Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Goth Wedding in West Palm Beach, Florida

Cowboy Wedding Photos in West Palm Beach

Monday, May 29, 2017


On average, couples in the United States pay 10-15% of their total budget on a wedding photographer. Sound like a lot? It is. But hiring the best wedding photographer for you can be one of the most important decisions you’ll make during the wedding planning process. While 10-15% of your total budget is a reasonable target, there are ways you can come in well under that. By knowing a few key questions to ask along with general price ranges and cost-saving measures (outlined below) you can still get your dream wedding photographer without breaking the bank.
According to Snapknot.com, the average cost for a wedding photographer is $2,814. However, in cities such as San Francisco and New York, wedding photography prices are closer to $4,000. You can generally expect wedding photography prices to range from $2,500-$10,000 depending on the photographers experience and/or offerings. Expect the top photographers (IE: the Jose Villa’s of the world) to start at around $6-$7,000 and go up from there.
The typical wedding photography package usually offers coverage for 8 hours. Adding more or less time will increase or decrease that price. Engagement sessions can sometimes be included or run extra. For example, I’ve seen engagement sessions run anywhere between $300-$1,200 depending on how many hours the shoot is.
Another consideration when it comes to your wedding photography cost is whether or not you want a wedding album included in your package. I’ve seen experienced photographers charge anywhere between $1,000-$3,000 for a wedding album, and will sometimes offer a further discount depending on the amount of wedding coverage you buy. Alternatively, for a wedding photo album design service from an outside company [other than the less expensive kind you can do yourself using a service like Blurb], prices tend to start around $500 and can go well over $1,000 depending on the number of pages/images you want. Keep in mind that when you pay your wedding photographer to put together an album, you’re also paying for their expertise in putting together your “wedding story,” which they were there the entire time for. You just have to decide how much that is worth to you, or if you would rather do that on your own to save money. 
So, here are the takeaways to remember when it comes to figuring out how much a wedding photographer will cost you:
  • The average cost for a wedding photographer is 10-15% of a couple’s total budget, which is currently around $2800 for the average US couple.
  • You can expect your wedding photographer cost to run you anywhere between $2,500-$10,000 depending on the experience of your photographer along with what they’re including in your wedding package.
  • Wedding photography packages will typically cover 8 hours, on average. More or less shooting time will influence your cost.
  • It’s important to ask a prospective wedding photographer how much extra they are charging for a wedding album if they’ve bundled the cost into their package price.
I know $2,500-$10,000 is a huge range, but at least it can give you somewhat of an idea of what to expect when looking for and meeting wedding photographers. Also, as mentioned above always keep in mind that where you live can greatly influence your wedding photography prices. You might find that you’re able to find a great photographer for under $1,000 in your area, in which case you need to stop reading and do a little dance of joy immediately, please!
Now that you have a general idea of how much wedding photographers cost, here are some easy ways to trim (or attempt to trim) costs…
How to Save:
  • Be wary of wedding photographers who keep trying to up-sell you. Decide what kind of package you want from the get-go and stick with it. Good wedding photographers will be very upfront with what they are charging you. 
  • If you’re on a tight budget but just have to have a certain wedding photographer, see if they will shoot your wedding for less hours at a discount. For example, I didn’t really want photos of me getting ready, so we were able to reallocate some time, which otherwise might have cost us more in the end. Also, being flexible as to when you take your wedding photos might help with cost as well! 
  • Same goes for additional items such as an engagement session and/or wedding album or wedding photo prints. Leaving out one or all of those items from your package (if your wedding photographer offers those) could end up saving you thousands of dollars. See if you can get your wedding photography a la cart vs. as part of a package.
  • Don’t be afraid to negotiate. If you find a photographer you love but they are out of your budget, ask what they might be able to offer that’s more in your price range. Also, if you’re getting married on an off-day (weekday or Sunday), see if they offer any discounts.
  • Having a second shooter can increase your cost. If your wedding photographer is not part of a team (and some are), see how much of a discount they can offer for one shooter vs. two. Just be sure that they feel comfortable shooting alone and have in the past (and ask if they can show you pictures from those weddings).
  • Go local! If you hire a wedding photographer that lives out of town, you will most likely have to pay for all their travel costs (airfare, meals, hotels, etc.). I really wanted a certain photographer for our wedding, but after finding out how much transportation/lodging alone would have cost us, we decided otherwise (and I’m so happy we did!).
While finding a wedding photographer that fits your budget is important, keep in mind that it’s equally as important (if not more so) to find a wedding photographer that is right for you and has the portfolio to prove it. Be sure to look at images from past weddings they’ve shot, and don’t be afraid to ask for recommendations (especially if they’re not as well known in the wedding world). Also, keep in mind there’s nothing wrong with going with a less experienced wedding photographer. As long as you love their vision and work (and you can see concrete examples of it), they could be the perfect wedding photographer for you!

5 Ways to Save Money on a Wedding Photographer

For many couples, photography isn’t an area where they want to skimp. After all, your pro photographer will be the person cataloging the day that you want to remember for the rest of your life.
While the average couple paid $2,379 for their photos, according the The Knot‘s annual Real Weddings Study, that doesn’t have to be you. Instead, use these tips to save some serious cash on your wedding photography:
1. Start with someone in your budget. The place to start is with your actual wedding budget. How much can you afford to spend on a photographer? Experienced pros will charge you the average amount or higher, so if you’re on a tighter budget, look for newer professional photographers or even a photography student.
Don’t fool yourself into thinking you can talk an amazing professional who regularly charges $5,000 for wedding day photos down to your $1,000 budget. So begin by finding a photographer who is closer to your budget from the start.
2. Book early. Some photographers offer discounts for booking early, so try to secure one as soon as you set a wedding date. Even if you don’t get an actual discount, though, you could still be getting a discount in practice.
Up-and-coming photographers’ rates are likely to rise exponentially as they build up a reputation year by year. And even established photographers have to keep up with inflation. If you sign up for your photographer right after your engagement, or at least many months before the big day, you could skip your photog’s price hike. Another option is to make the full payment up-front, for a possible discount (pay with a rewards credit card and you could get cash back for your hefty purchase).
3. Opt for digital. One good way to save on your photography prints is to ask about a digital package. On the surface, buying digital rights to your photos can seem more expensive. But once you have that disc full of wedding pictures, you’re free to print off photos when you want.
The advantage here is that you can print off much more affordable photos for friends and family members, or even email them copies so that they can print their own. Heck, you can even print off a low-quality photo on your home printer if Grandma wants a copy for her fridge.
4. Hire a photographer for less time. Don’t book your photographer for as much time, and you can dramatically reduce the cost of your photography contract. The person will have fewer photos to process and will charge you fewer overall hours.
For example, consider having your professional photographer skip out on the pre-wedding festivities. Have your bridesmaids and groomsmen take these photos, instead. You can also trim time off the back end by having your photographer stay only until you cut the cake - or by just having bridesmaids with decent digital cameras take reception photos. The less time you require a professional photographer, the less money you’ll pay.
5. Ask about referral discounts. Many wedding photographers offer referral discounts — even after you’ve signed the contract. In fact, some will offer discounts on your final payment if you get a referral to them based on your wedding proofs.
You’ll need to talk up your photographer to convince at least someone you know to use your his or her services. This may work by sharing your photos on your social media sites, letting your newly engaged friends know about him or her, or letting other people you know about the photographer’s family portrait options.
Whether you’re on a super-strict wedding budget or you just want to spend more money on your dress and less on your photographer, these tips should help keep you on track.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Seven Things You Actually Need in Your Wedding Day Emergency Kit

If you’re in the throes of wedding planning, you’ve probably seen many mentions of wedding day must-haves over and over again in all your blog-combing and magazine-flipping. Maybe you’ve even seen some of those very cute pre-made pouches you can buy online filled with emergency essentials like breath mints and double-sided tape. And, yes, you could bring a metric ton of those alleged “essentials” with you (or, more likely, with whichever bridesmaid has the largest sequin clutch) to give you some peace of mind, but take it from me: The chances you’ll use most of that stuff (sandpaper?) are slim to none, and you’ll probably be so stressed trying to round up all 172 of those required items, you’ll miss your own wedding.
I’m not saying go unprepared. You should obviously toss the actual essentials into your clutch: A couple of bobby pins, some safety pins, a tampon, the lipstick you plan on wearing all day. But what else do you ACTUALLY need that many of these fairy godmother bridal experts never seem to cover? Read on:
Toupee Tape 
No, actually! I’ve done the research (because my own wedding dress had a very deep, plunging neckline and absolutely zero back whatsoever) and this is the best kind of double-stick boob-and-other-body-part tape the Internet has to offer. Think about it: What could be worse than a nip slip at your own wedding? Your toupee falling off… anywhere, at any time. It’s cheap, it’s simple, it’s sticky as hell (like…removing the bodice of my dress was difficult), and you can find it in convenient pre-cut strips to toss into your clutch for easy access if you or a maid needs some emergency coverage on the big day. Kim K would vouch.
Pepto Tablets 
Why does nobody talk about the fact that the best day of your life is also the most nerve wracking day of your life which means the most stomach-churning day of your life? You can be super happy and also super unable to digest a damn muffin, ladies, and there’s no shame in that. If you’re someone who doesn’t get an upset stomach when they’re stressed/overwhelmed/adrenaline-high, then you are a superhero and can move onto the next item on the list, but if you’re someone who does, congrats on being human, and toss some Pepto tabs or the stomach remedy of your choice into your survival kit, because you just might need ‘em. You probably won’t—the nerves will give way to blissed-out nirvana within an hour, flat—but knowing you have ‘em and won’t be spending your wedding day about to barf is a good thing. 
Bug Spray 
If your wedding is in the spring, summer or fall, or anywhere remotely tropical, and if any portion of it takes place outdoors, Murphy’s Law states that you’re about to be the world’s best-dressed mosquito magnet, congrats! However, that so doesn’t have to be a thing: Grab a travel-sized bottle of Deep Woods, and pack it with you for the long haul. Re-apply liberally. Yes, you will smell like DEET instead of magnolias on your wedding day, but that’s a small price to pay for not scratching through the entirety of your ceremony, or not having a bunch of angry red welts glaring back at you from your photo album.
And not for your lips—which hopefully have been thoroughly exfoliated, masked and de-chapped by the time your wedding day rolls around (but if not—don’t stress, no one will notice). Rather, chapstick is a miraculous zipper de-sticker! And wedding dresses have notoriously finicky, delicate zippers that can get easily stuck during rushed bathroom runs. To un-stick a zipper jam, just rub the chapstick against the portion of the zipper track surrounding the jam. The emollients in the chapstick should help smooth things over. Phew!
Mini Bottle of Hand or Body Lotion 
Surprise multitasker alert! In addition to prettying up your hands in a pinch (for all those close-up photos of your new bling and beautiful bouquet), hand lotion works amazingly as a hair smoothing and shining balm, and an instant static buster for clothes and hair. (You’ll probably encounter some serious static on your wedding day, especially if you wear a veil—polyester tends to have that effect.) The trick? Just apply to hands and rub in extremely well—maybe even wipe hands with a paper towel after rubbing in extremely well to remove any excess. Then, run hands through hair to smooth flyaways, add shine and eliminate static, or run along the surface of the underside of your dress or veil to tame static cling.
A Steamer 
OK, so, you can’t bring this one with you in your clutch (although my steamer is probably my most trustworthy friend and I’d bring him everywhere if social mores permitted it), but you’ll want to have it around while you and your ‘maids get ready. Irons are death traps, people. For one, many synthetic fabrics (out of which which many bridesmaids dresses are made) cannot be ironed and will melt if they are (fun!), and for two, irons are billion-degree metal plates of danger that should not be anywhere near you on the most photographed day of your life. Skip the iron and grab a steamer (you’ll use it forever after your wedding, and wonder why you ever ironed in the first place), and have it on hand to prep the bridesmaids dresses, mom’s dress, your veil, and anything else that needs pressing (hell, press your table runners if you please!). Your dress should be pre-pressed from your seamstress, but having the steamer on hand right before you get dressed for any last-minute wrinkles is a great idea. The best part? They’re ultra-portable (no ironing board needed!) so you can toss it in the car with you and take it to the venue to steam your groom if you anticipate him showing up looking like he just walked out of a car wash.
A Spare Copy of Your Vows 
Unless you memorized your wedding vows (most likely to succeed!), losing the one copy you have of the one reason (literally) everyone has gathered here today would…really suck. So go ahead and make a spare, and store it somewhere other than the place you put your first copy. Like in your dad’s shoe, or in your wedding planner’s pocket, or behind the bar with a bartender who will wonder what you’re doing behind the bar. Just put it somewhere. In all the hustle and bustle of the morning, you might have trouble keeping track of that very important little piece of paper that will actually make you a married person. So having a backup should really be a part of your survival kit.
That’s all I’ve got, but of course, you should fill out the rest of your survival kit based on your own unique needs. If you’re prone to headaches, you might get one on your wedding day as the excitement mounts—bring ibuprofen. If you anticipate blisters in your new shoes, bring flats for later in the night. And if your dress has billions of satin-covered buttons running down the back, bring that button hook, girl. The lesson, here? There is no one “Wedding Day Survival Kit” to satisfy the needs (and emergencies) of every bride—because there is no one wedding day, and there is no one bride. To be prepared, just consider this list, then, take a deep breath, think about the things you know you’ll need, and forget the rest—it’s just one day, and as long as you’ve got your true love, family and bridesmaid squad by your side, “emergencies” don’t stand a chance.

SixThings You MUST Do Before Sending Out Your Wedding Invitations

The moment you hand your wedding invitations over to the post office can be an exciting—and potentially nerve-wracking—experience. Your wedding is really, actually, almost here and soon those response cards will start rolling on—things are getting real. However, before you send those ever-important invitations, you’ll need to take a few steps to make sure that your wedding invitations are beautiful, accurate, and safely arrive to your guests’ homes.
Your invitations are most certainly beautiful mini-works-of-art, but if the information listed is incorrect, that becomes a moot point. Ask to receive a proof of the invitation before it is printed and read through the proof carefully. Are all proper names spelled correctly? Are the dates listed correctly (double-check the year!)? What about the venue—are the name and location spelled correctly? Ask family members and friends to read over the proof, as well (especially if you know any teachers or copy editors!). They may catch errors you didn’t initially see.
Most wedding invitations require additional postage, but every invite is different. In order to determine how many stamps to include on your wedding invite’s envelope, you’ll need to assemble one invitation, take it to your local post office, and weigh it. Remember, though, that the postage of your invitation will increase if it is square or doesn’t bend easily. Be sure to factor postage into your budget from the get-go, as you can end up paying a dollar or more per invitation if yours are particularly heavy or a non-rectangular shape.
Addressing Envelopes 
Before addressing your envelopes, you’ll want to ensure that all addresses and name spellings are correct. Feel free to share your guest list with family members who may be able to spot errors. If you sent out save-the-date, take note of any save-the-dates that were returned to you or featured outdated addresses so that you won’t make the same errors on your main invitations.
You’ll also want to determine who is addressing your envelopes. Wedding invitation envelopes should be hand-addressed (no labels!). Hiring a wedding calligrapher is the most traditional (and gorgeous!) route, but your wedding stationer may be able to assist with addressing as well.
Particularly if your invitations have several inserts and an outer envelope, you’ll have to come up with a game plan when it comes to assembly (your wedding stationer can likely help with this). Traditionally you should assemble your invitations in size order with the wording sides facing up. The main wedding invitation goes on the bottom, followed by the reception card (if you have one) and any other inserts, then the reply envelope face down with the reply card face up and tucked under the RSVP envelope flap. The whole shebang goes into an inner envelope (if you have one), and then the inner envelope into the outer envelope. If you don’t have an inner envelope, place the invitation and inserts face up inside the main envelope.
RSVP Cards 
There are a few little details to remember when it comes to your RSVP cards. First of all, make sure that the address on the envelope is correct (double check that ZIP code!) and that each envelope is stamped with proper postage—or else you’ll never receive them! Some couples choose to number their RSVP cards so that they’ll be able to keep track if a guest forgets to put his or her name on their card, but that’s your call. Another idea is to write the name of the invited guests directly on the RSVP card to avoid the addition of any uninvited plus-ones or kids. But again, that’s totally your call.
Investigate Hand Canceling 
What is hand-canceling? Well, a “cancel” refers to the black circular mark that is stamped on the upper right corner of an envelope to ensure that the stamp won’t be used again. This process is usually done by machine that can, in some cases, damage a wedding invitation. Couples may prefer to get their invitations “hand canceled”—meaning the envelopes will be stamped by hand (usually by a postal worker). However, while some post offices will hand-cancel your invitations without a problem, others may charge you per envelope, and still others may refuse to do it at all—it varies from location to location. If you are interested in hand-canceling, you may want to visit your post office in advance to find out their policy. 

10 Hidden Costs That Can Wreck Your Wedding Budget

Establishing a realistic budget for the big day (and sticking to it!) is one of the most challenging parts of wedding planning. You’ll have to research the average costs in the area where you want to get married, scout out vendors who can fulfill your needs, and most importantly, decide how you and your future spouse are going to fund it all. However, even after all of that preparation, it’s still possible to be caught off-guard by hidden fees.
One simple way to get a better sense of the total cost for any given service or product is to request an itemized contract that lists every single detail in writing. “Once you have all of the contracts from your major vendors (venue, catering, lighting, etc.), then you can evaluate each of them line by line, and prioritize what you want to keep. It’s pretty painless to go through and decide on two appetizers instead of four, skip the raw cocktail hour, or reduce the number of bistro tables and loveseats in the lounge area. That way, you still keep the overall vision of your wedding, but you can easily shave off a few items to stay within your budget,” says Sara Fried from Fête Nashville.
Here, wedding pros give us the lowdown on the most common unexpected costs so that you can plan for them in advance (or prevent them all together).
Weather-related expenses
“Choosing a late winter or early spring wedding date can save thousands on your site fee but keep in mind that Mother Nature can bring that cost savings right back up,” says Kristen Jensen of Sugar Rush Events in Walnut Creek, California. Even if you’re getting married during peak season in your area, you could experience unforeseen weather conditions like a downpour or heat wave. Save yourself the stress of agonizing over variables that aren’t in your control by setting aside an emergency fund for unexpected costs, and booking a venue that can accommodate your guest count and any climate changes.
“I recently planned an outdoor wedding where we had to use our emergency fund,” says Susan Dunne of Weddings By Susan Dunne in Marina Del Ray, California. The celebration took place in Southern California, where there is always a tiny chance of rain. Initially, the couple was supposed to have an open-panel draping tent to provide some shade for guests during the reception dinner. However, once the forecast showed a possibility of rain showers, she was forced to pull the trigger and switch to a covered tent, ensuring the tables and chairs would not get wet. “Luckily, at the beginning stages of wedding planning, we talked about the possibility of rain, and because we had already budgeted for it, the couple didn’t get hit with an unexpected cost,” Dunne says.
Cost estimate: A tent can cost anywhere between $2,200 and $7,500, depending on the siding, style, and your number of guests. The most budget-friendly option is a “frame tent,” which is a freestanding structure that can be set up on most solid surfaces. It has exposed metal pipes on the inside, which you can leave as they are to hang lights and decorations or hide with layers of draped fabric. Depending on the weather conditions, you might also need a tent heater, which runs about $200 each (typically, you’ll need two heaters per tent to make guests comfortable).
Tips can add up quickly towards the end of the wedding-planning process, so plan for them early on to avoid going over budget. Consider the total you spent with the vendor and how happy you are with their level of service.
“People forget that we’re working through our lunch hour and are on our feet for 10-15 hours at a time, so something extra goes a long way! We would recommend writing your creative partner a thank-you note, slipping the cash inside, and giving it to the lead contact for disbursement. Always tip in cash and in small bills directly to the team members working that day,” says Kate Turner from Kate & Company in Kirkwood, Missouri.
According to Turner, not providing a tip because someone is the owner of a company is a common misconception. If they’re having a short cash flow month, then they might skip their paycheck to ensure their employees get paid. When it comes to gratuities, oft-forgotten vendors include valets and staff members that deal with décor, lighting, and rentals.
If you don’t have money in your budget to tip everyone, consider another thoughtful gesture such as writing a glowing review on WeddingWire and sending a thank-you note. Facebook and Instagram shout-outs also go a long way to help these small businesses continue to grow.
Cost estimate: Check out WeddingWire’s handy Wedding Tipping Guide to help you figure out who to tip, and how much. 
Service fees, sales tax, and other miscellaneous charges
In addition to the per person cost, many venues have an 18 to 22 percent service charge (which provides for the wait staff), along with sales tax (the percentage depends on the state where you're getting married). “Most venues do list the service charge in the contract. However, when the price per person is discussed, it’s often left out of the conversation until that time, as with the tax and any other charges,” says Amanda Hudes of Smiling Through Chaos in Allendale, New Jersey.
Venues that provide a stunning location but don’t offer full-scale amenities such as food and drinks will charge a site fee for couples to utilize the space. Examples might include a historic castle or botanical garden. Some places allow for the couple to bring in any vendor they’d like to use while others might tack on a penalty cost for wedding pros that aren’t on the “preferred” list. There may also be additional charges for cake cutting and corkage, so check with your venue before bringing in a confection from an outside bakery or your own wine. (Note: Edible favors aren’t subject to this fee.)
Hudes recommends reviewing the contract line by line to ensure that everything you verbally agreed upon is in writing. “One time, I was hired after a couple already booked the venue. It was much harder to prove that the coordinator has promised them that specific alcohol brands would be provided at the wedding since that point wasn’t listed in the contract,” she says.
Overtime charges
Weddings have so many moving parts that sometimes timing just doesn’t work out in the way that couples had hoped. If your event runs past the contracted hours, then you might be slapped with overtime charges. Play it safe by asking all of your vendors about this ahead of time and getting fees in writing, so you’ll know what to expect. For example, some venues may charge overtime costs while others don’t. (There may be additional charges for early arrival as well.)
To help prevent this scenario, create a realistic timeline that takes into account all of the major components of your wedding celebration. “Allocate enough time for getting dressed and taking photos – those two activities, in particular, can take longer than expected. You don’t want to risk having your amazing wedding finale events (i.e. cake-cutting, final dances, sparkler exit) missing from your photo/video coverage!” says Lindsay Quinn of NST Pictures.
Cost estimate: The typical “per hour” charge for overtime starts around $250 per hour. NST Pictures, for example, asks for $300 per additional hour, with the option of adding on as many hours as couples need to capture their big day.
Setup and breakdown, as well as delivery costs
When it comes to the décor budget, keep in mind that wedding vendors also charge for setting up and breaking down the event. Typically, the setup and breakdown fees take into account gas to and from the venue, the hours required to get everything in place or remove and pack up items, and any labor costs for additional assistance.
“For a wedding with various floral arrangements and design elements, the cost would increase because a single person could not prepare the venue by themselves. Additionally, the location might not allow for flowers to be delivered or arranged until a couple of hours before the ceremony or reception are to start. In that case, your floral designer is working against the clock and must hire even more help to expedite the process,” says Jacqueline Hites of Blooming Hites in Atlanta, Georgia. Some venues charge if there are items left after a wedding, so it’s important that your florist can do so in a tidy manner.
Cost estimate: “It can range upward of $300, depending on the scale of the wedding and rentals that the couple has selected. For a larger event with 300 to 400 guests, then $1,500 is a more accurate estimate,” says Laura Kurkjian of Soiree8 Rentals in Studio City, California.
Vendor meals
When calculating catering costs, some couples forget to factor in providing meals to their team of wedding professionals, which could mean anywhere from three to over 20 people, especially if you have a band. Feeding your vendors a hot meal during your reception is a must—so there's no getting around this expense. 
“The general rule of thumb is to feed every vendor at the reception. The cost is less than the food and beverage estimate per guest, but it should still be taken into account nonetheless,” says Danielle Rothweiler of Rothweiler Event Design in Verona, New Jersey.
Cost estimate: On average, the catering cost per vendor can range from $50 to $85, but it can be as low as $25 to $35, depending on the venue and location.
Welcome bag deliveries
Welcoming guests with a bag or basket filled with small treats and trinkets is always a thoughtful gesture, especially if loved ones had to travel from far away to attend your event. But what many couples don’t know is that some hotels charge a fee to deliver welcome bags since they have to designate a particular staff member to handle this task. Pricing is dependent on the type of delivery service that the couple is expecting, whether it’s dropping them off at each room or distributing them at check-in. Negotiate the delivery fee with your sales manager; if you’re booking a significant number of rooms in a room block, then you might be able to use that as leverage.
One way to get around the cost is to give out welcome bags during the rehearsal dinner. “Some of our clients will invite their guests to the hotel bar or hospitality suite for late-night cocktails and bites. During that time, loved ones can say hello to the couple and collect their bags. Alternatively, the couple can opt for ‘farewell’ bags for their guests, which would be distributed to them at the conclusion of the reception,” says Geomyra Lewis of Geomyra Lewis Weddings & Events in Alexandria, Virginia.
Cost estimate: Handout fees start around $2 to $3 per bag while room delivery fees range from $3 to $5, depending on the hotel chain.
Transportation fees and parking
Couples are often unaware that transportation companies have time minimums and location maximums. “Just because guests need to go three blocks from the ceremony to the reception doesn’t mean their vendor can charge them for only ten minutes of their time. Most companies have a three to four-hour minimum, which is generally non-negotiable,” says Amy Saltzman of Alchemy Event Studio in Atlanta, Georgia. Similarly, companies based in cities frequently charge an additional fee for work outside of a certain set radius. Saltzman tells us that depending on the scope of the job, this cost can sometimes be waived, but forewarned is forearmed.
Tying the knot in a major metropolitan city, such as New York, Washington D.C. or Baltimore? Factor in parking fees and accessibility before committing to a venue, especially if you plan to cover this cost for your guests. Although the contract typically indicates this amount, Lewis recommends estimating how many cars you anticipate will be parking at the property before committing to the listed charge. Another option is to provide pricing for a nearby parking garage.
Cost estimate: Parking will range based on the location of the wedding. For example, the fee can range anywhere from $7 to as much as $50 per car in the D.C. metro area.
Power generator charges
More often than not, a venue charges for the use of their power above and beyond anything they provide internally and a primary 20 amp circuit for a DJ. If they can’t provide the amount needed for the job, then it’s necessary to bring in a generator.
“Having a vendor who is knowledgeable about creating a power plan is extremely important. After all, if the power goes out, then the wedding is pretty much over,” says Brian Lee of Elevated Pulse Productions in Irvine, California.
Cost estimate: Pricing can range anywhere from $500 to $2,500, depending on the type of generator.
When purchasing stationery items, postage typically isn’t included in the cost estimate. You’ll want to factor this in not just for your wedding invitations but also your save-the-dates, RSVP cards, and thank-you notes. Keep in mind that as insert cards get added into the equation, the postage requirements will go up. If you’re trying to keep costs low, then avoid square-shaped invitations, which require more postage regardless of weight.
“I always recommend that clients have their items weighed at the post office before purchasing postage to ensure that they have the correct amount,” says Sara Fitzgerald O’Brien of Sara Fitz in Hamilton, New Jersey.
Cost estimate: A typical A-2 sized save-the-date would require about 49 cents of postage. Each invitation set usually runs about 70 cents and higher.