It’s no secret that wedding budget planning can feel daunting! If you’re like most couples, you’re probably trying to find ways to save money for your big day. While you might have your budget planned to the last cent, have you thought of all the extras and hidden fees that could come up? Of course, it’s nearly impossible to budget for every single unforeseen hidden cost, but having some extra space planned out in your budget will save you in the long run.
To ensure that you’re prepared for all the costs associated with wedding planning, here are some hidden wedding costs that you may not know about:
Fit is everything! It’s essential to set aside part of the budget for your gown alterations. This will vary based on the style of gown and complexity of the design. On average, wedding dress alterations cost anywhere from $300 to $800 or more.
Makeup and hair trials are an important part of the wedding planning process, but they can be expensive, especially if you have a large bridal party. Because each person has different skin tones and features, it’s best to test out makeup and hairstyles on everyone individually before deciding which style works best for your wedding day.
Depending on if you have a bridal party or not, this could be a hidden expense you should consider when planning out your budget.
If you choose to have traditional invitation suites, postage for wedding invitations is a hidden cost that can add up quickly. If you’re using a standard traditional invitation, be sure to add at least $1 per envelope. Invitations that are oversize, uniquely shaped, or bulky can cost you up to $2 or more to mail. Save the Dates are a great way to build excitement for your wedding. While sending save the dates cost less than sending your actual wedding invitations, there is still a cost to sending them that should be considered.
Many wedding reception venues will have a minimum spend or minimum guest count. This minimum spend value could depend on the day of the week (e.g., Saturdays tend to have the highest minimum spend) or seasonality (e.g., many reception venues have winter special rates). Some venues may require you to have a minimum number of guests (e.g.,120) rather than a specific dollar figure. If you’re considering hosting a smaller or intimate wedding celebration (e.g., less than 100 guests), this is a must-ask question.
While many venues come with tables, chairs, linens, don’t expect them to be anything too fancy! To get the look you really want, you may need to go through a rental company or pay for some upgrades through the venue. Also, if you’re choosing a more remote venue, you may have to bring in all of the furniture on your own. While round tables are the most common, square and long rectangular tables are also (on-trend!) options. Chairs may seem pretty straightforward but there are actually lots of chair options available. From standard folding chairs to elegant Chiavari chairs, Phoenix chairs, rustic harvest chairs, and more, you have many options when it comes to wedding chairs (all at a cost!). Chair rentals can range from $9-$12 per chair. Other furniture rentals can include couches for the cocktail hour, large chairs for the head table, or benches for an outdoor wedding.
Planning your tablescape is one of the more exciting parts of the big day design process. Chargers, flatware, coloured goblets, these are all items that would accentuate your tabletop décor. Expect to pay about $5 per person for a low-end table setting in clear glass and up to $10 per person for high-end gold or silver-rimmed settings accompanied by gold or silver plated flatware with crystal stemware and glasses.
A dance floor is an important part of your wedding. Some venues do not provide a dance floor, and you will have to rent one. Make sure you set aside money in your budget if this is the case for your venue. Dance floor wraps, such as a custom vinyl, are also a great way to add personality to your event and make it truly unique!
Tents are a popular and often necessary way to cover the dance floor and tables, especially if there is more than a remote chance of inclement weather on your wedding date. There are several styles of tents available, but the most popular are frame tents and pole tents. Tents can be rented or purchased, but they’re expensive either way. Consider if you want walls, flooring, heating and cooling, these extras can cause your price quote to vary greatly.
To get married in Ontario, you usually must first apply for a marriage licence from the Ontario government. The cost varies by municipality and typically costs anywhere from $150-$160.
Wedding favours are a great way to show your guests how much you appreciate them, and they’re also a lovely memento of your wedding day. Most couples spend around $400-$600 on wedding favours.
If you’re planning a wedding in a city that isn’t home to all of your vendors, they may have to travel there and back again. This can add up quickly!
One of the most common hidden wedding costs is the price of flowers and decorations. Flowers are more expensive during peak season but even more expensive if you want out-of-season florals that have to be flown in specifically for you.
The cake cutting fee is an expense that many couples don’t think about until the day of their wedding. Most venues will charge for a plating fee to serve cake to guests at their tables, ranging from $2-5 per person.
Even though these aren’t exactly hidden, we all know there are taxes on almost everything and gratuities are expected for almost any service – most couples don’t think about how much they’ll end up owing during the planning process. The standard amount is 15-20% of the bill (the more expensive the service, the higher the tip). Make sure you set aside a few hundred dollars for tips in your wedding budget and discuss who will be in charge of tipping before the wedding day.
I hope this list helps you plan your wedding budget more accurately and keep track of all of the “hidden fees” you might not have considered. I know that planning a wedding can be stressful and overwhelming, but I also know that if you plan ahead, spend wisely, and stay organized throughout the process, then it will go smoother than expected!