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Things You May Have Forgotten in Your Wedding Budget

You know to budget for the big things — the venue, the flowers, the dress, and of course, the wedding planner! But what about the small parts of your wedding budget that you might have forgotten?


One of the first steps to planning a wedding is creating a budget. Countless industry websites have articles to help guide you through the process, including us! We even have part of our Wedding Style File dedicated to helping newly engaged couples budget out how much to spend on each part of the big day.

You may have noticed, however, that many wedding budgets include a 2-3% ‘miscellaneous’ category. This can be misleading, because it is not cushion in case of an emergency. Rather, it is for little expenses that do not have a category of their own, but are vital to helping your day go as smoothly as possible. Not taking these little expenses into account can add up and wreak havoc on your wallet!

Here are some things you might have forgotten in your wedding budget:

Tipping – Remember to tip your vendors! Talk to you day-of coordinator about handling vendor tips so that you can go have fun! Here’s more help on tipping your vendors.

Vendor Meals and Transportation – Vendors need to eat and park too! Be as accommodating as possible to your vendors, arranging meals with your caterer and free parking with your valet service.

Hotel Blocks – For ease and simplicity, it’s best to group all your out-of-town guests into one section of a hotel. Check with the hotel staff to see if there’s a fee to block out a certain number of rooms.

Gifts – You want to say thank you in the best way possible, and that includes spending a pretty penny! Make sure to reserve some money for gifts for you bridesmaids, groomsmen, parents, and in-laws. Need help picking out the perfect gift? Our Bridesmaid Gift Guide and Groomsmen Gift Guide are sure to help!

Wedding Favors – Even small DIY wedding favors can add up! Be sure to factor in how many guests you’re inviting and how much each wedding favor costs, and add that into your overall wedding budget.

Postage – All those gorgeous invitations need postage! One of the most easily forgotten items, postage costs can add up depending on the size of your wedding. Stock up on forever stamps as you order your invites.

Permits – Make sure your marriage is legal! The cost of a wedding license depends on where you live, but can cost up to $60, as it does in Chicago.

Wedding Dress Alterations – Make sure to factor the cost of alterations into the budget for your wedding dress. Many times, brides get swept up in the excitement of picking a wedding gown and forget to take into account the alterations needed!

Overtime Costs – You and your friends might want to dance until dawn, but keep in mind that this means extra time for your DJ, caterer, rental service, and venue! This includes any overtime costs not included in vendor contacts. Save part of your wedding budget for any extra time needed. Bonus: if you don’t end up having any overtime costs, put the money towards your honeymoon!

Cake and corkage fees – If you plan on having a cake made from an outside vendor, keep in mind that your venue or caterer might require a fee. Ask your food provider about outside sweets or alcohol.

Taxes and Gratuities – Just like buying clothes, remember tax in everything that you buy, especially in a Cook County wedding! Set aside some money for that pesky sales tax.

Welcome bags – Welcome your family and friends to Chicago in style! Welcome bags are the best way to greet your out-of-town guests as they check into their hotel. To cut costs, make them yourself and organize with the hotel staff to have them given to your guests as they check into your hotel block.

Need help managing your wedding budget for the last-minute details? Visions offers day-of coordination services to help you enjoy the weeks leading up to your big day!

About Jenée Strickland

Visions Event Studio specializes in luxury events, including proposals and couture weddings. Jenée Strickland, owner, and lead visionnaire, has been an integral part of hundreds of weddings and proposals. Her job is a privilege; her work is a passion.

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