21 Hidden Wedding Costs To Be Mindful Of

By Rekindled Wedding Company | Jan 23, 2019 | , | 0 comments

Congratulations!  You are now engaged and completely overjoyed! You are looking forward to planning the perfect wedding (heck, you’ve been planning it in your head for most of your life!!); imagining your dress, the venue, indoor or outdoor options, how many guests you’ll have, the beautiful flowers and decor, your wedding song, and so much more!

Everyone you know and all of the trendy wedding magazines are sharing wedding planning advice, but there are a few things that might get missed amid all of the excitement.

There are several hidden costs that couples tend to be unaware of and we wanted to give you the heads up so that you can be as prepared as possible.  If not, you could be left feeling overwhelmed and feeling like your being pushed well beyond your desired budget.

With so much going on it’s certain that some unexpected costs will creep up, some unavoidable while others are not necessary.  Being ready for them can save you a lot of money in the end.

Here are the top items that couples should consider when allocating their wedding finances…


1.  Postage & Stationary

You have ordered your invitations and are beyond thrilled to have stayed within your stationary budget.  Did you remember to include stamps? Most people forget about the cost of stamps and depending on the guest count, the weight, and the location of your guests, stamps can really burst that budget (can be almost $1 per stamp). Nottomention, you will also need to include stamps for the thank you cards following the wedding.

2.  Bridesmaid Proposals

Trending at the moment are Bridesmaid proposals.  This is when the Bride asks her friends to take part in her special day in a creative and surprising way.  Popping the “Will You Be My Bridesmaid?” question can be quite costly.  If custom or personalized gifts are not within your budget, then try the traditional route and plan for a sweet, sincere “ask” instead.

3.  Bridal Undergarments & Accessories

So you have found your dress, now what?  Have you considered the costs of your veil, sash/belt, hairpiece, shoes, jewellery, and undergarments?  These items could be very expensive so to help lower those expenses, you might want to consider borrowing some beautiful heirloom jewellery from grandma, your mother’s timeless veil, or an exquisite pre-loved hairpiece from a close friend.

4.  Beauty Treatments

You have budgeted for your wedding day hair and makeup but have you done your research on all the extras?  The price of facials, mani-pedis, eyebrows, spray tans, and a few teeth whitening treatments can really add up so don’t forget to set aside money for these beauty treatments as well.

5.  Alterations & Dry-Cleaning

When budgeting for your gown, do not forget to include alteration and dry-cleaning costs. Most likely, these services are not included when purchasing the gown and can cost hundreds of dollars. Most Brides need their gown hemmed, need to take the gown in or out, want to add or take away from the gown, or want to make structural changes by adding boning, cups, etc.  Some seamstresses charge by packaging your alteration visits while others charge per visit.  Be sure to find someone that comes highly recommended that fits within your budget.  Dry-cleaning your gown after your big day is a must and will cost $150 upwards to $400 depending on the cleaner so take the time to shop around.

6.  Vendor Trials

Most caterers and venues offer free menu taste tasting for the Bride and Groom but will charge extra for friends or family members that you might bring along with you.  When it comes to makeup and hair, trials are crucial but tend to be expensive and may take you more than one visit to decide. These artists can charge $80-150 just for the trial.  They will reduce this price from your package if you choose to commit to them but if not, that will be wasted money. These costs can add up quickly so be sure to incorporate them into your overall budget.  Bear in mind, there are many Brides that skip trials altogether to keep within their means.

7.  Bachelorette/Bachelor Party

These days the parties are getting grander and more exotic like spa day trips, weekend getaways, and more.  Many bridal parties share in the cost of the Bride or Groom’s portion of the trip although it should not be expected.  Many Bride/Groom’s do offer to cover the cost of their airfare or to pitch in for the hotel to help alleviate costs.

To keep it simple and more affordable to all, consider an evening out staying within or close to town, dining at your favourite restaurant, or renting a luxury suite locally. This will keep the prices moderate and more than likely, more of your bridal party and other close friends will be able to join in the fun.

8.  Marriage Licence

Do not forget about your marriage licence application if you want to make it legal!  This can cost anywhere from $20-$100 depending on your location.  If you’re having a destination wedding, you may need to arrive a few days before your wedding to get this licence taken care.   This can increase your cost by adding extra days and other additional travelling expenses. Planning ahead is much more desirable.

9.  Gifts

Be thoughtful when gifting to your bridal party, to your parents, and to each other. Depending on the items, it too can add up quickly.  Gifts do not have to be outrageous, they just need to be personal and from the heart.  If you purchase gifts early enough, you may find them to be cheaper.  Scrambling last minute creates expensive rush order and delivery fees.

10.  Favours

Did you include your favour in your wedding budget?  Whatever you decide, these can make a sizeable dent in your budget! If you’ve been to a wedding or two, you can appreciate that favours are often times dismissed, misplaced, or put aside. Don’t stress about expensive favours.  Popular nowadays are donations to your favourite charities in lieu of gifts but if you’re traditional, try to find something reasonably priced that reflects your personality and do not take offence if you have items leftover.

11.  Rehearsal Dinner

You, your family, and your wedding party will be spending the evening together at the recital party and then again the entire wedding day.  Remember to allot the rehearsal dinner and wedding day breakfast into your budget, this might help you when deciding where to dine and where to order from the day off.

12. A Hotel Room the Night Before

Is the Bride or Groom planning on getting ready at a hotel?  If so, keep in mind that the hotel should be booked for the night before as well as the wedding night.  If you want to avoid rushing around to get out by the posted check out times, it’s much easier to rent the room for two nights. Likely you will need somewhere to spend alone time after your big event anyway.


13.  Rental Transport Fees

Here’s one that could blindside you.  Did anyone mention the costs of delivery separate from your vendor costs? Things that could be extra include cake delivery, linen delivery, chair delivery, late night menu delivery, and late night decor pick-up. Take the initiative and ask your vendors directly so that you aren’t surprised with a huge invoice later.  Feel free to take it even a step further and have them write it into your contract(s), it saves you from arguing about it later.

14.  Additional Décor

Your venue includes tables, chairs, and linens (tablecloths and napkins) but not extra décor such as centrepieces, welcome table items or dessert table items, a welcome sign, or arbour?  That’s okay, there are plenty of services that offer to rent such items although remember to include these costs as they can drastically change your budget.  Again, be sure to inquire about delivery, set up, and tear down fees that may not be included in the rental fee and have it written into the final invoice.

15.  Officiant/Church Donation

Are you getting married at a church?  Be aware that a donation is strongly encouraged.  Hiring an Officiant instead?  These services will cost you.  Donation is at your discretion and Officiant services can run you $400 plus.

16.  Vendor Meals

The photographer, videographer, musician, and possibly make-up and hairstylist could be with you 6+ hours and will need some fuel.  Do not forget to consider them when submitting your final guest count for the venue.  They will be working hard and will be hungry.  Also, do not forget to include the Bride and Groom in that final meal count…sorry but the Bride and Groom don’t get to eat for free and many couples overlook this simple inclusion.

17.  Day-of Co-ordinator

An event co-ordinator will make sure that everything goes smoothly on your wedding day so that you can enjoy all of the beautiful moments that you’ve been dreaming about. It can be a huge weight lifted by having a professional behind the scenes.  It might not be something you’ve ever considered but it’ll give you piece of mind and that is priceless.

18.  Guest/transportation/Taxis for Guests

Although you are not responsible for your guest’s transportation, it is important to note that you do not want guests driving under the influence.  Keep some money aside just in case you need to cover the cost of a taxi fare or two.

19.  Taxes/Gratuities

Yes, it may feel like you are paying an enormous amount of money already for the wedding but have you given thought to gratuities?  This can get missed and be embarrassing the day or night of when you’ve forgotten to bring cash.  Some venues included gratuities but most do not.  Have money available for tips. Vendors that are usually tipped by the Bride include hairstylists, make-up artists, and the limo driver. Your guests will usually tip the bartenders, valet drivers, coat check attendants, and bathroom attendants.

20.  Service Fees

Be vigilant about extra service fees such as cake-cutting and corkage fees.  Again, these fees depend on your chosen venue. If these services are not included, it will cost you extra money per person for cake cutting ($2 or more) and per bottle for corkage fees ($8 or more).  You might want to make it a priority to figure this out long before the wedding day; you don’t want to get caught off guard as it can prove to be very costly.

21.  Overtime

If you’re party is going really well and you’re wanting to extend the event’s hours, it can seriously shock your system (and your wallet)!  The venue, entertainment team, videographer and photographer have agreed to a price based on a certain time frame.  If you are opting to extend beyond that time frame then be prepared to cover the extra charges.

What are some of the unexpected wedding costs that you encountered?
Share your stories in the comments below.

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