Here Comes The Bill!: Ten Wedding Expenses That You May Not Have Budgeted For

February 22, 2013  |  
Lewis Whyld/PA Wire URN:15299925 (Press Association via AP Images)

You’ve prepared for the costs of the perfect dress, shoes, and venue to complete your grand wedding day, a celebration with friends and family. But are your finances ready to pay the premium for the floral arrangements, the costly professional wedding photographer, or a Saturday night wedding?

A happy marriage is priceless, but a great wedding can cost! Check out these ten wedding expenses that could make or break you and your fiance’s wallets.

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What Time Is the Big Event?

Many wedding ceremonies take place during the weekend, primarily on Saturday evenings, which could take more out of your pocket. If you are looking to save money on your wedding, change the day of the week and/or time of your ceremony to a weekday or earlier during the day. It could save you more than $1,500 in venue costs.

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Wedding Cake

Save money on a small ceremony by downsizing your wedding cake. Although a three-to-five tier cake with all the trimmings and decorations sounds nice and standard for a wedding, this could also be the straw that breaks your wallet. Opt for a smaller, less extravagant cake for the reception that is still tasty and decorative. Remember, taste is the most important feature!

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Signage, Cards, and Stationery

The stationery (save-the-date cards, thank you cards, etc.) and signage for the venue and reception areas could add up little by little as you go along planning your wedding. Use the team of friends and family you have to help you create your own signage and personalized cards for the event. If you decide to use a professional signage or copier company, do your research and get the best bang for your buck. Also, try informal companies that don’t specialize in weddings. They might offer cheaper services for the same quality work.

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Drinks at the Bar

Taking a chance at getting an open bar for your guests could put a damper on your wallet, setting you back possibly $2,000 to $3,000 for one evening. Cut your costs on the bar by only serving your guests beer and wine, or perhaps making it a cash bar.

Assess your wedding guest list as well to determine if an open bar is the best financial option. If your wedding mostly consists of your older relatives, family, and church members, spending your money on an open bar is probably not the best idea.

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Floral Arrangements

Floral arrangements and decorations could set you back almost $1,000 if you are not careful with your spending. Assess what floral arrangements are really necessary and those aren’t. Come up with other decorations that might work for your centerpieces, venue, and reception instead of costly flowers.

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Fancy Photography

It seems like just a few snapshots, but a good wedding photographer will add up to big dollars. The cost is further dependent on the the equipment necessary and the amount of time your wedding and reception will take. And if you want a video, you’ve got to add the cost of a videographer as well.

Do your research on photographers, get their portfolio ahead of time to assess their work, and take recommendations from friends, colleagues and family. They could possibly save you money by just referring you!

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Rehearsal Dinner

You’re already paying for the reception, so you may have forgotten all about the rehearsal dinner. Save money by hosting the dinner at your own home or the home of a family member or friend who can accommodate your wedding party. You could also opt to create a rehearsal dinner that is less formal, inviting your wedding party to a lounge space where they can be social over drinks and appetizers.

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Dressing Rooms

If your venue far from where you live, you might have to reserve a hotel room to get dressed on the big day. If your wedding venue has spare rooms, use that instead. And ask your wedding party to come dressed and ready for action.

Jennifer Lopez in "The Wedding Planner"

Wedding Planner

Calling JLo! If you plan to hire a wedding planner, make sure to do your research on rates and costs. You might find a better deal or save more money planning your wedding yourself or having a married friend or family member help you in the process.

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Transportation

Limousines, car service, and parking costs could tap you out. Do you really need a Maserati? A horse and carriage? Decide where you’d really like to invest a little extra cash. And if a regular limo or a friend’s fancy BMW will do, go with that. The most important thing is that you get to the church on time.

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