Kobe. Wedding Rings. November 13th , 2017.
Why It`s Hidden: Most hotels don`t factor in a welcome bag delivery fee when you block rooms. And they may fail to mention the rate unless you ask—and they`ll just add it to your final bill. They may even charge you a fee for holding the welcome bags if you drop them off before the guests arrive, so make sure to ask. The Cost: Up to $7 per bag. How to Avoid it: During the booking process, ask about the hotel`s policy on receiving and delivering welcome bags to guests` rooms. It may be free or cheaper if they hand the bags out at the counter as guests check in. Rental Transport. Why It`s Hidden: You`d assume the rental companies would include these extra fees in the per-item costs (do they honestly think you`re going to fit 150 Chiavari chars in your car?), but surprisingly they don`t. The Cost: From $50 up to more than $500. How to Avoid It: Ask the rental company what their shipping and packaging fees are up front—if the cost is too high for your budget, shop around a bit. You might actually save some money by renting items from a more expensive company that includes delivery costs at no extra charge. Taxes and Gratuities. Why It`s Hidden: Even though these aren`t exactly hidden—we all know there are taxes on almost everything and gratuities are expected for almost any service—most couples don`t think about how much they`ll end up owing during the planning process. The Cost: This will depend on the total amount of money you`re spending as well as the location of the event (taxes vary by state). How to Avoid It: There`s no getting around paying taxes, but paying the entire bill in one lump sum can help lower the overall price. A safe bet: Tack on an extra third of your total costs to your budget for tips and taxes. Cake Cutting and Corkage Fees.
Scout an exciting background. Unleash your inner photo stylist. Find an Instagram-worthy skyline, latte or patterned pillow to serve as the backdrop of your ring selfie. Go the distance. Cell phone pics will never be professional quality, but there are a few tricks to make your shots look almost as crisp. Avoid the zoom on your camera— physically moving your phone will make a less pixelated photo. If you`re using an iPhone, set up your shot and then tap the screen to focus the lens. Avoid shaky shots by pushing the buttons on your earbuds to snap a photo instead of tapping your screen. Strike a (flattering) pose. Say good-bye to creepy hands by relaxing your fingers, adding a prop or resting your hands on your new fiancé`s arm. Avoid shots that highlight every pore and strand of hair on your hands by a slight tilt of the camera—or your hand—instead of shooting straight on. Take lots of options, but only upload one. You want your ring to stand out and look awesome. Skip the collages and pick one great shot to feature.
You may be setting yourself up for disappointment. Tip for the taking: For friends who can`t commit for whatever reason (they live out of town or are busy at work), let them in on just a few wedding prep activities, like an invitation stuffing party complete with wine and pizza. Include your brothers and sisters. Not to sound like your mom, but think about it: Even if you`re not particularly close to his sister or her brother, siblings are going to be around well past your 10-year anniversary, and chances are, you`ll become closer over the years. If you come from a big family and you can`t possibly include everyone, draw the line at teenagers. Instead, make them a part of the ceremony by asking them to pass out programs or seat guests. Tip for the taking: Traditionally, it`s ladies on one side and guys on the other, but feel free to break that rule and have them stand on either side of the aisle. Consider the size of your wedding. You can have as many (or few) bridesmaids and groomsmen as you like. The average wedding party size is four on either side. Use that as a guide when you decide. Depending on formality, go larger or smaller. For a smaller wedding with around 50 to 60 guests, have no more than four, but for a larger wedding of, say, 150, you could go up to 12 if you really wanted. Just keep this in mind: More isn`t always merrier. The more attendants you have, the more details to organize —flattering tuxes or dresses, a bachelor or bachelorette party with 12 attendants who have busy schedules, wedding party gifts and so much more. Tip for the taking: If there are a lot of people you want to include in your wedding party but just can`t, give them other roles, like usher, ceremony reader or candlelighter. Call him the man of honor and her the best woman. Guys can stand with the bride and women can stand with the groom. It`s really up to you—what`s most important is that you include your favorite people, women and men. Tip for the taking: There are no hard-and-fast rules about how to dress them. You can dress your groomswomen in tuxedos or dresses (or even rompers), and your bridesmen can look just like the groomsmen or they can match their suits to the bridesmaid dresses.
If they did, you might decide to go with simpler (read: cheaper) invites. The Cost: Oversize, uniquely shaped, heavy or bulky invitations can cost you about $2 each to mail. How to Avoid It: Skip the fancy boxed invitations and multilayer cards, which can bulk up quickly and cost a lot more than you bargained for. Wedding Dress Alterations and Steaming. Why It`s Hidden: Most stores don`t include alterations (or steaming) in the price of the wedding dress, and they`re not doing it for free—it can take up to three hours just to alter the bustier. The Cost: A simple hem can be less than $100, but completely rebuilding a bodice can send the price up to $500. How to Avoid It: Ask about what the store charges for every alteration you may need before purchasing the gown so you`re not blindsided by the extra costs. Overtime Fees. Why It`s Hidden: Your band, DJ, wedding photographer and videographer are booked for a certain amount of time, so if your wedding runs a little longer than you expected, they`ll charge per hour after they`ve reached the time specified in the contract. The Cost: Starting at $250 per hour (although some vendor`s per-hour overtime fees are more expensive than their typical per-hour charge). How to Avoid It: Factor in additional time for getting dressed and taking photos—that way, you can book your pros for a more realistic time frame. Get overtime costs in writing (they shouldn`t be more than 50 percent more per hour than the regular rate), so you`ll know what to expect if you decide to keep the party going. Welcome Bag Delivery.
Start Your Ring Search Early. Once you have a basic idea of what kind of ring you`d like, it`s time for the fun part: trying them on! Give yourselves at least two to three months before the wedding date to ring shop. You`ll need this time to browse, research prices and revisit rings that catch your eye. If you have your heart set on a custom ring, you`ll probably need even more time. And keep in mind: Extras, like engraving, can take up to one month. Mix It Up. Don`t fret if you like platinum and your partner likes yellow gold. There`s no rule that says you have to choose the same metal or even style. You could compromise with braided bands that blend the two metals together or just be totally different—the key to finding something you both love is choosing wedding bands that reflect your individual styles. Set a Budget. Shop with the assumption that you`ll spend about 3 percent of your total wedding budget on the rings. Depending on the retailer, a plain, 14-karat gold or simple platinum band can cost around $1,000. Embellishments, like diamonds or engraving, will quickly add to the cost, so factor that into your budget if you plan to personalize your rings with any of these extras. The price of engraving is usually based on the number of characters, the font used and whether it`s engraved by hand or machine (hand is usually pricier). Keep Your Lifestyle in Mind.
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