If you are like most brides, you have been diligent to set a budget and stick to it. You have probably set up a budget template and are meticulously keeping track of the flowers, dress, catering, etc. Good for you!
Unfortunately, there are hundreds of tiny purchases that just don’t show up on the budget templates. These expenses probably don’t even show up on the most thorough lists you can find. That’s because these costs are different for every bride and every wedding.
Here’s a list from real bride Maria Northcott of Maine:
Here is a partial list of those stupid little things that I needed for my wedding that made me go over my budget. I know they’re really specific to my wedding, but hopefully you get the picture. I wish someone had told me about these things earlier so I could have budgeted for them!
- nice pen for the guestbook
- um…a nice guestbook
- good scissors for cutting the paper table numbers
- um…good cardstock paper for the tables numbers
- purchasing a font (we did our own programs, seating charts and placecards)
- a basket for the flashlight favors
- balloons for the sign on the road
- posterboard to make the signs that we put on the road
- wooden stakes so we could put up the signs that we made for the road
- ribbon to tie off reserved seating for the ceremony
- more good cardstock for the placecards
- decorative star hole punch for the placecards
- raffia for the placecards
- games, toys, crayons, etc. for the kids’ table
- oilcloth for kids’ table
- lanterns for the bar and portable bathrooms
- sunscreen for guest bathrooms
- wedding day essentials!
As you can see, the list is very specific to Maria’s wedding. Your list may be very different, but similar.
Every wedding will have this kind of list — it will be long, very detailed, and nothing on the list is very expensive at all. But when you add up everything on the list, it comes to a nice chunk of change.
Some experts recommend setting aside 20% of your budget for these sorts of details, plus any other last minute items you simply must have. That means that if you expect to spend $10,000 on your wedding, you should probably budget $12,500. In other words, allow 20% of the $12,500 — $2,500 — for these unexpected expenses.
It’s probably also a good idea to start keeping a list early, and jot down these details as they come to mind.
What are some other ways to expect the unexpected? Do you know someone who went overbudget because of something totally unforeseen? Let us know what you think!