International Fashion Photographer

5 Things To Remember in Your Wedding Budget


As many couples start their wedding planning this time of year, I want to add a few tips on things to remember when planning your budget. Hope it helps, and feel free to add any tips in the comments section. 

1. SALES TAX. Ranging anywhere from 5-8% on average, sales tax can become a quick way to break the boundaries of the budget. Remember almost every vendor that you will hire will charge some kind of sales or use tax.

2. VENDOR MEALS. Most, but not all, caterers actually will count vendor meals in the overall count of an estimate. You will have a photographer and assistant(s), DJ, Planner, and other on site vendors that will be there all day, it is customary (but not a requirement) for them to be offered a meal. 

The extra night in a hotel room can add several hundred dollars in unexpected costs to your wedding budget. 

3. HOTEL ROOM. While sometimes, many larger and upscale hotels can offer you a special rate for early check in/late checkout, not all hotels will do this. So keep in mind that the hotel room that you need for 9am on Saturday morning, may have to be checked into on Friday afternoon with a Sunday morning checkout. 

4. COUNSELING. Pre-marriage counseling is a requirement in some states these days to getting a quick marriage license. This can be done for a offering to a church or through several services. While in the grand scheme, not a large expense, it is one of those expenses that may catch a bride and groom off guard, especially when they most need it. That Tuesday afternoon before they fly to Vegas for the wedding that weekend. 

5. MARRIAGE LICENSE. In most jurisdictions, the license runs as much as a couple of hundred dollars, but is often one of the last parts of the wedding that many couples apply for. If applying for a license in a different state, make sure you know what their policies are when it comes to getting a license. Especially as listed above with counselling. 

The average wedding is around $25,000 right now. If you take in consideration just THESE 5 costs, on average you will run into about $2,000-3000 in costs that often are not realized until the last minute. There are many more such as the gifts for bride/groom, parents, groomsmen/bridesmaids; the parties/rehearsal dinners, even the alterations of gowns and tuxedos. The more you know when planning, the better you can plan. 


Nicole Stoddart and Betty Blake

Styled Bridal and Beach boudoir session in Amelia Island and Jacksonville. 


  • Nicole Stoddart, Montego Bay, Jamaica W.I.
  • Betty Blake, Ponte Vedra Beach, FL

Makeup Artist:

  • Timothy Cabell, Savannah, Georgia
    Studio Beau Monde
    On Facebook

Hair Stylists:

Wardrobe Stylist:


  • James Burney, Photographer/Assistant to Mr. DaCosta
  • Nicholas Fletcher, Photographer/Assistant to Mr. DaCosta
  • Tiffany DaCosta, Assistant to Mr. Dacosta
  • Brei Morgan, Assistant to Mrs. Sullivan

Special thanks to: