There's a lot to keep in mind when you're wedding planning. Deadlines. Vendors. The fact that Aunt Helen must not be seated next to Uncle Art unless you want World War III to break out. In the midst of all this, it can be easy to forget about everything you need to pay for. You've likely remembered to budget for the flowers and the DJ, but what about these 10 wedding costs?
10 Wedding Costs You Don't Want to Overlook
State marriage license fees vary, but they typically cost $25 to $100. Some states require a blood test or counseling, which could double that bill. Remember to bring the right forms of identification when you apply and know whether you need to apply together.
Your bridal party does a lot for you. They help you plan and prepare, and they set aside time (and money) to be there for you on your big day. Remember to thank them by giving them something special at your rehearsal dinner, like jewelry for your bridesmaids or engraved flasks for your groomsmen.
It's also good taste to give a gift to those who got you where you are today -- your parents. A framed professional photo of you and your significant other is a nice idea, as are an engraved vase or photo album. It's also not a bad idea to have something for grandparents and godparents.
You spent all that money on the perfect dress, so make sure you'll look (and feel) perfect in it. Depending on your gown, you may want to get shapewear like a corset or Spanx. You may also want special underthings for after the wedding.
Out-of-town guests incur extra expenses and hassles to be with you for your wedding, so it's nice to have something in their hotel rooms. Include directions to local attractions, an events schedule and a personal note. The rest (snacks, soaps, city-specific souvenirs) is up to you.
6. Pre-wedding food Whether your bridesmaids are getting their hair done in a hotel room or your groomsmen are setting up chairs at the ceremony space, your bridal party will likely be spending the whole day of the wedding helping you get ready. Make sure to keep them (and yourself) fueled with a light breakfast, coffee and water and an easy lunch like a sandwich platter.
Just as you'd tip your waiter or massage therapist in normal life, don't forget to tip everyone who's helping your wedding run smoothly. This includes hairstylists, limo drivers, caterers and DJs. Set aside some bills you can slip into final vendor payment envelopes before the wedding (or give them to your best man or other bridal party member if they're in charge of that detail).
Have your thought about food for the photographer and DJ? It's a good idea to pay for meals for any professional who will be with you for the majority of the reception -- partly as a courtesy and partly because you don't want your photographer suffering a fainting spell in the middle of a hot evening. Some caterers offer a discount of up to 50 percent off vendor meals.
When you receive a quote from a vendor (whether it's your venue or your florist), make sure there's a line in there for sales tax if you're in a state where that applies. If there isn't, ask about it. Otherwise, you could find your final bill much higher than the amount you budgeted.
Whether you're thinking of handing your gown down to a family member one day or you just want it as a keepsake, you need to have it professionally cleaned and preserved to remove any spills, stains and dirt to make sure it stays in great shape for years to come.
Paula Pant ditched her 9-to-5 job in 2008. She's traveled to 30 countries, owns six rental units and runs a business from her laptop. Her blog, Afford Anything, is a gathering spot for rebels who refuse to say, "I can't afford it." Visit Afford Anything to learn how to shatter limits and live life on your own terms.