Five unexpected wedding costs couples forget to budget for

If you’re planning a wedding, it’s likely that you’ve totted up the cost of major items, such as the venue, wedding dress, suits, photography and flowers. While this can leave you feeling in total control of your wedding budget, wedding planning experts Guides for Brides know that plenty of brides and grooms are caught off guard by small, less talked about expenses. If you want to feel better prepared, here are some wedding costs which might otherwise slip under the radar.


When choosing your invitations, be sure to weigh it carefully, as extra weight can bump up the postage cost. Not only does the weight matter, but the size does as well. For example, square envelopes can carry an additional charge. You may also be surprised by the amount of stamps you may require, as you’ll need them for your invitations, save the dates and thank you notes. If you have a guest list of 150 people, the additional postage quickly adds up!

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Beauty Treatments

Of course, you’ve already budgeted for your hair and makeup on the wedding day, but you may have forgotten to factor in your trial costs. Many hair and makeup artists charge separately for trials, which are important to making sure you’re happy with your look ahead of the big day. If your bridesmaids or mum are having a trial, this will also cost extra. Also, keep in mind any pre-wedding beauty treatments you may want to indulge in, from a mani/pedi to a spray tan, or even teeth whitening or facials.

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Whether you buy off the rack or have your wedding dress ordered in, realistically your gown is going to require some alterations. This is a cost that most couples forget to add to the budget and can include all kinds of modifications, such as hemming the gown, taking it in (or letting it out), or structural changes. Some salons offer a flat fee, while others will charge you for every alteration, but it’s worth asking about rough costs at your bridal boutique.

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Church Costs

If you’re booking a church ceremony, then bear in mind that on top of the average £500 fee, there will be options that add extra cost. For example, you may need to pay extra if you want an organist to play during the wedding hymns and signing of the register, if you want the bellringers to perform, or even if you want the heating on during the ceremony.

Supplier Meals

Your wedding photographer, videographer, band, DJ…  just like you and much of your wedding party, they’ll be at the venue for most of the day. As a result, they’re going to need some fuel to keep going! Many wedding suppliers state that they require meals in their contract and some, like bands, may need a separate break room altogether. If it’s not in the contract, plan accordingly for their meals throughout the day, or incorporate them into the head count for the reception. If you’re not willing to splash out for a full meal for your suppliers, then ask your caterer whether they can provide sandwiches or similar.

Looking for more wedding budget advice? The Guides for Brides Wedding Planner includes a free budget tracker to help keep your wedding spend under control!

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