Sticking to a budget is one of the hardest parts of planning a wedding, you’ve made a list, checked it twenty times, been careful to avoid any of the normal wedding budget blowouts. But be careful, there are many hidden costs that can catch you out at the last minute, we’ve listed a few of the most common hidden wedding costs here so you can see them coming:

1. Postage

With the rise of emails and social media, wedding save the dates, invitations and thank you cards are some of the few nice surprises that we get in our letterbox these days. Unfortunately it also means we’ve all lost touch with current postal costs; oversized, awkwardly shaped, or bulky invitations can cost more than $2 each to post[1], and usually the stationer won’t advise you of the postage costs when you order with them so you can arrive at the post office and get quite a shock.

How to avoid it:

Do your research before you order your stationary and go for a standard size and weight to minimise cost, or alternatively – go digital, there are lots of paper-free e-invite companies around these days.


2. Alterations & steaming

Most shops don’t include alterations (or steaming) in the price of a wedding dress, and then there are the bridesmaid dresses to think about too, one dress for many body types can mean a fair few alterations – same goes for the guy’s suits.

How to avoid it:

Ask the shop what it charges for alterations before you buy, if in store is too expensive for you but you can’t go without that dress, shop around and see if a specialised tailor can do it a little cheaper for you, or if you have anyone in your family or friend network who has the skills you need.


3. Cake cutting and corkage fees

If you go with your own cake and alcohol providers for your reception venue, instead of using their in-house choice then they will probably charge you ‘cakeage’ and ‘corkage’ as an additional cost. This can be upwards of $2 per slice of cake or $1.50 per bottle of booze[2], so if you have 150 guests it will add up!

How to avoid it:

Ask your reception venue about their fees and do your calculations before you decide to go with an outside source for either.


4. The Cleanup/Bump out

It’s easy to plan and budget for what happens on the day and forget all about the fact that when the day is over someone has to clean up afterwards! While a lot of full service venues will include this in their costs, if you’re bringing in external florists etc they may charge a bump out fee.  If you’re renting a space for a flat rate then you should also factor in things like garbage removal and cleaning fees

How to avoid it:

Read the venue and vendor contracts carefully and see that they include bump out or clean-up costs, or ask for them to be included in your initial quotes before you choose your suppliers.


5. Non-preferred professionals

Some venues require you to use their in-house or have a list of preferred suppliers for aspects like catering and floristry etc and if you go with your own preference they can tack on a fee.

How to avoid it:

Look over the list before you book your venue to make sure you’re happy with their preferred suppliers, or look for a venue that doesn’t restrict you.


6. Rental/Supplier transport

If you’re hiring aspects of the day from an events company, they usually won’t include delivery/transport in their hiring costs, and you can’t fit those 200 chairs in your car can you? Also if you’re having your special day somewhere off the beaten track you will have to take into account travel costs for all your suppliers if they aren’t local to the area – this may even include accommodation for them if they need to bump out when the night is over!

How to avoid it:

Choose suppliers that are local to the area you’re having your wedding in, and ask about delivery costs up front, if they are too expensive, shop around, it might be worth hiring from the slightly more expensive events company if they include free delivery and pick up.


7. Supplier meals

You don’t want your photographer and wedding band fainting because they haven’t eaten since that morning, so if you think you have your caterer numbers sorted, make sure you factor your suppliers in as well!

How to avoid it:

It’s not really good form to starve people who are working for you so being aware of this cost while budgeting for your catering is probably the best you can do.


8. Overtime costs

Usually you’ll have booked in your DJ, Band, photographer, videographer, or even reception venue in general for a certain amount of time.  If the fun just won’t stop and the wedding runs a little longer than expected, these vendors will start to charge you an hourly rate.

How to avoid it:

Remember to factor in additional time for getting dressed, photos, and getting stuck chatting to guests on route to photos, so that you can give your vendors a realistic timeline. It’s also a good idea to get their overtime rates in writing so that you are fully aware of the potential extra costs if running over can’t be helped.


Bottom Line

Being aware of these hidden costs means that you can leave room in your wedding budget in anticipation and not get caught off guard.

If you’re considering a loan to help pay for your big day, make sure you don’t get hit with hidden fees or rates there too. You can view and compare a variety of personal loans from leading lenders on the Credit Savvy comparison site right now so you can get the loan that’s right for you.





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