10 Hidden Wedding Costs to Prepare For

10 Hidden Wedding Costs to Prepare For

Weddings can already be very expensive, but have you read the fine print on all of your contracts?  As the wedding date arrives on the calendar, many brides are shocked to learn just how much they have went over budget.  They start looking for reasons, and that’s when the real cost of the wedding comes to light.  As planners, one of our jobs is to keep you on budget.  Are you looking for a $50,000 wedding with only $10,000 to spend?  There are some miracles that are just too good to be true.  If you are looking to save money on your wedding, consider hiring a wedding planner and make sure to read How A Wedding Planner Can Save You Money.  If you need a wedding planner, be sure to check out our Wedding Planning services.  Here are some tips to help you spot the extras in the fine print and help keep you on budget.

Wedding Postage


Invitation suites often weigh more than standard letters.  In addition, with less and less people using snail mail services, you might not be familiar with the cost associated with sending your invitations.  You should budget around $1.75 per invitation to make sure you are covered.  Without proper budgeting, this cost can add up quickly.

Bridal Alterations


You’ve just bought your dream gown, but did you account for alterations for the perfect fit?  It is very unlikely that you are going to be able to step into your gown and achieve the perfect fit.  You should budget around $300 – $500 for alterations.

Wedding Undergarments


I know, nobody is going to see them (well except for your new husband at the end of the night), but you don’t want to skimp on the bare necessities.  Undergarments are essential to the perfect fit of your gown.  They hold everything in the right place for the look you want.  Expect to budget around $200 for your specialty undergarments.

Wedding Welcome Bags

Welcome Bag Delivery

If you have a lot of guests staying in a hotel, you will likely want to treat them to a welcome bag in their room.  Hotels often charge for this service and is one of those un-mentioned costs.  Be sure to ask your hotel if there will be a charge and what it will be.

Wedding Setup

Setup & Teardown

Depending on your venue, there may be additional costs involved in setup and teardown, especially if you are bringing in specialty items.  And, no, this is not what your planner is for.  They “coordinate” the setup and teardown, they are not day laborers.  Make sure you ask if you are unsure.

Non-exclusive Vendors

Non-exclusive Vendors

Many venues forge relationships with other vendors.  In some cases, they even require your to use certain caterers, photographers etc.  If you do not use those partners, you may be charged a surcharge.  Make sure to ask before you book as deposits are often non-refundable.

Rental Delivery

Rental Delivery

You just got a quote on the biggest tent you can rent, but did you read the fine print for delivery?  There is often a delivery fee based on the mileage from the rental companies’ headquarters.  If you don’t see it, make sure to ask.  If the company is not local, delivery fees could cost you $100’s.  Check out Wedding Decor: Renting vs. Buying to weigh the difference between Renting & Buying.

Cake Cutting
Cake Cutting

Depending on your caterer, most offer cake cutting services.  Make sure you ask for pricing as it is almost an extra charge.  Expect to budget around$1.50 per guest for cake cutting services.

Wedding Corkage


If you are providing the alcohol, be prepared to pay to have it served.  Having the Champagne toast poured can run you as much as $15 per bottle.  Make sure to ask your bartender or caterer if there is a fee.

Wedding Gratuity


This is probably the most important item on the list.  Several of your vendors will expect some sort of gratuity.  These include Caterers, Bartenders, Planners, Delivery drivers, Officiants and possibly musicians.  These can vary from a fe dollars to 20% of the total bill depending on the vendor.  Make sure you read Tipping Your Wedding Vendors: A Complete Guide for a complete guide on tipping your wedding vendors.

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