14 Unexpected Expenses That You Might Not Expect As You Plan Your Wedding

14 Unexpected Expenses That You Might Not Expect As You Plan Your Wedding

As every bride and groom plan their wedding, there is always a budget. A set number they prefer not to exceed. Reality is, most weddings tend to exceed the budget by twenty percent, due to unforeseen things that come up. I want to warn you of things that often are overlooked, so that you can stick as closely to your budget as possible.
  1. Going Over-time On Your Venue

When you book your venue, ask all the questions. Most venues will have a time frame of which you can arrive and by when you must leave. Don’t underestimate how much time you will need for set up AND clean up. Venues WILL charge you for every extra hour, so if you end up staying overtime, expect to pay more. So be careful to plan accordingly.
  1. Attire Alterations

Majority of brides find a dress, fit into it and purchase it. Weather or not a bride gains or loses weight, altering a dress costs money. Maybe you find a different pair of heals you like better, and need the hem of your gown adjusted? Maybe all your bridesmaid dresses need added sleeves. Consider these costs in advance. Alterations are not cheap!
  1. Trial Hair and Makeup 

Though it won’t be a major cost, depending on the beauty salon you chose, trial run for hair and makeup can cost a portion of the overall charge. Make sure to ask your stylist how much it costs for the trial. Many salons include the trial in the overall package, but some don’t! Make sure to ask!
  1. Marriage License

Though this won’t be a massive expense, depending on where in the planning process you are, dishing out an extra $50 for a piece of paper may be a stretch. Depending on your state and how quickly you need your license it can cost any where between $25-$100. Make sure to find out before hand, and factor it into your budget.
  1. Thank You Cards

These come after the wedding, and you may not even include it in your wedding budget. But, if you are someone who wants to do thank you cards with your wedding photo inside or what not, they tend to be more pricey. Consider your budget and then chose thank you cards that fit.
  1. Sound and Lighting

Depending on your venue, on the music you have and on a few other factors, this can be one of the more expensive things you dont expect to have to pay for. If your venue is a romantic barn somewhere on a homestead, consider that you will have to hang lighting, and rent sound equipment and make sure there are proper hookups. Often, venues have these things included. But make sure you are aware of what’s needed, and consider how much it will cost you to rent equipment.
  1. Accessories

Brides often focus on the dress as the bulk of the price. Though the dress will most likely be the most expensive part, the other beauty items you need can add up very quickly. Heals to match the dress, when bought in bridal salons, often are far more expensive. Veils are always surprisingly expensive. Jewelry that matches your dress, headpieces, nails, etc. The list goes on. Consider what you want to spend on each item so that you don’t overspend beyond your means.
  1. Dance Floor

If you are doing an outdoor wedding and setting up a tent, don’t forget that you will likely need to set up a tent floor. Or at least a dance floor. That can be very costly. If your ground or grass is mostly level and dry you maybe fine, but make sure to observe and consider if you need one. You don’t want guests in heals to be sinking into soft ground as they try to dance.
  1. Day - of Coordinator

You will need to hire a person who coordinates the general flow of your wedding, otherwise it can quickly become a chaotic mess. Consider how much coordinators cost. Many people ask friends or family to volunteer for this job, as it is fairly easy and you can save money by not hiring a “professional”.
  1. Feeding Your Venders

If you are paying per plate, consider that your wedding will also have photographers, videographers, musicians, etc. Though you are not required to pay for their dinner, it is the polite thing to do. So make sure to include extra plates in the overall charge of your caterers.
  1. Tips and Gratuities

A certain percentage of the service provided from your venders is expected to include a gratuity. It will likely not be included in the contracted price, so consider the additional costs of tips for each vender.
  1. Delivery, Set Up and Breakdown Fees

Venues often charge for setup and clean up separately. Make sure to ask about extra charges that are not included. Rental companies often charge for delivery, set up, and pick up. Florists often charge for delivery and cleanup. Ask in advance, before you get piled with fees you did not expect.
  1. Venue’s Preferred Venders

Many venues have contracted venders they work with. They prefer you chose their partners because it is easier for them to guarantee quality. But if you want to hire your own venders, often times venues will charge extra fees for that. This is one of the most common additional charges that is not expected. Make sure to ask what your venue’s rules are on that.
  1. Floral Changes

Florists will charge extra for changes made to your original plan. So if you suddenly need one bouquet less because a bridesmaid dropped out, or one extra boutineer because you forgot to order one for grandad, they will likely charge you additional fees. It is difficult to have flexibility with flowers because they need to be fresh, so extra fees with changes are to be expected.


In conclusion, make sure to ASK lots of questions beforehand. Asking is always better than being blindsided by a ton of extra fees. 

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