Budgeting for your big day is one of the least romantic aspects of wedding planning (that is, until you get to the seating chart), and it can also be one of the most stressful. Weddings are not only a significant expense — the average wedding in 2012 was nearly $28,500, according a survey by The Knot — but they are also tricky to budget for, considering nearly a third of all couples spend more than they planned. Stay on track by doing some serious upfront accounting, including these five often-overlooked — but important! — items.
1. Vendor Meals
You know that 12-piece band you just hired? Well, not only do you need to pay for them to play amazing music, you also have to pay for them to eat — along with the rest of the vendors who will be present at your reception. That can include the photographer, videographer, any assistants they bring, and even your wedding planner (check their contracts to find out). While they typically won’t be dining on the filet mignon with the rest of your guests, they will need some sort of meal to keep them going throughout the evening. Be sure to ask your caterer what they prepare and charge for vendor meals, and then multiply that by vendors present at the reception.
Image from: http://www.brides.com
Tax and gratuity are a huge expense that most couples don’t consider up front. Unless you are getting married in one of the five states with no sales tax (Alaska, Montana, New Hampshire, Delaware, or Oregon), many of your vendors will need to charge you tax on the services they provide. Comb every contract to see if the price quote includes tax; if it doesn’t, find out your state’s rate — it can be as high as 7.5 percent, if you live in California — and do the math. While you are at it, factor in the gratuity if they haven’t for you (check out this wedding tips guide provided by Real Simple), which can range anywhere from 10 to 20 percent, depending on the vendor. You’ll also want to plan on having some extra cash on hand on the wedding day to dish out to those people who go above and beyond.
3. Hotel Blocks
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