Top 10 Most Commonly Forgotten Wedding Items to Budget For

wedding budget Creating a wedding budget can be a daunting task – you’ve got to allocate funds for so many things, including flowers, music, your dress . . .

But there are several other items that have to be paid for. While they’re not really “hidden” costs, they can be easily overlooked until it’s time that you really need it.

The following are the most common items that all couples will have, but usually forget to include in their wedding budget.

Your wedding gown will require some type of alterations, whether it’s a hem, a little nip at the waist, or adding straps to a strapless gown. Depending on how much is needed, this can easily cost you several hundred dollars.

What goes underneath is (almost) as important the gown. Besides that beautiful dress, you’ll be wearing a veil, shoes, undergarments, shapewear, and jewelry.

Marriage License
Don’t forget to make it legal! Marriage licenses typically cost between $20 and $100, depending on where you’re getting married (see your state’s and county’s guidelines).

Make sure you carefully weigh your invitations with all of the enclosures. You won’t want them coming back to you with postage due (or end up putting on too much postage ans wasting money). Also keep in mind that square or over-sized invitations will require extra postage regardless of how much they weigh. You’ll also need stamps for your save-the-dates, RSVP cards, and thank-you notes.

Wedding Day Meals
You’ve got a fabulous dinner picked out. Don’t forget you and your bridal party have to eat the rest of the day too. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy. Bagels and a fruit tray is perfect for breakfast, and a platter of sandwiches makes a great lunch.

Meals for your Vendors
Your vendors will be easily with you on your wedding day for 8 -12 hours, and unlike other jobs, we cannot leave to take a lunch break. We need to re-fuel so to speak, so we can be able to give you our best. Your vendors (photographer, videographer, coordinator, dj or band members) don’t have to be fed the same meal that you are providing for your guests. Most caterers offer vendor meals.

Counting Yourselves in the Final Head Count
When you’re counting up those “Yes” RSVPs, it’s too easy for forget to count yourselves (or your parents if they are issuing the invitations). You’re gonna want to eat too, so remember to add yourselves to the final head count.

Sales Tax/Service Charges
When you’re looking at that catering menu, the listed prices do not include the service charges or sales taxes. Service charges can vary anywhere from 18% to 22% of your catering bill, which can be a quite significant “extra” if it wasn’t figured into the budget in the first place.

Day-of Coordinator
So many times brides don’t hire a day-of coordinator because they didn’t include one in their budget, but after the wedding day they wish they would have had someone there to take care of all the little details for them.

Your wedding day should be the one day where you, your fiancé, your mom, and your BFFs (eg. your bridesmaids) should only have to think about enjoying yourselves, and NOT on worrying about if deliveries have been made, and things are set up the right way, and the everything flows smoothly.

When your reception is in full party mode and you want to go over the scheduled end time, or if you got a late start and are running behind) overtime charges will incur. Remember this goes not only for your venue, but for your photographer, videographer, dj/band, and day-of coordinator. Not only will they require overtime fees, these fees will most likely need to be paid that night.

Add a Miscellaneous category to your budget and allocate 10% of your wedding funds to it. You can use these funds for any forgotten items or last minute must-haves.

Hearts, Joy, Love!

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Need help with developing your budget or other wedding planning assistance?Contact me today at or at 937-235-2586 or 937-581-3647!

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The Stylish Groom – Formal Wear






photo credit: Aunti Juli via photopin cc

For his wedding day most men want to wear something special, look stylish, yet still let his personality shine through.

I talked with Kat Finn with Folchi’s Formal Wear in Cincinnati about what she’s been seeing for the 2014 wedding season, and guys, you’ve got many options available.

For a formal evening wedding, if you prefer something traditional, a popular choice is a black tuxedo jacket with peak lapel (the lapel is raised and pointed toward the collar of the jacket), cummerbund, bow tie, and a pleated shirt.





photo credit: Robert Sheie via photopin

If you’re having a semi-formal daytime wedding, any color tuxedo (Steel Gray and Heather gray are popular choices right now), with vest and tie, and non pleated shirt will be perfect.

Black, navy, purple, and charcoal are the popular vest and tie colors for 2014. Kat says “Bow ties have made a wonderful comeback! Windsor ties are still popular, especially in modern weddings.” A new trend she is seeing is “neither the vest or cummerbund, just suspenders with a bow tie.”

So, with all these different options available, how do you know what is right for your wedding? When you make that trip to the formalwear shop, keep in mind the time of day and formality of your wedding. This will help to steer you towards the choices that will be right for you.

Kat tells us, “Tuxedos were originally worn for formal evening events. If you’re having a formal ceremony at the church, followed by a formal evening reception (Black-Tie wedding), you’ll want to make sure your groomsmen are in cummerbunds.” She often suggests a cummerbund to the traditional wedding parties regardless of the time of day, saying “the vest is more modern, for the non traditional wedding, and has recently replaced the use of a jacket for outdoor weddings.”

Kat also suggests the following formal wear tips:

1) Shop around. Spend your money at the company who values your business. A great formal wear specialist is able to answer any and all questions you may have, be able to match colors, get to know you on a personal level, etc.

2) All measurements need to be in at least 1 month prior to the wedding, 2 months during Prom season (April-May). Ringbearers don’t need to be measured until 3 weeks prior to the wedding.

3) Traditionally the groom matches the bride’s dress color for his vest/tie. It is appropriate for a Black-Tie wedding that the groom is in a white/ivory bow tie/cummerbund.

4) Colors for vest/cummerbund/tie don’t necessarily have to match the bridal colors. More couples are choosing neutral colors for the guys while the ladies wear the color(s) in their dress. A lovely coordinating option is to put the bridal color(s) in the men’s boutonnieres if the couple feels that colored vests are too much.

Be sure to visit Kat and Folchi’s Formal Wear for your wedding formal wear needs.

Hearts, Joy, Love!

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If you have questions or are looking for ideas, contact me at or at 937-235-2586.

4 Ways to Stay on Budget with Your Wedding Gown

  1. Figure out your wedding gown budget before going to the salon, and then only try on gowns that fall within that range.
  2. Be very careful before purchasing a dress that is way too big or too small, even if the price is one that seems impossible to pass up. While it may be an incredible savings on the dress, the alterations will be costly.
  3. Go to trunk shows. A trunk show is a special event where a designer displays his or her entire collection and provides personal consultations. You will have the opportunity to talk to the actual designer, to discuss the gowns that are best suited for your body type, and take advantage of any show specials. Check with your local salon for any upcoming trunk shows.
  4. Snag a sample. To make room for the new seasons’ designs, bridal salons will often sell their current sample inventory at 50% or more off regular price.

Hearts, Joy, Love!

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Bride & Groom Q & A – What Are Some Alternatives to Tossing Rice or Bubbles?

Q. – We’re not allowed to throw rice or birdseed after our ceremony, and I really don’t want to do bubbles. What alternatives do we have?

A. – Tossing rice originated with the ancient Hindus and Chinese to bestow fertility upon the bride and groom. Although highly traditional, this practice has lost its popularity and is rarely done anymore. From a bride’s standpoint, she doesn’t want something thrown at her (and rice or birdseed can sting if thrown directly at someone), and from the venue’s standpoint, it makes a big mess.

While blowing bubbles is a popular alternative — it’s painless and unless someone spills a whole bottle it doesn’t leave a big mess to clean up afterward — it isn’t the only other alternative.

Other choices include: a feather toss, flutter fetti, dried lavender, and rose petals. They’re fun and make for a great photo op. However, since they are tossed and therefore land, always check with your ceremony site well before your wedding day to see if they’re permitted.

Now, if you’re looking for something that doesn’t have to be thrown at all, how about sparklers, kazoos or recorders, or bells? They’re festive, unexpected, and leave no mess afterwards.

Another alternative that is gaining popularity is having a live butterfly or dove release. It’s so romantic — truly a beautiful sight, not harmful to the creatures themselves, and aren’t messy (really!)

Hearts, Joy, Love!

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Do you have a wedding dilemma or question you need answered? I’d love to help. Contact me at or at 937-235-2586.

Let The Seasons Guide You – Spring

Trying to decide what flowers to use in your bouquets and centerpieces? Why not let the seasons guide you?

In spring, with the long cold darkness of winter fading, spring brings with it the desire for a variety of colors. Use bright splashes of eye-popping color in your bouquets and other floral arrangements.

If bright colors aren’t your thing, and you really love pastels, go for it. Pastels are quite lovely and still very popular. A new twist on using pastels is to add touches of a contrasting color instead of colors that are complimentary. Introducing a contrasting color is interesting and visually appealing.

Flowers available in the spring: tulips, grape hyacinths, peonies, sweet peas, daffodils.

Flowers available year round: baby’s breath, carnations, orchids, roses, stephanotis, gardenias.

Hearts, Joy, Love!

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Looking for fun ideas to make your wedding plans unique? contact me at or at 937-235-2586.