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12 Wedding Budget Surprises Most Brides Forget About

Updated: Jan 25, 2022


Hidden costs are never fun, especially for brides who think they have everything accounted for. You can be the most organized bride, but forget about a few of these essential items, and your wedding budget quickly goes overboard.

  1. Postage - Save The Dates or Invitations cost money to send via mail. Standard postage can cost anywhere from $0.34 to a couple of dollars per envelope. If you have multiple items in your envelope, details cards, RSVPs, etc., the postage expense will continue to rise. If you have 150 guests, you could be paying close to $1.00 per guest for everything you send. Don't forget, after the wedding, you will need to send Thank You cards too!

  2. Gratuity and Tips - Some venues or caterers have gratuity clauses written into your contracts, so you may have to shell out a 20% tip for your bartenders or servers. If your bar bill is $3,000, you will be paying $600 in gratuity fees. Especially if you have multiple vendors, it can add up.

  3. Wedding Dress Alterations - You have found the dream dress and you are ready for it to fit like a glove. Depending on the amount of alterations your dress requires and the alterations studio you choose, some brides can pay close to $1,500 in alterations. Not every dress will need significant adjustments, but be sure to budget for "just in case" scenarios. Better to be safe than sorry in this situation.

  4. Vendor Meals - When you host an event with multiple vendors, you need to include a meal for the vendors in your budget: photographers, band, and even your florist. If vendors are required to be at an event for long hours, you should provide a meal for them.

  5. Pre-Wedding Outfits - With a wedding comes many other events you will be hosting as well. Bridal showers, bachelorette parties, and even your rehearsal dinner. Every bride wants to feel beautiful, and you may wish to find unique outfits to make these events feel just as special.

  6. Bridal Undergarments -Create a budget for your dress and accessories, but proper undergarments are a necessity many forget about. Depending on your dress, the appropriate undergarments will keep you feeling comfortable and looking fabulous all day.

  7. Marriage License - No matter what state you live in, you are required to get a marriage license. On average, marriage licenses can cost around $30.

  8. Wedding Day Stationery - Menu cards, ceremony programs, signage and everything in between, will be hidden costs many brides do not think about. Also, do not forget about shipping fees for these items. The more you order, the more costs will add up.

  9. Wedding Party Presents - Not every couple will give their bridal party additional presents; however, a small gift can show a big thank you. Your bridal party has shown up to stand by your side on one of the most important days of your life. Let them know how much they mean to you.

  10. Pre-Wedding Meals - No, not the catered meals at your reception. This is the breakfast or lunch you and your bridal party will need to eat before your wedding ceremony. Plan to have your aunt bring over her famous casserole or have sandwiches delivered to your bridal salon. No bride wants to go hungry on her wedding day.

  11. Pre-Wedding Grooming - Whether it is getting your eyebrows freshly waxed or your hair color touched up, there will be a lot of last-minute appointments to ensure you are looking and feeling your best for the big day!

  12. Suit/Dress Cleaning - Most couples want to preserve their wedding day outfits after the big day. If you are anything like me, the bottom of your dress will be pretty dirty after a night of dancing. Having your wedding dress cleaned and preserved can cost an average of $800 when done correctly.

Your wedding budget will most likely be a significant deciding factor for your wedding day decisions. Need help creating a budget that works for you. Work with me to create a custom budget tracking spreadsheet! Comprehensive wedding budgets save you stress in the long run.

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