1 Expenses Relating to My Wedding That I Couldn’t Possibly Have Anticipated | The Billfold

Expenses Relating to My Wedding That I Couldn’t Possibly Have Anticipated

just married

Eyebrow Wax, $9
“Hello,” I said to the owner of the sewing shop. A beautiful tulle-and-satin creation hung from a hook by the cash register. “Here’s my dress! I love it so much!”

“This is your dress?” she asked from behind a wall, around the corner of which I could see a huge wooden table covered in lace and pins. “Oh, good. It’ll be ready tomorrow.”

This was the Monday before my wedding.

I had intended to come to pick up the dress on Saturday, but had been told then by this very shop owner not to come. That day, I took a five-minute breather in my car alone (which would actually have been TLC gold) before arranging to leave work early to retrieve it on Monday afternoon.

“No it won’t,” I said. “I already took off work today.”

Giving orders this way was out of the ordinary for me. I am not an Assertive Person, but I am an impatient one who is running very low on PTO due to having a wedding this year. Twenty minutes later, I found myself wandering around the neighborhood where I had attended high school years before, waiting for the last touches to be put on my dress and feeling entirely too much like a Bruce Springsteen song. The nostalgia got to be too much so I ducked into an eyebrow place to numb it with searing pain.

Bland Dog Food, $21
Gretel the Boston Terrier, of the Stomach as Fragile as Waterford Crystal, was handling the wedding chaos like a champ … until the day of the rehearsal dinner. I was across the apartment doing various getting-ready things, distracted, when I realized that things had been eerily silent for too long.

I went into my bedroom to find evidence of a, uh, gastrointestinal issue, which I cleaned up in my long dress while fielding calls to my husband-to-be about implementing the Diarrhea Plan we’re all too familiar with. I administer the Immodium, he goes to pick up that foul-smelling canned food she loves so frigging much. We made it to the rehearsal dinner only half an hour late.

Sometimes I wonder if she does this on purpose, because, really, that bland food smells awful and my gag reflex prefers to feed her kibbly things. Just kidding, I swear I’m a loving dog mom.*

*Fun aside, one time my dad tricked a seven-year-old me into feeding our cat by telling me that it would be my very own cat if I just took over mealtimes. After one round with its canned food I was like, all yours, Dad!

Transatlantic Groomsman, $200

My mother gave me some wise words weeks before the ceremony: “The things that look like disasters on your wedding day are the things that will make you laugh years from now.”

That being said, meet the Transatlantic Groomsman.

TG has been our good friend since we first started dating and has been living in a castle in a mid-sized European city as a resident artist for the past six months, where things like staying caught up on laundry and having lots of American money understandably have fallen to the wayside.

We intended to do for his dirty luggage what we normally do ourselves, which is use our parents’ laundry facilities, but wedding events + a new eco-friendly washer with a 2-hour wash cycle meant we were running very low on time, so he and New Husband had to run to the nearest department store to grab a dress shirt and some socks to see him through.

TG did a wonderful job of being the perfect groomsman. He left a charming impression on everyone. He gave a toast that was, according to consensus, second only to the speech my nine-year-old brother gave. He enjoyed the wedding festivities immensely and even teamed up with the best man for some bonding over leftover wedding wine at our house, while Husband and I were at a B&B.

We came back the next morning to find him still asleep, and set about quietly putting away the cards and too-high heels that filled the backseat of our car. Husband went over to his desk to check his email.

“TG?” he asked in a stage whisper. “Did you know there was a glass of wine on your computer?”

“WHAT?” TG asked, suddenly springing out from beneath the covers on the futon in our living room. “It’s all over,” he implored, holding his MacBook sideways. White wine dripped out onto the floor.

“Don’t you have your work backed up?” Husband asked. “It’s a minor setback, I promise…”

I had to hurry to a family barbeque while they worked on fixing the problem. Later it was revealed to me that, though the work was backed up over on the other side of the Atlantic, the computer itself had several thousand dollars of Bitcoin on it, that they managed to extract, after an unsuccessful attempt with a $30 hard drive thing (I don’t know much about computers or Bitcoin, sorry!), with free software online. The MacBook was about 10 years old and TG managed to procure a refurbished one he loved before leaving.

He reimbursed us with a check and the story, luckily, is priceless.

Diet Coke, $2, toiletries, free
The night before, my bridesmaids and I slept in a Hilton Garden Inn, where we ate pizza in the hot tub and watched Golden Girls. Of course I forgot all my necessities (NOT blaming the dog here. I was getting married!): deodorant, toothpaste, my very own 12-pack of Diet Coke.

I snuck down to the front desk first thing in the morning to get the necessities, and got to pick from a lovely assortment of Colgate and Lady Speed Stick. The bottle of soda was not free.

As I paid for it, I may have been crying a little, because it’s not every day that you have the privilege of buying your very last Diet Coke before swearing eternal love, fidelity, and commitment to someone awesome.


Heather Funk lives in Louisville, Kentucky and writes mostly about misplaced apostrophes on Twitter @meangrammargirl.

Photo: Délirante bestiole


38 Comments / Post A Comment

julebsorry (#1,572)

Worst unanticipated wedding expense: an out-of-town friend wanted to attend my wedding, but couldn’t afford a hotel room. I breezily told her it wouldn’t be a problem to just sleep over with me at my parent’s house. I cleared it with my parents, and all was well. Until my dad, flipping out from the stress two days before the wedding, decided that any houseguests were FAR too complicated and he Would. Not. Have. Any. Guests. At. HIS. House. I asked him what to do, and he looked at me pointedly and said “looks like you need to get her a hotel room, I guess.”

Had no idea what to do – call my friend and tell her she couldn’t come to the wedding, after I promised to make arrangements for her? Instead, I pulled out my sad little nearly-maxed-out credit card and booked a room for her at the same Hilton all the other guests were staying at, called her, and told her the hotel room was my treat. My very expensive, made-in-a-monent-of-stress treat. Ugh. Four years later and I’m still annoyed at my dad about it.

I got revenge, though – I used his credit card to pay for the getaway car we rented and “forgot” to tell him about it. As he never brought it up, I guess we’re even by now.

Heather F G (#6,074)

@julebsorry Ugh, WORST. I hope it was an awesome car, at least.

The sudden significant difference between “maxed out” and “ALMOST maxed out” is another wedding-related experience you never anticipate…

julebsorry (#1,572)

@Heather F G It was an AWESOME car. A 1965 Lincoln Continental convertible. Took our best pics posing next to and in the car -it was a real highlight! So, I don’t feel as bad about it as I probably should :D

And definitely true about the difference between “maxxed out” and “almost maxxed out” – those tiny bits of wiggle room are wedding lifesavers.

Thanks so much for this article!

andnowlights (#2,902)

YAY! So glad to see this up!

My worst last-minute wedding expense was um, my wedding dress.

The one that was supposed to be being made locally (in Atlanta) had actually been outsourced to China and got stuck in a snow storm in Alaska. I couldn’t wait around Atlanta for it to be delivered because I was getting married in Lexington, soooooooo I bought a dress off the rack, got it altered the same day, and went back to Lexington to get married. I have no idea how much that cost, but it’s a good story (now). My mom insists on keeping it, but I really have no attachment to it past the fact that I got married in it; it’s not the DREAM DRESS experience so many girls have.

Heather F G (#6,074)

@andnowlights Thanks! :) That is STRESSFUL, but I can’t help imagining your intended wedding dress having adventures in an Alaskan snowstorm…

highjump (#39)

@andnowlights Ooooh did you know it had been outsourced to China? I know people knowingly do that on Etsy which is cool but I would be pissed if I thought I was supporting a shop in my community and my dress was actually made in China.

andnowlights (#2,902)

@highjump I didn’t know, no. Apparently she “reserved the right to outsource” in her contract so I guess it was preventable. My mom thought she did all the work herself and signed/DIDN’T READ the contract, so we both thought it was being done locally. Mom should have known something was up when the woman called and said the dress was done the first time, but the fabric was the wrong color. We had a family friend use her and love her, though, so I guess mom thought it was a fluke.

LookUponMyWorks (#2,616)

Heather! This was delightful. Spending the night in a hot tub with your girlfriends sounds like such a perfect run-up to the wedding. Along with the dog poo, because pets and children like to remind us that life goes on, even during a very important day.

Heather F G (#6,074)

@LookUponMyWorks Yes, I can’t wait to see what she has in store for us before the honeymoon (which we haven’t gone on yet).

ceereelyo (#3,552)

Yay Heather! Pizza in a hottub- my dream come true!

I printed out programs for the ceremony, designed by my lovely friend as her gift to me and I had proofread it, my husband had, my friend had – basically thought it was fine. Went to Staples to get about 75 double-sided, colored copies on good paper (not like crazy paper), not as cheap as it sounds! It was about $150. My aunt and I were folding them with the stupid bone folder I have because I do that kind of stuff and as I reread them and realized that I had listed one of my husband’s aunts with the wrong last name (the same one as her sister, my husband’s other aunt) and I was like OMFGGGGGGGGGG and started to freak out.

The first remedy was to print her actual last name in similar text/size, cut them out with an xacto knife and and glue them onto the incorrect name in efforst to not spend another $150 on paper, and I was about 25 in and said eff-it,called and emailed my friend to make the changes, and waited for her to send me the new file. I went back to Staples and luckily the same girl who helped me was working and completely coddled me while we did several test runs and I was 100% sure that I had everyone’s names spelled/correct (cos then I was second guessing everyone’s name at that point) and we printed out another batch, and decided to print out 100. In retrospect, it was a lot of wasted paper (i tossed the ones with the wrong last name), another $150 because I needed it to be correct and the little glued on addendum looked too sloppy for me, and also I didn’t want to hurt his aunt’s feelings because she is so sweet and I’ve always been a big fan of her. Also, as a victim of wrong last name spelling, wrong last name completely, etc I was like omg, all my family and friends are going to think she is Nancy so and such instead of Nancy Correct Last Name. I made special programs on even fancier paper for everyone participating in the ceremony (she was our cord sponsor, so that is why her name was in the program), and told her the story of the program at the rehearsal dinner and was touched that I freaked out so much, but also said it wouldn’t have been a big deal. Looking back, obviously most of the programs were left at the chapel and didn’t really warrant any use after the ceremony, but I do have a correct copy and an ‘edited’ one in my wedding paraphenalia.

jquick (#3,730)

@ceereelyo Wow. sounds like a lot of drama over a wrong last name, on a piece of paper that will be thrown out.

annev17 (#4,822)

@jquick forever rolling my eyes at your comments

TheDilettantista (#1,255)

I am the person who never forgets to pack anything ever, and it is true, your wedding makes you forget everything. The overnight bag I packed for the hotel we stayed at the night of our wedding conveniently did not include:

-Facewash (which, that wedding makeup was ON, amazingly I remembered makeup remover)
-Shaving cream
-Sundry other toiletries that I borrowed from the husband.

I ended up texting my parents at 3 in the morning with a list of items of mine to bring to the casual farewell breakfast the next day, and then that morning had to text them to bring the belts I had left in my childhood closet. Oi.

shannowhamo (#845)

@TheDilettantista Deoderant forgetting seems to be a thing, makes me feel better! But not only did I forget to pack it, I just never noticed, forgot to put it on for my wedding, and was just a stanky bride. I was regularly wiping sweat from under by pits, very classy.

I packed, but then forgot the entire bag containing, all my toiletries (including my makeup and brushes, which are all of a quality that can’t be replaced at the drugstore/overnight without bankrupting myself) the night before my wedding. My amazing, amazing maid of honor drove back to my apartment from the venue, almost two hours round trip, to pick up the forgotten bag before I even woke up the morning of.

Did I mention how amazing she is?

erinep (#4,236)

Poor Gretel :( have you tried like 1/4- 1/2 cup canned pumpkin for these situations? Buster is disgusting and eats rabbit poop, and I keep a flattened baggie of canned pumpkin in the freezer for him to break off pieces when he needs it.

Also, thank you for sharing!

potatopotato (#5,255)

@erinep: I used to dogsit a pupper with this issue. Her family would cook up big batches of white rice and freeze it in takeout containers. She’d get a handful mixed in with her food at every meal.

Heather F G (#6,074)

@potatopotato @erinep That’s good advice. especially the freezer idea! She has, since, the wedding, gone on a 100% wet and bland diet, which for now keeps things under control (other medical things, notsomuch, as my Instagram feed can attest…). She also has an insatiable appetite for rabbit poop, which is weird and gross, but, I am glad to know, apparently common.

erinep (#4,236)

@Heather F G Buster is gross and will eat any poop. We think in his “past life” before he was surrendered he just had the run of the yard and picked the habit up there. He generally has guts of steel and rarely pukes, but sometimes has digesting problems. He’s on grain free food, and has hardly had tummy issues since we switched and rarely farts – he used to clear the room. We have a friend with two boston pups about Gretel’s age who have all sorts of allergies and sensitivities. Luckily, Otto is growing out of it but Olive is still having issues.

Also, a friend of a friend of a friend got married a few weeks ago and included their boston in the wedding. OMG. I’ll tweet the link to you.

potatopotato (#5,255)

@erinep: …I was at a wedding a few weeks ago that involved a Boston. DO WE KNOW THE SAME PEOPLE? Were the placecards little yellow Bostons?!

erinep (#4,236)

@potatopotato I wasn’t there. And I don’t really know these people. it was in RI and their Boston was actually in the wedding wearing a red bow tie.

potatopotato (#5,255)

@erinep: Ah, nope, this one was in Pennsylvania, and the dog had a blue bow tie.

theballgirl (#1,546)

Hmm. Everything?

I distinctly remember a few late night sob sessions to my then-fiance about our assumed budget of $25,000. It felt like an absurd amount of cash. Actual cost: $45,000. Yay.

ATF (#4,229)

I’m getting married on Sunday. I don’t think any of the stories that have caused me stress so far will be funny in retrospect as they’ve mostly involved my mother being furious at me. So there’s that.

I do have a super similar dress story though. Bought dress, brought dress to tailor for some minor alterations. Dress was supposed to be ready on July 15th. Call before going over to make sure it’s ready. NOPE. Come next week sometime! NOPE. Agree to come on this past Sunday at noon. Show up. No dress! No explanation beyond it wasn’t ready yet. Can’t see said dress because it is “away”. Am told we will be called Sunday night with an update. No call. Call on Monday, told “later in the day”. Not ready. Not ready on Tuesday. FINALLY it was ready yesterday. Thankfully the alterations were good and nothing needed to be changed last minute.

Allison (#4,509)

@ATF so is this like a national tailor conspiracy? I feel like everyone has this story

theballgirl (#1,546)

@ATF Yikes!! I would’ve had a minor panic attack or gone all Liam Neeson a la Taken. It’s also alarming how much tailoring actually costs. I felt I had small adjustments but it still was around $500.

Heather F G (#6,074)

@ATF @Allison @theballgirl It’s like, the opposite of “under-sell and over-deliver.” So weird!

ATF (#4,229)

@Heather F G @Allison @theballgirl – Right?!? I mean, it’s not like there’s a hard and fast deadline I needed it ready by. OH WAIT. I would’ve have deeply preferred her being all “the deadline will be tight” instead of giving me a date and then just blowing right by it.

I was strangely calm about it because there wasn’t much I could do. I think the fact that what was being altered – shortening the straps and removing the train – was minor enough that if it went terribly it wouldn’t change the fact that the dress fit over all.

Runawaytwin (#2,693)

@theballgirl @ATF Tailoring should be expensive. tailoring a wedding dress even more so. It should also be done on time and it sounds like they are taking on more work than they can do.

To tailor the bodice of a wedding dress with lace- you have to remove all of the lace and beading. Do the tailoring and BY HAND re add all of the trim. I also always hem dresses by hand (much more elegant than by machine) and if the hem has trim guess what: it has to be removed and resewn by hand.

The reason they don’t show the half done dress is you would have a panic attack if you saw it mid “surgery”

For the record- im not a tailor but am a trained seamstress.

Allison (#4,509)

@Runawaytwin I’m just surprised that using ATF’s example, they didn’t say it would be ready July 20th or 21st and give themselves the option of having it ready early (and getting good buzz from that) rather than the daily delay thing. That’s the part that boggles me.

aardvark (#3,451)

Worst unplanned wedding expense (also dog-related):
While my now-husband was off bachelor partying it up the weekend before the wedding, I was doing some last minute table-runner sewing with one of my bridespersons. Apparently I did not put everything away because when said then-fiance returned, he found a chewed-up pin cushion on the bedroom floor. With NO PINS IN IT. Panic ensued. I IM’ed said bridesperson, who thought that he remembered sticking pins in it, so obviously our worst fears were that there are dozens of pins inside of one or other of the dogs (we had two at the time). So we rush to our vet (who luckily is open on Sundays) and paid something on the order of $500 for 4 dog x rays.
Not a pin.
We get home and find all the pins under the dog’s crate pad. As far as we can tell, he got annoyed that we weren’t paying attention to him, took the pincushion into his crate, realized the pins were spiky, extracted them all and moved them under his crate pad so he didn’t get poked, and then left the pin cushion on the floor so we would SEE HIS PAINNNNN.

The vet emailed me the X-Rays, and I used them as the background for my work computer for about 6 months.

Two months later, said dog ate a book of needles. We didn’t take him to the vet. He’s fine.

crenb (#6,486)

Hold up, how is a two hour wash cycle eco-friendly? I don’t understand???

aardvark (#3,451)

@crenb If it’s like mine, it feeds in a little bit of water, washes things for a while, thoughtfully ponders if it needs more water, washes for a bit, reconsiders its purpose in life, adds a bit more water and cycles for a while, repeats, pauses to let things drain, considers if things are dry enough, decides to spin them, pauses, decides to spin them more, gets really emphatic and spins fast for a while, and then finally decides its done.

Lily Rowan (#70)

@aardvark Oh man, that made me laugh IRL.

potatopotato (#5,255)

@aardvark: I’ve met that washer. This description is absolutely perfect.

Lis (#1,820)

As someone with a sensitive-stomached dog (who is currently on a bland diet thanks to such fun activities as Eating Flour and Getting Cyclic Vomiting [to the point where we had to bring her to the vet today since it wasn't getting better with the usual treatment, and she got an anti-emetic shot]) who got married recently… I am so glad that those events did not coincide.

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