16 Unexpected Wedding Costs You Should Prepare For
We all know how important it is to stick to your wedding budget. So, to make sure your wedding budget is absolutely accurate, you need to discover hidden wedding costs that most couples won’t know about.
While these costs aren’t huge on their own, spending £30 here and £50 there, and so on, will quickly add up. To make sure your wedding budget is as true to reality as possible, here we have 16 unexpected wedding costs you need to be aware of, from surprising extras to easy-to-overlook essentials.
Extra Supplier Costs
Before you book and put your deposit down on any suppliers, check where they’re based and how much they’ll charge for travel. Unless you’ve got room in the budget for these extra expenses, you may have to find an alternative nearer your venue. You also need to check whether an on-the-day supplier, such as the photographer, expects a meal and/or snacks. Some have this written into their contract, others will provide their own sustenance. If they do require refreshments, let your caterer know in advance.
Extra Venue Costs
Always read your contract carefully to see if there are any potential extra charges that can put your agreed price up. A key cost is often for events in the hours after midnight. Other costs can include additional security, cleaning costs, cloakroom staff and if you want suppliers who aren’t on their approved list. Your venue will be happy to talk you through any additional costs, just ask about them during your showround.
You have all your invitations paid for, beautifully written, addressed and ready to go. You may have had a stationery budget, but more than likely you have forgotten to add in the stamps! When it comes to wedding stationery, it’s all too easy to forget the cost of postage. Depending on the number of invites you’re sending, the weight and the distance, your stamps could end up bumping up your stationery budget more than you thought.
Hair and Makeup Trials
You’ve put the cost of a hairstylist and makeup artist into your budget – but have you remembered to include the cost of trials? Many pros charge for these, as a trial involves using their time, expertise and products. While trials are often included in the overall price of the makeup package, you may have more than one trial which will be an added expense. Like the makeup trials, deciding on your hairstyle may take more than one visit to your stylist, so be sure to factor in these costs.
Don’t forget your wedding insurance! You want to be covered for all potential scenarios so this little extra cost could save you a lot of money if things go wrong. After all, you wouldn’t spend £10,000 on a car and not insure it! Check exactly what each policy covers before making your choice – you want the most comprehensive policy your budget allows. On average, most couples only have to spend around £100 on wedding insurance so it’s a worthwhile, minor cost!
Wedding Planner or Coordinator
If wedding planning starts to get on top of you, there’s always the option of hiring a wedding planner – or an on-the-day coordinator. A planner can massively lower your stress levels. But, they will also increase your budget! So, it may be worth building in a contingency fund in case you decide to bring in assistance.
Alterations and Accessories
Your alterations may be included in the cost of your wedding outfits. However, unless you’re going fully bespoke, wedding dresses and suits often need some professional alterations for a perfect fit. Also, you need to budget for all aspects of your wedding outfits, such as underwear, jewellery, fragrance, hair accessories and shoes.
While you may have set money aside for your professional hair and makeup on the wedding day, remember to keep in mind any pre-wedding beauty treatments you may want to indulge in. This includes everything from facials, dedicated skin care and laser treatments to spray tans, teeth whitening and waxing. In the final run-up to the wedding, you may also be getting last-minute beauty treatments done. For example, hair colour, eyebrows, lashes, hair extensions and mani/pedi appointments.
Wedding Party Gifts
As well as potentially paying for their outfits, there may be extra wedding party treats, such as ‘Will you be my bridesmaid?’ proposal gifts or getting-ready robes to consider. Also, after a year or so of planning and prep with your wedding party, it’s a lovely gesture to give them something to say thank you for all their hard work. Of course, don’t forget to budget something in for your parents or anyone who has helped significantly. It doesn’t have to be costly, the emphasis should be on remembering them.
If you’re spending the wedding morning at a hotel or in self-catering accommodation, you’ll definitely need some food to keep you going. You’ll also need provisions for anyone getting ready with you. And then, of course, there’s your newlywed breakfast the next day. Whether you’re planning a romantic brunch or a hangover get-together with your guests, add the costs to your budget.
Additional Ceremony Fees
Whatever type of wedding ceremony you’re having, there may well be some costs you haven’t considered yet. For a civil ceremony, for example, you have to pay to give notice, as well as for registrars’ fees and the cost of the wedding certificate. At a church wedding, there’s a set fee, but you may want extras such as an organist, bellringer or choir on top of this. Also, if one or both of you plans on a change of surname, there may be associated costs there too.
Be very clear in advance about how your wedding party is getting to the venue, particularly if you’re getting ready together. You may have a specific vehicle ready for you, but you need to budget in the cost of getting the rest of the wedding party there. Also, while you’re generally not responsible for how guests get to and from your wedding, you may choose to provide transport, such as a coach, if moving guests from one location to the other.
Corkage and Cakeage
If you are opting to bring in your own wine or champagne, corkage is usually discussed with your venue in the beginning. Be sure to find out what the exact charge is before you buy wine and make the final decision. Also, some venues charge a cakeage fee if you’re having a wedding cake not made by their in-house or preferred caterers.
Extra Little Details
There are all kinds of little details available for your wedding. You probably won’t know about most of these when you start planning! You may want a contingency fund for any venue decor or unique elements that you discover you want halfway through planning.
Outfit Dry Cleaning and Storage
Want to keep hold of your wedding outfit? Chances are, after many hours of celebrations, you’ll need to have it dry cleaned! Also, you’ll need a plan for storing it. There are many different storage solutions, but these may come at a cost.
After the big day, you’ll want to thank all your guests for joining you on your special day. If you are having a bespoke stationery suite made, you can get some ‘Thank You’ notes made ahead of time. Depending on the size of your guest list, this is something that can really add up. Don’t forget, this adds another round of postage to your budget!
This list of hidden costs may seem long and overwhelming – don’t worry! Many of these costs will not increase your wedding budget significantly at all. Being aware of these hidden wedding costs is more helpful to avoid adding any extra stress to your wedding plan when you come across an unexpected fee.
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