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A caterer recently acknowledged to me that many wedding vendors are banking not only on the fact that most engaged couples have never planned a wedding before, but also that they will likely never plan one again. In other words, brides and grooms are easy to take advantage of because they don't know the market; they expect to shell out loads of cash, and unlike the person who is overcharged for, say, a washing machine, they will probably never even realize they were taken for a ride.
She then proceeded to hand me a $35,000 proposal to cater my own relatively small Brooklyn wedding.
I didn't hire her. But her point stuck with me during every subsequent vendor meeting I had. Was I being taken advantage of? The truth is that even if you're not, there are still plenty of unforeseen costs involved with getting married. And because you may not have much firsthand experience in this arena, it can be tough to get a real sense of what you should expect to spend. Ahead, we've identified five of the most annoying hidden costs of planning a wedding. Even if you can't avoid them, at least you can budget more effectively, and steer clear of a few surprises along the way.