8th December 2021

10 Hidden Wedding Costs You Should Know About

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When budgeting for a wedding it is easy to make room for all of the obvious things like venue, dress, and booze. But we often find that many couples’ budget becomes unstuck due to all of the hidden wedding costs they forgot to factor in. Here is a list of 10 of the most important ones which can make a big difference to how much you end up spending.

Admin Fees

wedding costs

This covers quite a few things. Firstly, wherever you choose to actually marry, there will be a fee for the ceremony. This includes registry offices and churches. You can opt to pay extra for things like choirs, organists, and specific celebrants as well. For civil ceremonies you also have to pay to give notice.

The other admin factor to bear in mind is extra costs for suppliers or any other hired people you use for your wedding. This could be things like travel and accommodation for your photographer, or extra food for your servers. Any staff who will be at your wedding all day should be fed, so make sure you let your caterer know in advance. Lots of people write food and travel clauses into their contracts, so just be sure you have all of this information before finalising things.



wedding costs

Another one of the hidden costs that can really blow the budget is alterations. Wedding dresses are made to order, not made to measure. This means that almost every bride ends up altering their wedding dress to ensure a perfect fit on the day. These alterations can range from £200 upwards so cannot be a budgetary afterthought. The same goes for suits – you will want to make sure your wedding suit fits like a glove to avoid the look of wearing someone else’s clothes. All of these costs do add up.

Furthermore, any last minute alterations to guest list, menu, order of the day, or transport will add extra fees. You should set aside some money for last minute changes to ensure everything goes smoothly.


Gifts & Gratuity

wedding costs

Yes, your wedding day is all about you and your spouse. However, there are so many people who come together to help make that magical day happen. It is only natural that you will want to thank everyone involved and this invariably comes at a cost. Tipping your servers, vendors and staff will add around 10% to your final bill.

You should also budget for things like thank you gifts and cards for the bridal party if that is something you want to do! Finally don’t forget the thank you cards for your guests who bought gifts. Depending on the size of your wedding these can really add up.


Treats Before & After

wedding costs

Prepping for your big day will invariably involve lots of pampering, preening and general beautifying. Think facials, manicures, haircuts, waxing, and even longer term commitments like a new personal trainer. If any of this sounds like something you are planning, then it is definitely best to set aside a pre-wedding treatment fund so you don’t accidentally overspend on this.

Similarly, you might have a vision of yourself dressed to the nines in gorgeous new outfits for the evening before your wedding, and the morning after. If this is important to you then an outfit budget is important.


Venue Add-Ons

wedding costs

While wedding venue fees can seem exorbitant at the outset, they are usually only the base fee and do not include the array of add-ons that you may be looking for. For example, many venues will charge extra for parties to be extended after midnight due to the extra costs of keeping staff later and adding security. If you are looking to have a late night party, definitely check with your venue that their licence is able to extend past the early hours first.

Another of the hidden costs most associated with big spend items like venues is VAT. You may assume this is included in the brochure price but it is often not. Make sure you double check this before signing on the dotted line, as that extra 20% could really make or break your wedding budget.


Set-Up & Co-Ordination

wedding costs

Another important factor to include in your budget is the fees for set-up and co-ordination. The big one here is any wedding planner fees. You may have hired your own planner so are aware of their specific costs, but if your venue is providing one you need to make sure you are made aware of any extra costs they will incur.

Any wedding will involve carefully chosen décor from table settings to florals. This obviously costs money to purchase, but also requires setting up and taking down. The set up and clear down fees are usually from the venue and not the suppliers – so make sure you are made aware of what these will be beforehand. This also applies to waste disposal, which can often appear as an extra cost on your bill.



wedding costs

The next thing on your list should be your accommodation for the wedding. Depending on your venue, the honeymoon suite may be included in the cost of booking. However this is not always the case! If you have a different hotel in mind for your first night as a married couple then this will need to be factored into the budget. Similarly, if you need to travel to your venue you may want to book a room for the few nights before so that you can be there early. All of this will increase your budget.



wedding costs

While the sumptuous wedding feast and cake will be covered in your budget, you also need to consider practical things such as your breakfast on the day and the day after. Check if your hotel room includes breakfast, or if your accommodation is self-catering. Make a plan beforehand for what you will eat to avoid being hangry on your wedding day.

This also applies to the morning after. Whether its just you and your partner, or you and all your guests you can be sure that you will all be hungover and in need of a good breakfast.



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This is one of the hidden costs that can really be a kicker. Depending on the size of your wedding, you could be looking at postage fees for upwards of 300 items. This includes save the dates, invitations, pre-paid RSVP cards and thank you cards for after the wedding. A first class stamp costs 85p, but postage will be more if your invitations do not conform to normal letter weights and measurements. This adds a huge amount of costs to an already pricy aspect of a wedding. To save money here, you can always send out digital save the dates. You can also encourage people to RSVP digitally. This not only saves money but is much greener for the planet too.



wedding costs

With any event, or actually anything which requires a budget, it is always pertinent to include an “emergencies” fund. This will cover you if mishaps happen like breakages at the venue, or emergency taxis when vehicles break down. Anything you don’t spend from this pot can go right into the honeymoon spending money kitty.