A. Build in 10% for “overages.” Things come in with unexpected costs.
2. Dont forget about tips and extras. When you get quotes from venues, make certain to ask BEFORE YOU SIGN, does this include gratuities? Any other extras? Linens, etc? Once you sign, you have no leverage. OF COURSE, they will tell you extras not included. If you are using a venue that does not do its own catering, ask if you can use whomever you want, or if you have to select from theirs. A venue which supplies nice linens and chairs may seem more expensive, but in the end it may not.
3. Bridesmaids cost money. Yes, in the US, they pay their for their dress, but you will buy gifts, bouquets, etc.
4. Not assiging guests to tables costs money. You will need 10-25% more seating (to avoid people being split up), more centerpieces, linens etc.
5. Things not so important, imho. Favors, fancy STDs (send a nice letter to your grandparents, email out of town friends). REMEMBER, any one who gets a STD MUST be invited. Your plans and friends may change over 8 months and you will be stuck. YES, it is nice to think about that cute magnet on everyone’s frig, but do not spend for this if you are on a budget.
6. If you requires your BMs to have their hair or makeup done, you should pay for it. If it is up to them, they pay. Consider that.
7. When you ask each girl to be Bridesmaid or Best Man, ask them what they are looking to spend on dress. Stay under that number. If you demand a certain shoe, you pay. If you say, a common shoes, such as black or silver, and you accept what they have, you do not have to pay. Tell Maid/Matron of Honor, before planning bacheloretter, ask each girl what they can spend. Stay under that number.
8. IMHO, engagement pictures are not necessar. If your photographer says included in package, ask him or her for a reduction and cut out.
9. Consider a high quality Bridesmaid or Best Man gown in white or ivory for your wedding gown. Will save uber bucks.