What Knots

Unexpected Expenses That Blow Up Your Wedding Budget

 May 4, 2016

As most soon-to-weds, you start your wedding preparations with a budget in mind. As these preparations progress, you might find yourselves going over and above your set budget so it’s good to prepare for unexpected expenses.

A closer look at what has transpired points us to some incidentals that were not taken into consideration.

Here are some of the items which are often forgotten. Because these are variable (each couple’s needs, preferences, capacities, experiences are unique), it is best to allot a portion (around 10 to 15%) of your budget to such similar expenditures. After all, we are sure you would rather want to have excess money to start your marriage than to have a broken piggy bank.

piggy bank, wedding budget

1. Contracts

Read the contracts of your suppliers. Some require additional charges like out-of-town fees, parking, early ingress/late egress, transportation allowance, toll reimbursements, morning weddings, broken time, etc.

2. Corkages

Venues and/or Caterers may require corkage for bringing in alcoholic drinks, non in-house suppliers, food from outside vendors, etc.

3. Caterers

Extra services from the caterers may have a corresponding cost. These may include buffer tables and set-up, additional ice and glasses (bar service), additional VIP seats, carvers, extra detail on the tablescapes, additional waiters, extra platforms/backdrops, etc.


4. Crew Meals or Allowance

Yes, you do need to feed your suppliers. Depending on the start of their work, you may need to provide them breakfast, lunch and/or dinner. Some may accept allowances instead of meals; do discuss with them your options.

5. Tip for suppliers, especially the waiters

They’re one of those groups who are the first-in, last-out people for the day. Please consider how much they have worked and how much their body must be hurting after attending to all your needs. Please consider giving at least Php100 to each (and more to your personal butler and head waiters).

6. Extension of services during reception

While contracts with the venue, caterers, photo booths, lights and sounds, food carts, photographers, and videographers already include sufficient hours of services, you will not know until what time you would want to stay with your best buddies for a crazy after-party. Either you prepare for the overtime charges or be mindful of the time. Ensure also that you indicate the start time correctly so you can maximize their services.

7. Bridal Car extension

Most bridal car contracts include only 3 hours of service. On the day of the wedding, almost always, you will use it for 4 hours: 1 hour before the ceremony for call time, 1.5 hours for the ceremony, 1 hour for postnup pictorial and 0.5 hours or so for traveling to the reception venue. Please include the corresponding rate of at least an hour extension into your budget.

8. Lights and Sounds

Your Lights and sounds provider must cover the needs of your musicians, host, and event stylist. If you have a band or a stylist, a large or open venue, chances are, you will need more than their basic.

9. Prenup

Aside from the fact that prenup pictorial entails costs, most location shoots also have corresponding rates. Further, while there are no rules about your attire during the shoot, most couples do want to buy new sets of clothes. Some also want a themed photo shoot. So expect to hire a stylist or to purchase some props that fit the theme.

Photo by Dominic Barrios Photography

Want to see the second part of the list of  things that blow up your wedding budget? Let us know what other things you want to add from the list.

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About the author

Rhonalisa Reyes-Battung

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  1. I can also think of one more reason for unexpected expenses. Upselling. Because soon to be wed couples will be presented with choices upon choices, the add ons, no matter how small, can increase costs dramatically. 🙂


  2. I love watching all the wedding programmes on TV , following blogs with wedding topics , venues , outfits and all else . But thinking of the costs of all this , I would rather go on a dream holiday with my partner , and marry him on a romantic beach venue or so 🙂 Your post is very informative , so much to think about and usually something still goes wrong or is missing . Bets way , hire a wedding planner , what a stress for THAT one day in your life .


  3. Wow. I never thought that you need to prepare for a looooot of things for a wedding. Now I know why some are hiring wedding planners. My aunt prepared her own wedding and she said it was very stressful. Lol. Like what Klaudia said, I would also rather plan a romantic getaway with my husband when the time comes. But if we have the budget, why not have a “bonggang” wedding!


  4. I never thought about a lot of these things before! It feels so complicated but you have got to watch every single contract like a hawk to make sure you know what you are paying for and make sure it is what you need. This is great for couples who are sticking to a firm budget!


  5. It seems like weddings always turn out more expensive than you want and expect from the beginning when you start to plan it. I noticed that a lot of company’s add so much costs just because the food or something else is for a wedding. The cake is suddenly more expensive. Besides that you have the unexpected costs like you described. Good to have it in a list so other people can look into that before planning their wedding.


  6. Just like in any gatherings, usually our set budget would balloon given the many expected expenses. You got here a pretty complete list. Its really advisable to mark up of budgetting in order for us to set aside the needdd budget. Also upgrades for the food or other services really make the expenses too far from the projected one.


  7. In India, we have another custom that requires high expenses- that of the cost of returning shoes of the bridegroom.It is a curious but, enjoyable custom.Kids during the marriage ceremony steal his footwear and the groom has to fork out a good fortune for returning them.


  8. In my case, it was gas money, food and toll fees. We got married outside of my city and had to gas up and take the tollway whenever we’re meeting suppliers or doing ocular visits. The travel expenses in the 6-month preparation time amounted to a considerable chunk. This plus other unexpected expenses amounted to almost 30% of our original budget.


  9. My favorite quote has always been invest in the marriage not in the wedding. It’s only recently my partner and I are talking about marriage. We plan to do civil first. Build our empire and then invite everyone who helped us to the wedding!


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