Hidden Costs of a Wedding!
Over the last few weeks we have been booking our venues and checking that the registrar is free etc.
Now, I must admit, I’ve never been one of those girls that has put a lot of thought into her wedding. I hadn’t really thought about what kind of wedding I would like until I meet James and realised he was the one for me and that I wanted to marry him. Obviously, you have those conversations, “would you like a church wedding etc” with friends, but as for all the little details, like what kind of dress, colours, where etc I can honestly say I hadn’t really given it much though until this last year.
So, I have kind of entered this wedding planning with my eyes shut! Just after we got engaged, I sat down and compiled what I thought was a reasonable wedding budget. It was my rough guess at what everything would cost. I must say I wasn’t far off, and have probably over estimated the cost of some things, just incase. However the problem I am faced with is what I like to refer to as, “The Hidden Wedding Costs”.
Now in my wedding budget I had included things like, the venues, the cars, dress, bridesmaid dresses, suits, food, rings, and of course, booze! All the obvious things.
What I hadn’t taken in to consideration, was things like registrar fees (well I had, but I was about £200 out!), corkage (I shall go into this in more detail), glass hire, table hire, chair cover hire and the list goes on. Now you maybe a savvy bride-to-be and budgeted for all these things, however, I happen to overlook these things when writing our budget.
So, this week reality as hit me and it just happen to be in the form of the contract for our ceremony venue! Not that it was their fault and I think the contract is very reasonable and I’m happy with it, but in it, it did cover things like corkage. Now I knew this was coming, but wasn’t quite prepared for at what cost! I think I’d had my head stuck in the clouds thinking it would only be a very small amount!
We had this romantic idea of driving over to France, doing a big booze run and saving ourselves a fortune. Now looking at the situation, once you add corkage per bottle it really doesn’t work out that much cheaper! I’ve found through my research over the weeks, that the average price you are going to get charge per bottle of wine corkage, is around the £5 mark. So say you spend £5 per bottle on your booze run, and then you’ve got to pay for petrol, van hire and tickets, all in all you will have spent at least £10 per bottle of wine. Most venues charge that to supply it to you without all the hassle of you going to get it. You really have to think about is it really going to be cheaper to supply it yourself, or is it an extra hassle you could do without????
I’ve put together a list of what I personally think are “hidden costs" I’m not by any means saying that everyone would have overlooked these costs and a lot of brides-to-be may not of. However, if your like me and only thought about the big things you may find this helpful!
Registrar fee’s: Be prepared to spend around £300. On top of that you have your “Giving notice” fee. This will be around another £30 each. You then have to pay for each wedding certificate individually which will probably be around £12 each.
A hint when booking venues and registrars! If your area is anything like ours, you need to get in there quick when it comes to booking the registrar. I would highly recommend booking the registrar before handing over any deposit for a venue. Our area has lots of registrars, but only two books, and its the book that is important! So if you have your heart set on a certain time of day book it quickly! I missed out on the time of day I wanted and I’ve booked over a year in advance!
Corkage. This is my massive bug bear! I don’t understand how venues can get away with charging so much per bottle, for booze you’ve brought yourself! But it is one of those cost, that unfortunately, you will have to budget for! As I said before, the average corkage cost in our area is £5 per bottle. £1/£2 more per bottle of champagne. Now even if you are going to serve Pimms as your welcome drink, (we’re serving our’s after the ceremony while we have our photos taken) you will still get charged a corkage fee per bottle and normally the same corkage fee that would apply to champagne. After a few calculations, serving Pimms seemed like the much more sensible option as even if we’d brought a cheap £2 bottle of Bucks Fizz, allowing 2 glasses per guest, our corkage charges would have been close to £400!!!!!
Which brings me to my next hidden cost. Glass Hire. Now a lot of these costs may not apply to you as the venue will supply them, but for us, because our ceremony venue is somebodys home, this will apply. There are lots of places, like Waitrose for example, that do glass hire for free, providing you cover the cost of breakages of course.
Table Hire. Now our reception venue is a village hall. They have tables but square ones. I’m happy to line these up in two rows and cover with table cloths. Hubby-to-be however, wants round tables which he says are more sociable, and he does have a point. To hire a round table that sits 8 you are looking at around £10 per table. When booking your venues check these sort of things. Ask them what tables they have, if they have table clothes, how many chairs they can supply. Is there somewhere you can put the tables when they are cleared away to make room for the dance floor. As I said, this may not concern you, it depends on what sort of venue you are hiring.
Chair covers. Some of you may not be bothered about chair covers, and to be honest, we can’t decide if we want them or not! I guess it depends on what type of chairs your venue has and if you think they need covering up or not! Look to pay around £1.50 per cover and then they add-on costs for fitting them and travel, depending on what company!
Cutlery and Plate hire. Another thing that may not concern you depending on your venue! I’m still looking into average hire costs for this.
Cleaning. Check with your venue if they charge you extra to clean away after you or if you have the option to do it yourself. If you can save money doing it yourself ask some of the bridal party, friends and family if they wouldn’t mind helping out.
Wedding Insurance. I didn’t even know such things existed! And it seems that a lot of venues require you to have before you can book. It’s a good idea and well worth while, but yet something else I hadn’t considered. Look to pay around £33 for a wedding with a budget between £5-£10,000.
Now these are just the costs that I have come across so far and although that don’t sound like much when you say “£5 here, £2 there”, you will be surprised how quickly that adds up into £100’s and by the time your done close to maybe a £1000 on things that you may possibly not of given much thought! I shall keep you posted on any other “hidden costs” I come across!