. Only then will you get a clear picture of whether all your guests will fit comfortably in the space. If it is a small wedding, avoid a big venue. Being mostly empty will reduce the overall impact.

The rates for using it overtime

Venues are either charged by the hour, or for a certain slot of time. Ask about the extra charges you will have to pay if you wish to access the venue for a few extra hours, before or after the ceremony. Also ask for their rates if your wedding party extends late into the night.

Provision for disabled access

Check whether the venue allows for disabled access. It is likely that there will be older guests in your wedding party. The availability of washrooms on the ground floor would be convenient for them. Also, are there any outdoor seating arrangements that your wedding guests can use, if they have to wait before entering the venue?

Don’t forget to consider the practicality of the venue for the wedding look you have in mind. It wouldn’t be fun negotiating your way up and down a staircase, if you have chosen a mermaid-style wedding dress or a heavily layered one. So choose accordingly.

The more boxes you tick off this checklist, the better suited a venue will be for your wedding. For more wedding tips and ideas, keep visiting us at Best for Bride.