July 25, 2011

The True Costs of a Wedding- Hidden Surprises

You’ve worked many long and hard hours and prudently saved your money, and now you sit on the cusp of your wedding, basking in all the confidence afforded of, well, being able to afford that aforementioned wedding.

First, we’d like to offer you our warmest congratulations.

Secondly, we formally request that you stop basking, good sir. Stop basking right now.

While it can never be said that people underestimate wedding expenses, it is nevertheless true that few couples-to-be are truly aware of the mountain of fees that are lurking behind the corner of every receipt, waiting to make their ambush against a formerly well-constructed budget.

Fear not, though; we only propose a temporary cessation of your wedding-funds confidence while we outline for you some of the hidden costs that people neglect to consider until they show up on their bills.

1. Taxes

No, nobody really wants to think about having to pay taxes on top of purchases and service fees, but this is one situation where ignorance is so far from bliss that it’s developed a fondness for the financial sucker punch. One cannot avoid sales taxes; rather, one must know to anticipate them.

2. Tips and Gratuities

For every service you procure, you must also be prepared to pay a gratuity, at least if you want to avoid the stigma of inappropriate stinginess. Good tippers offer 15 to 20% of total fees.

3. Postage

The simple fact of the mail system is that for every invitation sent, postage must be paid, while one of the simple facts of wedding planning is that these postage fees are often left unconsidered until the last moment. Wise spenders don’t simply include them in their budgets though; they also take into account the cost of sending announcements and thank you notes, and they realize that the more elaborate the invitation is, the more it will cost to deliver.

4. Alterations

Formal wear can be a difficult beast; rarely will a groom find that the ideal outfit just so happens to come in the perfect fit. As such, everything he wears — from his suit to tuxedo vests and tuxedo shirts — could easily require tailoring before it can be worn with true groom style.

5. Additional Service Charges

Many people neglect to budget for standard expenses like coat check, cake cutting, and rental transport and delivery fees. Others don’t take into account the potential that their wedding and/or reception will run long and thus do not budget for overtime pay. Don’t be one of these people.

There, now we feel productive, and we can only hope that you feel prepared. May your basking recommence.

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