12 hidden wedding costs to include in your budget
When planning a wedding, there are a million and one things to think about. While you might have budgeted for big-ticket items like the venue and dress using our handy budget calculator, there are some hidden wedding costs that can sneak up on you. Here are the top twelve that catch couples out…
Before you even walk down the aisle, you’ll have to pay to ensure your wedding ceremony is legal! Before the wedding you must give notice, which involves signing a legal statement at your local register office to say you intend to get married. You must give notice at least 29 days before your ceremony and must marry within 12 months of giving notice. This involves a fee of £35 per person. You’ll also need to pay for your marriage certificate, which costs £11. However, if you’re having a destination wedding, keep in mind that you may need to complete additional paperwork. You may also have to fly in a few days before the wedding, or even make a return trip in order to get your marriage certificate. This means extra travel fees to consider in your budget.
You’d be surprised as to how many brides forget to factor postage into their wedding stationery budget! You’ll need to buy three sets of stamps: one for your save the dates, one for your invitations, and one for your thank you cards. If you have a guest list of 150, that can quickly add up. However, don’t make the mistake of ordering an invitation per PERSON. Remember that you only need one per family or couple!
If you’re sending more than a single card, or your invitations have extra details such as bows, magnets or decorations that can bulk out the envelope, you’ll need to take them to the Post Office to check the postage costs. The last thing you want is for your guests to be charged to pick up your wedding invitation!
Beauty Trials and Treatments
When you’re booking in your wedding hair and makeup, don’t forget to check about trials. While some hair and makeup artists will include trials in their prices, many do not, so it’s important to check prices upfront. We always recommend having hair and makeup trials to perfect your look, so it’s always worth factoring this into your budget. Other beauty treatments to include in your wedding costs include any pampering you’ll want on the run-up to the big day. These might include your hair cut and colour, fake tan, teeth whitening, manicures and pedicures and lash extensions.
Speaking of wedding stationery, don’t forget that there’s more to it than save the dates and invitations! There are plenty of other paper products to keep in mind. You’ll also need to consider table plans, place cards, menus, and any other day-of needs you may encounter when planning your wedding stationery budget.
While you might have budgeted for the wedding dress, you might not have factored in the cost of alterations. These can easily stretch into the hundreds, depending on how much work the dress needs, so this isn’t a wedding cost to overlook! If your bridal boutique has an in-house seamstress, they should be able to give you a rough price list when you order. Otherwise, find a reputable local service that specialises in bridal gowns. If you’re buying a second-hand or sample gown, remember you may want to dry clean your dress before the day.
If you’re booking a wedding package, you may be lucky enough to have a honeymoon suite included for free. However, if you don’t, you’ll have to include this in your venue budget. Don’t forget that you may also want to stay the night before to avoid travelling in the morning. We also recommend opting for a late check-out the day after the wedding!
Some of your wedding suppliers will need feeding on the day. Generally these include the wedding photographer and videographer, as they will have been on the go all day, but you may also want to provide for the band or DJ. While some suppliers are happy to bring their own sandwiches, some will have a meal included as part of their contract, so make sure you know what’s expected of you. You can feed your suppliers a version of the main wedding meal, or ask your caterers to prepare separate supplier meals (often for a reduced cost).
When you book your church ceremony, you may encounter some hidden wedding costs you weren’t expecting. For example, churches may charge you to heat the venue, or for floral decorations. You will have to pay for the use of the organist, choir and bellringers, and this may increase if your videographer is filming the musicians, due to performing rights.
If you’re hiring a wedding car or a horse and carriage then you’ll probably have taken these costs into account. However, one area you might not have considered is how your bridal party will be arriving on the day. Bear in mind that the bride and her father often travel separately, with the mother of the bride and bridesmaids following behind. Will you need to book taxis, or perhaps several wedding cars?
Another question is whether you hire a coach or minibus to transport guests between the ceremony and reception if they’re at separate venues. While you can always leave guests to make their own way, coaches ensure your guests all arrive at the reception at once.
We often hear of couples adding people on to the guest list last minute – or worse, people thinking they have a plus-one when they don’t. Make sure to keep your guest list up to date so that when it comes to paying the final catering bill (as well as providing chairs, favours and drinks!), you’ll know what figure to expect.
Final Guest Count
In the midst of all this consideration for other people, don’t forget about you! Couples forget to add themselves to the guest count all the time. Make sure you’ve included yourselves when giving the final table count and arrangements to the caterer.
Most venues and suppliers will ask for a deposit to confirm your booking. This can surprise couples who weren’t expecting an immediate cost, so be aware of this. While deposits are generally taken off the total price, damage deposits for venues or hired items may be added on to your total cost. It goes without saying that if you switch suppliers or decide against that wedding dress, you will lose the deposit. For some suppliers, you may also be expected to put down a small refundable deposit to secure an appointment or discuss designs.
Not sure what to expect when it comes to wedding costs? Check out our Wedding Budget Calculator!
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