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Most brides and grooms try to make up a budget to work with when they first start their wedding planning. This is a very good exercise and often provides a real budget reality check, especially when they're putting together their mock budget before they decide their head count and venue. But there are also a lot of little things that brides and grooms forget they'll have to pay including these five things:
Call them tips or service charge depending on your venue. The nature of a wedding is that almost everybody gets tipped. It's standard to see 18 percent to 23 percent for weddings — so you need to add that to whatever final budget number you come up with. Don't forget the service staff, the kitchen staff, the cake lady, the floral assistants, the ceremony musician, the DJ or band, and all the other vendors you've included in your big day.
2. Invitations and postage
Whether you DIY or order something fancy, printing costs money and so does the postage for the invitations and the RSVP cards. Also, if your invitation isn't a standard size (and most of them aren't), postage costs even more.
3. Gifts for your wedding party and your parents.
This isn't something for the bridesmaids to wear at your wedding — it's supposed to be a thank-you present for their efforts. If you want to accessorize them to match, add that as another budget line item. But don't give them all matching shoes and call it a present. The gift for your parents should be significant and sometimes having flowers or gift basket waiting for them in their hotel room is a nice idea too.
4. Lunch for the bridal party on the wedding day
You don't have to spend a fortune, but you do have to make arrangements for something to feed those ladies as you're all getting beautiful or some of them will be intoxicated or grumpy by ceremony time.
5. Setup/teardown/cleanup crew
Whether you're DIYing most of it or have a planner who is hiring folks, there's a lot of work to be done to build a beautiful wedding. Sure, Chinese lanterns are beautiful hung throughout your venue, but they take hours to properly install. Even those popular tissue-paper pompons take literally hours to assemble and fluff up before they can be hung. And what goes up, must come down. Unless you intend to make yourselves and your wedding party the setup and teardown crew, put money in the budget for those jobs. Otherwise, you may find yourself cleaning a bathroom on your wedding night.