Client: FotoBox Live

Title: “Uncovering Hidden Wedding Costs”


Source: The FotoBox Live Blog Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3
Word Count: 765 (part 1), 771 (part 2), 753 (part 3)
Notes: This is a 3-part blog on request of the client, merged together into this one project.

"hidden costs"As we enter March, the spring is upon us. Technically, Spring arrives on March 20th and across the nation, the wedding window is beginning to open again! For Floridians like us, we have the opportunity to get married year round. However, spring is a perfect time to execute an outdoor wedding and still enjoy the warmer weather. This month, Foto Box Live will be discussing all the hidden wedding costs associated with weddings that we can find! This week begins part one of our new series. Let’s dive in and uncover those hidden costs.

Hidden Costs: Round 1The Wedding Dress

Hidden costs are everywhere in life. When they rear their ugly heads within a wedding, where tensions are already high, things can get hairy. Believe it or not, the wedding dress is public enemy number one. Your desire for THE perfect dress definitely factors in here. Alterations can come in the form of adding sleeves, bra cups, boning or taking in certain seams and additional hems. If only there was a way to gauge alterations beforehand, we’d gladly share that information. The opportunity to tweak your dress will come once you try it on at the bridal salon. According to Our Everyday Life, “While the national average price of a wedding gown is $1,250, brides should budget at least $1,000 to $3,000 for their perfect dress…” — Source: Our Everyday Life.

Whether applying makeup for a date or walking down the aisle in your wedding dress, the foundation is important. Start with the foundation of your dress, as in the undergarments, then work outside on your dress. Most often, eager brides go straight for the dress, fall in love, and confirm a few necessary alterations. Since the wedding dress is not the only thing they’ll be wearing that day, things can go awry when the dress is fit without the proper foundation of undergarments. To put it tactfully, the figure and curvature of each bride are different. Therefore, every alteration should only be done if necessary when the correct shapewear is already in place. The good news is that shapewear can minimize the added pain of costly alterations in the long-term.

Of course, you can’t forget the accessories such as the veil or the tiara for those fairytale weddings. (Speaking of fairytale weddings, did you see the recent December 2017 wedding at the Grand Floridian Resort in Disney? Catch some behind the scenes photos here from Freeform). Veils are not for every bride, but they say it transforms you! The average veil comes in at around $200, while shoes can range from $60 to $250 or more. The dress makes up the bulk, but the additions can add up quickly. Now we understand why Emmy Gorman said to budget up to $3,000 for the dress, meaning the entire outfit from head to toe with all completed alterations.

Hidden Costs: Round 2Musical Entertainment

With the main sight out of the way—the bride and her gorgeous dress—it’s time to focus on the sound. Being nickeled and dimed when it comes to the DJ or band can be easily avoided. Simply think ahead; here’s how it should go down. Meet with your DJ or band beforehand and run through your idea of the reception with everyone involved. Understand their pricing and the contract.

Before you sign on the dotted line, be sure you and the entertainers visit the wedding venue together. Make sure you anticipate the need for fail-safes, added equipment or extra gear. Both you and they should know how much space they’ll be taking up. They can easily charge for things if problems arise. Therefore, be sure to ask them for things they’ve experienced in the past that could potentially cause problems at your wedding. Know before you go and then circle back to their contract. A few questions to ask them and keep in mind for yourself are:

  • Do they charge for travel time?
  • Do they charge extra for the breakdown, set up and sound checks or do they charge at an hourly rate?
  • Do they offer partial or full refunds or the ability to be flexible should problems arise?

That’s A Wrap On Part 1

That concludes part one of our month-long topic on hidden wedding costs. Hopefully, it’s not too late to protect yourself. Be sure to factor these costs into your budget as well. Next week, we’ll pick up with additional costs that can be lurking outside of your budget. Stay tuned!

Thank you for reading,
The Foto Box Live Team | Photo Booths for ANY Event

"hidden costs"Last week, we started a new blog series on uncovering hidden wedding costs. This week, we are continuing the conversation after leaving off with the hidden costs of musical entertainment. There is a slew of things that can turn up to be cha-ching if left unchecked. We will be starting off by discussing what we’re calling the “grab bag,” a handful of miscellaneous costs to keep two eyes out for and factor into your budget. Let’s resume…

Avoid Overtime At All Costs

Of course, this is your special day. However, for your vendors, it’s their job. Both your time and their time is valuable. The most professional vendors will factor what their time is worth into the contract for your wedding. If they block out 8 hours for you, be sure you keep it to 8 hours. If you go over the allotted time, they can and should charge for their time. The downside is that overage fees can be very, very high— on average of $250 per hour or at least higher than their hourly rate. Watch your time and be sure to cover this issue before signing any contracts.

The Grab Bag Of Hidden Costs

Think about your wedding invitations. They will go out by snail mail far ahead of your big day. Wedding invitations should be ornate and elegant and include an RSVP card for your guests to respond. Keep in mind that ornate can easily pile on the ounces. Additional weight per invitation can force the postage to add up. This is definitely possible when the average guest count is one hundred and forty. If the average guest costs $300 per head when all is said and done, invitations can quickly become a few bucks per guest. On average, 140 guests multiplied by $2 equals $280, a big fee that could be trimmed down significantly.

Are hotel welcome bags really necessary? It depends on your personal style and wedding theme, but more often than not, it’s not essential. If you do choose to go this route, definitely consider the price of creating bags for all your guests. The average cost runs between $5 – $7. As it turns out, hotels may charge you (and not tell you) to hold welcome bags behind the counter to hand to your guests when they arrive. Plan things out and cover all your bases. Vendors and hospitality businesses are in the business of making money. Don’t let them get away with anything they should not!

Will you be renting decorations? If you rent certain decorations such as tents, chairs, or an altar, there is a chance the rental company operates on an a-la-carte basis. This means they could easily charge you for the item rental as well as transporting the rentals to and from your venue. Be sure to know before securing even a single chair!

Speaking of decorations, are you planning a Florida wedding with a rustic theme? Reach out to Bobbi and Victor Dell, owners of Farmer And The Dell, to rent rustic scenery and wedding decorations for your big day.

Pick your venue first and then your vendors; here’s why. Word on the street is that some venues are snooty (go figure!) If you secure a date for your wedding, you may come to find out they don’t allow just any vendor on their property. It’s true; they may only want to work with pre-approved vendors. The thorn in your side may come if they don’t approve of a vendor you want to use, or secondly, they charge you to use a non-approved vendor. Ask first, confirm later.

Good Ole’ Uncle Sam

Taxes are not entirely hidden from you as they are part of everything we purchase. The reason taxes made our list is because of the sheer number of additions to final bills can sneak up on you. The best way to combat excessive taxes is to budget on top of your budget. What we mean is take your budget, say for the entertainment vendor, and add in one-third of that original budget to create a final budget. This will encompass both the service itself and the additional taxes that can accrue.

That’s A Wrap On Part 2

That concludes part two of our month-long topic on hidden wedding costs. Hopefully, it’s not too late to protect yourself. Be sure to factor these costs into your budget as well. Next week, we’ll pick up with additional costs that can be lurking outside of your budget. Stay tuned!

Thank you for reading,
The Foto Box Live Team | Photo Booths for ANY Event

"hidden costs"Previously, we wrote a blog series on uncovering hidden wedding costs. In part two, we wrapped up with the “grab bag” of miscellaneous costs brides and grooms may not think about. For part three of our series, we’re cutting the cake first and talking food as it can easily disrupt your budget. Rest assured, the best way you can prepare for the costly road ahead is reading everything you can get your hands on, including our blogs! Let’s resume on part three…

Uncovering Costs From The Cake, Catering, And Corks

Watch the catering bill. Whether it’s sharper eyesight, a magnifying glass or an actual hawk, do whatever it takes to keep an eye on your catering bill. Our advice is to micromanage this as if it were your own wedding budget. In fact, it can be a mini-wedding budget because it may just end up being the largest portion of your total wedding bill. HuffPobelieves that “non-food item costs, such as servers to be hired and rentals, raise the catering bill by 20 percent.” — Source: Huffington Post

Is outside food and drink allowed at the venue? Just like the potential thorn in your side from your venue with non-approved vendors, the same thing can happen when it comes to food. Using an outside caterer, an outside baker or even your own brand of alcohol can bring you added charges from the caterer or venue. It never seems to end…

Again, check ahead with all parties involved before securing a venue or a caterer and baker that you met with previously. Walk in firm with your budget and ask about everything from cutting the cake, their staff washing the dishes, corking fees, and how outside food and drink factors into their final invoice.

Serve those who serve you. Now that your guests are drinking, eating and being merry, focus on the wait staff who are serving your guests. Other vendors like the photographer, videographer, photo booth rental assistant, musicians, and coordinators will also need to eat. These costs are more often considered courteous fees rather than hidden fees. We hope you realize everyone attending your wedding and ceremony needs to eat too.

Keep your inner circle well-fed. Speaking of meals for your vendors and guests, you can’t forget those closest to you. These people include the bridal party and groom’s party. They get hungry too and you should budget for meals for each of them. No need to go all out. Perhaps consider food you can keep out during parts of the day. Bagels with various spreads and fruit would make great and easy breakfast food. Sandwiches or wraps for lunch can be quick, healthy, and inexpensive choices with all the commotion going on. All these options are easy clean-up.

Makeup For The Day Before And Day Of

In part one of this blog series, we dove in-depth into the wedding dress. Since it was public enemy number one, it can bring with it all sorts of costly additions. Just as important is makeup; always, always, always make sure there’s enough makeup! Don’t forget the makeup for your bridesmaids. Yes, we’re including pedicures and manicures in this for instance as well. Almost everyone we’ve spoken to advises that the entire bridal party should run through makeup trials to uncover any potential issues. When preparing your budget, add in a line item for makeup trials and a second for makeup purchases. If you really love your girls and want to thank them for their support leading up to your big day, a group massage the day before your wedding would be a very nice touch! For what it’s worth, if a massage runs you over budget, what about a conservative spray tan to make their dresses pop? The ideas are there; all it takes is a little bit of brainstorming. When creating the budget with your fiancé, make space for every important piece and every important person.

That’s A Wrap On Part 3

That concludes our three-part month-long series on hidden wedding costs. Hopefully, it’s not too late to protect yourself. Be sure to factor these costs into your budget. If you have not secured your photographer, videographer, AND photo booth rental, reach out to us! We have blogged about caterers, photo booth rentals, and DJs in the past and would be happy to assist you with any other recommendations we can!

Thank you for reading,
The Foto Box Live Team | Photo Booths for ANY Event

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