If you are planning a wedding, you should be aware of all the unexpected costs that may pop up which seem out of nowhere.  There are SO MANY details with planning a wedding that it is easy to overlook those “hidden cost”.  Here are just a few things to think of if you have not all ready- overtime, vendor meals, non-approved vendors, gratuity are just a few.  The purpose of this blog isn’t to stress you out but to inform you so you may be best prepared.  Relax, breathe in and out very slowly, keep an open mind and get ready to take some notes…


1.  Alterations

Alterations is the only way to help you feel completely confident in your wedding dress.  When you are picking out your dress, keep alterations in mind for your budge for your dress.  Alterations aren’t cheap and can cost several hundred dollars.  Stores that have dresses that come off the rack will help you save money on the front end which can free up money in the back end for alterations. 


2.  Ideas to “Propose” to your Bridesmaids

When you are asking your girls to be your bridesmaids, you want to do it in a special way.  The gifts for your bridesmaids given at the rehearsal dinner should be kept in mind as far as total cost.  Something small but significant like a letter, or a bottle of champagne or maybe some jewelry can help make that moment special. 

3.  Special Undergarments

Getting a specific bra for the design of your dress, Spanx or shapewear should be kept in mind when selecting your dress.  These items may be small but they can be costly. 

4.  Beauty Budget

How is going to do your hair and makeup on your wedding day?  If you are going to hire a stylist, they will cost some money.  Also you may want to do a trial run for the make up so that you know exactly the correct shades you need.  Make sure your hair stylist is available and that you communicate exactly what you want your hair to look like.  This along with securing your stylist will add on $$$ but the price of being perfect for your perfect day is PRICELESS!!

5.  Before your wedding day Beauty Needs

Think about your mani, pedi, facial, spray tan and any other things you might need to pamper yourself before your big day.  These may seem like splurges but they are actually necessities.  Check out Groupon for some great deals to save money on these services in your area. 


6.  Marriage License

It may be a good idea to enroll in some type of premarital education.  Even if you don’t take that route you still have to pay for your marriage license.  A lot of couples feel premarital education helps to start on a good foot.  However much the license fee is all depends on your state.  They can range from $25 up to $100.  Just think, these little cost do add up. 

7.  Coat Check

This can add anywhere from $300 to $500 to the bill, check this out in the agreement before hand very carefully. 

8.  Valet Park

If you add valet parking on, this can add anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars depending on the venue, and the amount of guest you will be expecting.  However, if you can find somewhere with free parking, then you are that much further ahead. 

9.  Power

I know you are thinking, should the venue already have power?  That is true if you are going to like a hotel or banquet hall.  But if you are using a unique venue, you might have to provide a generator which sounds completely nuts. 

10.  Lighting

If you have an outdoor event, lighting is a must.  Lighting can run up to $1000 or maybe more.  Check with your venue to see if they even allow some hanging lights.   Or you could use the moon…


11.  Sound

If you are having a reception in a large space, most likely it will require some additional speakers.  When you are doing a walk through for your venue, please pay attention to the size of the space so you can communicate that with your band and or DJ. 

12.  Bridal Party Transportation

If your wedding ceremony and reception are in different locations, you would need to provide the transportation to get everyone to and fro from your wedding. 

13.  Chairs

Chairs may not seem like a lot but they can be anywhere from $3-$10 per chair. 

14.  Tax

How can you even forget about Uncle Sam?

15.  Vendor Meals

All of your vendors are going to need to eat at least dinner.  They will be with you most of the day so plan on them eating with your bridal party.

16.  Your Meals

Don’t forget to count yourself in your own head count. 

17.  Cut the Cake

Most caters charge additional to cut the cake. 


18.  Corkage

Bar tenders charge $1.50 -$3 for each and every bottle they open.  To help bring this cost down, think about buying a Keg. 

19.  Uninvited Guests

Let’s just face it, having uninvited guest show up to your wedding should be expected.  Some that didn’t RSVP will show up and plus the plus ones may turn into plus 2 or 3.  Only thing you can do is prepare by having some extra plates on hand. 

20.  Party Favors

These small gifts can range between $3-$10 a piece.  Now multiply that cost with all the guest you are inviting.  That can be pretty expensive pretty quickly.  There are some DIY things you can do.  Things that you can make not only save you money but they have a sentimental factor.  I went to a wedding before where the bride painted small pictures and placed them on every table for people to take home.  Very creative and it wasn’t very expensive. 

21.  Insurance

Wedding insurance may be required for your venue.  This will just help you save some tears if the worst happens.  Check out WedSafe.com for some wedding insurance.

22.  Tastings

This is actually one of the best parts of planning a tasting that can be about $25 per person.  Ask your fiancé, friends, parents, or other family members to go with you. 

23.  Workout Plan and Diet

Are you trying to lose weight before your wedding day?  That is going to require buying healthy food like fruits and vegetables, gym membership, or even a personal trainer.  Fresh vegetables, proteins and a gym membership can add up fairly quickly.  If you have your friends and family sign up with you for support, it may save you money on your monthly membership. 

24.  Flowers Out of Season

If you just love a particular flower for your wedding and it is out of season, expect that price to go north.  This is something to discuss with your florist when you are picking out your flowers. 


25.  Postage

Those save the dates and invites and thank you notes will all need stamps.  Just make sure you get enough to cover all three sets. 

26.  Approved Vendors

Most venues have a list of authorized vendors that they allow to come into their facility.  If the cater you want is not authorized, then this could increase your cost up to 25% for the venue.  Make sure you verify all of this information with the venue before signing any agreements. 

27.  Gift for Parents

This gift should be different from the wedding party gift.  This gift you may want to personalize like a hanker chief or a box of cigars.  Try not to go over $50. 

28.  Staying in a Hotel the Night Before

If you want to help lower your stress levels, consider staying the night in a hotel the night before your wedding.  This will get you out of the day to day by being at your house. 

29.  Meals

The last thing you may want to do is eat on your big day, but you have too.  You need your energy.  Your bridal party is going to be there for you and with you.  They should have their meals taken care of. 

30.  Tips

Tipping is not only greatly appreciated by your vendors, it is also much deserved. 


31.  Transportation for Guests

You know some of your guests are going to need a sober driver.  You may want to have a DD that night or arrange for a few Uber’s. 

32.  Set Up and Tear Down

If you and your friends and family are not going to do this then you should expect this fee to be anywhere from $250-$500. 

33. Overtime

Sure you planned on the wedding reception being over at 11 pm, but everything didn’t go according to plan plus everyone is having the time of their life.  What do you do?  Pay for another hour for the venue and the DJ.  What is another few hundred bucks at this point and time?

34.  The Forgottens

Having a contingency budget will help for the forgotten cost of your wedding.  You never know what could happen.  Having money to account for this will not only help you out but it will leave you less stress. 

35.  After the Wedding

Thank you notes, gown preservations, prints from the wedding are all cost all have to be paid for.  Don’t blow the budget without these things. 


You got this!

I’m not trying to scare you—I promise. I just believe that being prepared is essential to staying on track. You may think your checklist is complete, but I have to believe you missed a few of the hidden wedding costs above. It’s OK! Anyone would. I just hope you’re one step closer to a complete list.













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