Unexpected wedding costs to watch out for

Turning Points 3 min read

Your dream wedding dress. A talented wedding photographer. The best caterer you can afford. These are all typical wedding expenses and things you’ve probably factored into your overall budget. No matter how much of a planner you are, it’s likely that unexpected and last-minute expenses will pop up the closer you get to your big day. If you want to prepare yourself for those inevitable surprises, read on for our list of wedding costs that tend to bust couples’ budgets.

1. Tips and gratuity

It’s important to remember that you should give a gratuity or tip to your service-based wedding vendors.

2. Alterations

Chances are your chosen wedding dress won’t magically fit you like a glove, so it’s a good idea to factor alteration costs into your attire budget.

3. Licenses and legal

To make your union legal, you’ll have to apply and pay for a marriage license. You and your partner may also consider drawing up a prenuptial agreement with a lawyer, which could cost you an arm and a leg.

4. Taxes and fees

When comparing vendor prices, be sure to be mindful of applicable taxes and fees, which can vary state by state. Taxes on food and beverages or other product based expenses can easily add an extra 10% or more to your spend. Some other things to watch out for are added service fees from your vendors. Fees for travel, deliveries, cleaning, setup and breakdown, cake-cutting, and other services are super common and can increase your overall cost significantly.

5. Additional meals for vendors and bridal party

Don’t forget that you should plan to have enough catering to feed your vendors who are on-site for the entire wedding day. Your photographer, videographer, wedding planner, DJ, and others will be present for a significant amount of time and will need to eat a meal while working your wedding. It’s best practice and proper etiquette to have meals for them. Vendor meals can quickly add several additional plates to your catering headcount, so it’s important to remember. Additionally, you’ll want to plan for breakfast and/or lunch for your bridal party if they spend the better part of the day with you.

6. Postage

When calculating your budget for your wedding stationery, it’s important to remember to factor in postage. You’ll need stamps for your save the dates, invitations, and RSVP cards, not to mention your thank you cards after the big day. If you choose an oversized or overweight invitation style, it could cost you even more, so be mindful of those choices.

7. Trials and tastings

Don’t forget to budget for trials and tastings for all the service-based vendors you’re hiring. You want to make sure you love your hair and makeup looks as well as the food you’ll be serving, and often those come at a price, although typically trials are discounted.

8. Unexpected guests

A complaint of many a married couple is uninvited guests or those who forgot to RSVP but show up anyway. Perhaps one of your guests will opt to bring a plus one that you didn’t allow for or invite. Those additional heads in your guest count can add up quickly!

9. Unpredictable events

Occasionally, things just happen that you couldn’t have predicted. Perhaps you have terrible weather in the week leading up to your wedding, and your tented reception is no longer an option with the muddy grounds of your venue. Having to make last minute changes or alterations to your wedding plans can create additional expenses. This is where Wedding Insurance can be especially helpful!

10. Post-wedding expenses

Think your to-do list will slow down after the big day? Think again! Don’t forget about things like cleaning and preserving your wedding gown, purchasing and sending Thank You Cards, or ordering photo prints and wedding albums. The name-change process can cost you a pretty penny, too!

Wedding budget tips:

Protect yourself from going over budget for your wedding by keeping these helpful tips in mind.

Leave wiggle room in your budget

To keep yourself safe from spending more than you planned for, be sure to set aside around 10% of your overall budget for those unexpected expenses.

Keep thorough records of spending

Whether you opt to use a spreadsheet or an online budgeting tool, be sure to maintain a record of all your wedding related expenses to see where all your money is going.

Reallocate extra funds to other areas

If you end up spending less than you planned for in a certain area, you can feel free to transfer the excess to another area of your budget.

If you keep these unexpected costs in mind and arm yourself with our budget-saving tips, you’ll be in a better position to come through the wedding day without overspending. Happy planning!

Was this article helpful?

2 min
2 min
3 min
3 min
3 min