Getting Married? Don’t Forget About These 25 Unexpected Wedding Expenses!

Unexpected Wedding Expenses

For most people, their wedding is the most momentous events in their lives. Countless preparations, an enormous budget and sleepless nights are often part of the routine that goes into pulling off a successful wedding. When it comes to wedding expenses, there are numerous expenses that can come up unexpectedly that you need to keep in mind. In this post, you will find a list of 25 unexpected wedding expenses you should be aware of.

1. Pre-nuptial expenses

A lot of people focus their energy so much on the wedding day itself and in the process, forget to budget for the pre-wedding expenses, which can be rather high. Such costs may range from pre-wedding beauty treatments, dress alterations, postage, gifts, make-up and hair trials. But, it is important to note that prudent spending before the actual wedding may save you a lot of heartaches later on.

2. Pre-wedding attire

One may ask, go for the pre-wedding attire when you can in fact just restrict your spending on the wedding gown. Well, the pre-wedding attire has its major functions such as the bridal shower, rehearsal party and possibly the party after the wedding. Remember to allot some cash for party wear for the wedding-related events other than your nuptials.

3. Cake cutting expenses

Yes, you heard that right! Cake cutting expenses. You may take this for granted but according to Tracie Domino, there is a decent probability the venue of the wedding may charge you a couple of dollars to cut your cake and serve guests. “If you’re having 150 guests this could cost you well over $300,” states Domino, founder of Tracie Domino Events.

Wedding Cake

4. Corkage fees

Just like the cake cutting fee, don’t be surprised if you receive a bill requiring you to pay a corkage fee. This is especially common when you use an outside caterer, other than the hotel to supply beverages. This simply means that the hotel staff will have more work on their hands such as uncorking beverages and cleaning up the mess. Some estimate the cost for uncorking to be between $1.50 and $3 per bottle that a staff member opens.

5. Overtime costs

Some service providers may not tell you this but it’s always good to bear it in mind. Ordinarily, it may be difficult to bring to an abrupt end the partying and merrymaking long after the couples have said ‘I do.”. The merrymakers – mostly your pals and family members may want to stay on and party for a little while longer. This may sound awesome but beware you may foot the bill for overtime.

6. Wedding gown alterations

The dream of a bride is to look good no matter what. Some go to the extent of going on a dangerous diet regime just to fit in that perfect wedding gown. However, if the gown is quite small or too loose, the bride will choose to make adjustments on her wedding dress and this will set her back a few dollars.

7. Transport expenses

Couples may not realise that this is an area that requires meticulous budgeting. Atlanta-based wedding planner, Gail Johnson, points out that a lot of couples may be deluded by the fact that they may only require the limousine or antiquated car for say, one hour or less. This ignores the fact that most providers may have a set minimum of, for example, at least two hours for hiring that expensive ride.

Wedding Car

8. Extra levies

Couples and wedding planners need to be cognizant of the fact that operating in certain or beyond specific geographical boundaries may attract some local authority taxes or levies. The sooner you realize that there may be levies or other charges related to your location the better. So make sure you research that thoroughly beforehand.

9. Power dip costs

This could be one of the most ignored aspects of wedding planning. Many venues may not be properly equipped with sufficient amperage to power high voltage capacity lighting or sound systems that may be required at a wedding. This may require backup power such as generators to power the systems at an expense.

10. Postage fee costs

Have you considered sending out e-invites or hard copy invitation cards? For nostalgia’s sake, some couples may prefer sending cards to special friends or even family members but this only means an extra cost on postage. The cost will depend on the number of invites you send and your invitees’ locations. So, put that in mind, or else, you may just need to send a simple electronic invite to the wedding.

11. Coat check tip

Will your wedding take place during Winter? Well, if you decide to then it is essential to have a coat check. Some reception locations do provide coat checks but it may be necessary to tip them. But, if you are planning to hire your own coat check, you will pay a little more money for their services as they may work for the entire evening at your reception.

12. Marriage license fee

An important document such as the marriage license fee is something that can be easily forgotten. The cost may range from between $20 and $100 contingent to the state in which you live.

13. Welcome bag delivery

A lot of hotels may not tell you that you may foot a welcome bag delivery expense when you block rooms. The fact that they may fail to mention the rate that is until you ask does not mean that they won’t indicate the charge on your bill. Beware and always ask them if they have any fee for holding the delivery bags.

14. Band equipment costs

Just MarriedYou may not know this but a lot of wedding band fees may be hidden. The fees may typically not only cover the band members’ sweet melodies but also the minimum number of equipment required at the wedding. Some other paraphernalia such as extra speakers and microphones may be required and this will cost you extra money. What you may need to do is to agree up front on the precise amount you will pay for the entire service, noting that no hidden or supplementary charges are included for extra props.

15. Clean-up expenses

A lot of work may have gone into the planning and execution of a wedding, but what many couples may forget is that the mess that is left after the event needs to be cleaned up. Some venues may not charge for the after-party clean-up but there could be additional charges that others will require you to pay for cleaning up the litter.

16. Non-approved pros

When planning a wedding, the couple may overlook the services that non-approved professionals such as florists may offer. It is usually essential to discuss this with the wedding planner as well as the venue staff to make sure there are no bills for non-approved professionals that will be waiting for you after the party.

17. Post-wedding to-do list

Wedding expenses do not just end with the end of the party. The gown requires cleaning and preserving, much as the need to make print-outs of the wedding photos for remembrance. Additionally, you may want to send a thank you note to some of the special guests that attended the wedding.

18. Tips

The wedding may have substantially set you back, but remember that you may still need to keep some of your providers happy by giving them tips. From the driver to the DJ, the florist to the coat checker, you realize that tipping is not a cheap endeavour.

19. Table and chair draping expenses

You may have booked a large reception area, but consider that you need as much tables and chairs sufficient enough to adequately fill the space. If the hotel can provide these, consider the set-up and decoration costs. Some providers may offer to drape the tables and chairs to match bridesmaid dresses but the cost may range from between $7 and $20 per person. You may look for revenues that provide basic décor draping services as part of the package.

20. Extra guests

You may have planned for a wedding with an estimated guest list of 150. But, on the wedding day, a couple of your friends pop-up with their children, friends, and children’s friends, which means more seats and food may be required to accommodate the extra guests. It also means more wine, more cars to park, more glasses for water and beverages etc, and of course, digging deeper in your pocket to take care of them.

21. Accessories and undergarments

Remember to budget for accessories. There are little things such as the extra pair of shoes that you will be comfortable dancing in at the reception, the appropriate jewellery to match the evening, cocktail gloves, legwear and lingerie for the wedding night which can be easily forgotten about.


22. Tent floor

If you are looking to have your wedding and the reception outdoors in a tent, you need to factor in having a tent floor. The tent floor may come in handy especially in the event of heavy downpour that may cause flooding. However, the tent floor is in most cases, usually an after-thought for many planners as it is perhaps, never factored in the planning process especially during summer.

23. Wedding day coordinator

Having an events coordinator to ensure matters are running smoothly during the wedding is becoming imperative by the day. A good wedding coordinator, however, may not come that cheap but it will surely take away the huge burden of having to ensure everything is in order.

24. Food for you and the wedding team

This is something else that can easily be overlooked yet it has a huge impact on the overall budget of the wedding. As you and the members of the wedding team get ready for the ceremony, snacks or meals during breakfast or lunch should be on top of your mind. Snacks may be fine because of time constraints just to keep hunger pangs at bay.

25. Gifts for parents

Happily Ever AfterDoes this sound odd? Maybe, but it is common practice at many weddings. Gifts for parents serve as a token of appreciation for the support rendered throughout the process leading up to the wedding. It may also be important to print and frame photos and send to the parents to serve as wedding memorabilia and of course, this comes at a cost.


Alex founded in 2015 to empower millennials to take control of their financial future and guide them along their journey towards financial freedom.