As I started to go through my budget sheet, I quickly began noticing the small holes of areas I had missed. I became so focused on all of the large purchases (which are very important), that I began forgetting about all of the small items I would need to purchase.
These items seem like they will be cheap little purchases, but begin adding up into thousands of dollars as you go along.
I can't stress enough how important it is to write out lists of items you need to purchase, and buy them over a length of time.
Some that come to the top of my head: Alterations, transportation for your guests, marriage license, asking the bridal party, vendor meals, and miscellaneous decor, (decor goes beyond nice flowers) signs and tips!
Even though you are paying some of these people to do their job, they still qualify for a tip, sometimes a hefty tip. My wedding planner did such a wonderful job, we have her a large, large tip for all of her efforts. Also, don't forget about sales tax and service charges, they will sting you in the ass if you're not paying attention to them. Helpful hint: Pay you remaining balances (of the vendors) right when they arrive, and if you tip them, they are guaranteed to go that extra mile for you. The night before our wedding, I had pre-made cute envelopes for my wedding planner to hand out to each vendor. There's no time for counting money and figuring out what you owe each person the morning of your wedding.
Cake Cutting Utensils Most venues will supply these, but if you want your own, I suggest Etsy, they have so many nice ones that come in a set with your champagne glasses. Cake Topper I almost forgot about this one... not every cake has a topper, but keep in mind these can cost $50 - $100 (ours was a cheesy police officer and bride one). Boutonniere Pins Just go buy some right now, and put them in a day-of bag. You won't be sorry. Champagne Glasses for the Toast If you're lucky, someone will buy you them at a shower, OR a family member will lend you some that have been passed down to them. This could be a good time to start your fine china collection, maybe in your bridal registry?
Stamps Do not send wedding invitations out without a pre-stamped RSVP. It's hard enough getting people to RSVP, don't make it any harder. Don't forget to purchase enough for all of your thank you cards from your showers and the wedding! Unity Items My husband and I had a unity candle that our mothers lit, and then we did a hand-fasting ceremony for ourselves (see the multiple colored ribbon above).
Hair/Makeup Trial My hair/makeup woman was wonderful (Hanna Wagner Design if you're in the Grand Rapids area). I think it's so important to get a feel for what you're looking for months before your wedding day. They take notes and pictures so when your wedding finally comes around, they know exactly what to do.
Programs I think this is one of the most overlooked pieces at a wedding. Think about when you're at a wedding, you're wondering who are those people and what is their relation to the bride and groom? Take the time to create something really fun for your guests to read over. Gown Accessories So you kept within your budget on the gown, what about your hair piece, necklace, earrings, bracelet, sash, veil, garter, shoes and undergarments? Various Outfits What will you wear to each shower or wedding event? Continue to bridal wear by wearing a different white dress to each fitting, hair trial, food tasting, bachelorette party, etc. What will you wear to rehearsal and rehearsal dinner? Is there an engagement party? Look good, all eyes will be on you during each of these events! Place Cards If you're telling your guests what table to sit at, how will this be presented? Chalkboard, pinned on a board, hanging from a tree, sitting on the tables. Either way, any printed material is not cheap and should be done as soon as you get all of your RSVPs back.
Parent Gifts All of my gifts to the parents went hand-in-hand with the wedding and had a personal touch to them. I purchased a patch and sewed to the back of my dad's tie he wore on the wedding.
Pre-wedding Pampering This includes hair cut/color, nails, tanning, waxing, massage, facial, whatever you think you may need in prep. Helpful hint: Get your spray tan 2 days before your wedding and also do facial treatments months in advance; no need for a nasty rash or peeling skin the morning of your wedding. Card Holder Where are people going to place their gifts and cards? I bought my black little bird cage on Tradesy.com. There are hundreds of ideas out there! Menu If your guests didn't get to choose their dinner, put a little menu card on each table for them to read over. You could also use the flip side for an order of events for the night.
Bride and Groom's Hotel Room Where are you crashing the night of the wedding? This can cost anywhere from $150 - $300, depending on the amount of nights you're staying and what type of room you're shacking up in.
Bridal Party Gifts Don't forget to thank your closest friends and family for helping plan the wedding, going to appointments, etc. They love you and are happy to do all of those things, but a little something to show your appreciation can go a long way. Helpful hint: For my wedding, I bought my girls stuff they could use again (NO not like the bridesmaid dress you never wear again), actual nice gifts. Try to supply some of the items they may use on your wedding, like a robe or tee for the morning of, shoes they can slip into at the reception, their jewelry, a bag or clutch to carry items in, the list goes on. Shower Gifts It's a nice gesture to give the hosts of your shower a little thank you gift. If you've ever planned a shower, you know they are a lot of work. Thank You Cards Sometimes the hosts of the bridal shower will provide you with matching (to your bridal shower theme) thank you cards. If they don't, plan on spending $50 - $150, depending on how many you have to write. Also don't forget to purchase Thank You cards for your wedding, too. You can find beautifully done ones at Wedding Paper Divas, Minted, Etsy, Paper-Source, and more.