When it comes to planning your wedding, the most essential things to get right (apart from marrying the one) is getting your budget right. From your suppliers to your shoes, everything comes with a cost, so having a budget and sticking to it is an absolute must for peace of mind and happy day. The trouble is, your wedding budget may not be as accurate as you think it is.
Yup. We're talking about those hidden costs you didn't think about. Of course, on their own, these extra costs are never huge, but pull them together and even the most organised brides and financially savvy grooms can overspend without even realising it. Some crop up before your big day, others afterwards and some can even occur on the day itself. Either way, these unexpected price tags can be pretty frustrating.
That's the bad news.
The good news is over-spending can be avoided; you just need to be know where these hidden wedding costs might come from so that you can be prepared and then add them into your budget.
So without further ado, here are some of the most common yet unexpected wedding costs to consider when planning your big day:
One of the first (and favourite) wedding tasks is picking out the perfect invitations to send your guests. But all too often, it's not until you've popped the address on the last envelope that you find yourself wondering how much it will actually cost to post everything.
From your save the dates to your actual invites, it's one of those costs that can quickly add up, especially if your wedding stationery is a different size and weight to a normal letter. Luckily, one of the easiest ways to save a little on this area is to send out digital save the dates. That way you get to enjoy the beauty of printed invites while avoiding two sets of postage fees.
2. Admin Fees
Whether you're getting married in a church or you've hired a ceremony space that matches your love story, there are always hidden admin fees to be aware of. From registrars' fees to the cost of obtaining your wedding certificate, hiring an organist to changing your surname, there are a handful of unavoidable admin fees to be aware of when planning your budget.
What's more, if you're hoping to tie the knot in a ceremony that's at the same venue as your reception, make sure you ask how much extra that will cost because each venue will have different policies on what space is included. As such, you may have to pay more for the ceremony space, or even find you are being charged for the whole venue even though you only want the reception space. So always ask the question.
It can be very easy to assume that the prices you have been quoted included VAT, but don't. From your venue hire to your wedding gown, the photographer to your caterers, make sure you get a quote that includes every surcharge otherwise you'll find yourselves facing a 20% price hike. Not fun.
4. Sound System
Every bride and groom dreams of speeches that make everyone laugh, a first dance that draws tears and cheers from their friends and a DJ spinning tunes into the early hours of the next morning. But all of these things require a sound system, so make sure you ask your venue whether or not they have one on-site that is available for use and whether or not it's an extra charge. After all, the last thing you want is to be slapped with another cost in order for your guests to hear you say your vows.
5. Cakeage & Corkage
If you've not heard of corkage before, it's essentially where the venue charges you a per-bottle fee for bringing your own alcohol instead of using their bar. So if you'd planned on popping across to Calais to pick up some delicious table wine for a lot less, make sure you've checked that's okay with your venue first to see if it's possible and how much they'll charge.
And while you're at it, ask about their cakeage fees. Yepp. Cakeage. This is because some venues now charge an extra fee for you to have a wedding cake that was not made by their in-house or preferred bakers. Always ask the question.
6. Thank You Cards
With limited weddings a thing of the past and guest lists going back to the hundreds, sending out your post-wedding thank you cards is one of those forgotten about costs that can very quickly add up. What's more, it's not really one you can avoid, especially if your guests have bought you gifts from your wedding list. That's why we recommend you add up the cost of another round of postage stamps based on your guest list numbers.
We have our fingers crossed that this won't happen to you on your wedding day, but there is a chance that some of your guests will have the time of their life at your big day, get a little over-enthusiastic on the dance floor and either break something or spill wine on something, both of which will need you to stump up a little bit of dosh to cover the costs. And because accidents like this can't always be helped, it could be worth putting a little bit of money aside in case of this kind of emergency.
8. Dry Cleaning
Chances are, your wedding gown and grooms suit will be two of the most expensive and sentimental items of clothing you will ever own, which is why you'll want to look after them for years to come. That's why you will probably want to get them professionally cleaned once you've finished dancing and laughing and living your best lives on the best day of your life. So make sure you consider the dry cleaning costs as well as any storage costs to, you know, stop it becoming a plaything for moths.