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  • Olivia De Santos

5 Hidden Destination Wedding Costs You Probably Haven't Thought About

When doing wedding budgeting for my clients, I typically focus on the main items they will need to create their dream wedding in Portugal. Beyond those costs, however, you also have another layer of costs that you will acquire from home such as dresses, suits, flights etc. Those seem fairly obvious right? I am sure you have accounted for those already. The wedding expenses we are covering today, however, are hidden, sneaky expenses that you may not have thought about!

So here are 5 hidden destination wedding costs you probably haven't thought about. Please do let me know if you'd like a part 2 to this!

1. Taxes

Taxes are often overlooked when it comes to destination weddings as we often assume that things work the same way as they do in our home countries. Not so! In Europe we have Value Added Tax which is applied to most goods and services. In the UK this operates slightly differently in that only large companies like big caterers, event producers and decorators will likely have VAT. IN the US, sales tax is completely different from State to State so you can see how confusing taxes can be! If you are not careful you can underestimate the cumulative effects of tax and end up with a much higher price tag than you anticipated. Please be careful of this and do your research on local taxes.

2. Wedding Dress/Suit Boarding & Cleaning

Your wedding dress or suit needs special care when it comes to boarding and cleaning. Cleaning is a step beyond dry cleaning for wedding dresses specifically. It is always best to go to a specialist wedding dress cleaner after your destination wedding to make sure that your dress is cared for properly. Most suits will be okay with a professional dry cleaner but you should still account for this in your budget. When it comes to boarding, this is an entirely different kettle of fish at times. If you are a suit wearer, you have likely taken a suit on a plane before and it is fairly simple to pack a holdall and carry it onto the plane with you. The cost of the holdall however should be accounted for. For wedding dresses, interestingly enough, the best way to carry them on board is to buy it its own seat! If this is within your means to do, then you'll have to account for the cost. If not, then there are special holdalls for wedding dresses but these are more pricey than suit holdalls so you'll need to account for that too.

3. Pre-Wedding Trips

If you are planning a wedding abroad, it is likely you'll want to visit your chosen country once or twice. These trips could be to see or choose a venue, do food tastings, hair and makeup trials etc. If you take a trip to your chosen wedding country, however, how will you resist going on touristy trips and eating everything in sight?

You can't!

So allot yourself wiggle room in your budget to cover your pre-wedding trips with what you are likely to do when you get there. Account for:

  • Accommodation

  • Flights

  • Food

  • Excursions

  • Transport

  • Souvenirs

  • Supplier fees (if applicable)

4. Pet Care

This is a really funny one but very few people remember pet care when it comes to d=budgeting for your destination wedding. Take a moment to consider this. If all of your friends and family are with you for your wedding overseas, who is taking care of your pets!

Whether you need a pet hotel, a house sitter or dog walker, you need to budget for how much this will cost across the length of your wedding trip and honeymoon. I'm sure you want your pets to be kept happy in your absence so make sure this is on your list.

5. Shipping

Shipping seems like a small thing to add on but the costs rack up quickly if you are not careful. Here are some items that you may need to consider shipping costs for your destination wedding:

  • Stamps/postage for invitations

  • Sending ordered or DIY items to your chosen country ahead of the wedding

  • Your planner or venue coordinator mailing items that you cannot take back with you after the wedding

  • Extra baggage fees to accommodate any items you are taking to and from the wedding country

Watch out for shipping as it sneaks up on you!

Thanks so much for reading this blog or watching the video. I hope you found it helpful!

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