7 Wedding Expenses You Might Not Be Expecting

Thought you budgeted for everything? Think again…

Updated 10/21/17

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With so many things to be organized, it’s no surprise weddings get expensive—and fast. While the big-ticket items (like the venue, photographer, and catering) make it onto every wedding budget breakdown, there are what seems like a million other things that need to be paid for, and some of them really might surprise you. As you’re determining your budget and figuring out exactly how it will all be spent, it’s helpful to have a detailed picture of where the money needs to go, so we’ve asked some of the pros to fill us in on the expenses that you may not know to include.

Dress Alterations

Finding the gown of your dreams is only part of it. “Once you buy the dress, veil, and shoes, you still need to have your dress tailored so it fits you perfectly!” says Sarah Glick, co-owner of Brilliant Event Planning. Some salons offer in-house tailoring that is included in the price of your dress, while others charge for tailoring or may not offer it at all, meaning you’ll need to find a seamstress on your own. Make sure to ask about it before you put down your credit card to make sure it all fits within your budget!

Touch-Ups

“If you have a lot of time between when you put on your dress and when your ceremony begins (for example, if you are taking all of your photos before the ceremony), you may want your hair and makeup stylists to stay on site to do touchups,” says Glick. “This extra time isn’t included in the standard makeup or hair fees, so if you want to be refreshed before you head to the altar, be sure to budget for a little extra here.”

Food for the Wedding Party

You might have line items for cocktail hour and dinner, but you and your wedding party need to eat during the day too! “Make sure to account for lunch and snacks while you are getting ready,” says Lauren Kuepfer Rozum, owner of LK Events, LLC.

Vendor Meals

You’ll probably notice a line in some of your vendors’ contracts (particularly for your planner, photographer, videographer, and band) specifying their requirements for vendor meals, so make sure you bring this up with your caterer! Says Rozum, “They’ll be working all day, so you will most likely be contractually obligated to provide dinner for certain vendors.” These usually cost less than the per-head price for your guests but can still add up—especially if you’ve booked a large band.

Delivery, Installation, and Restocking Fees

“You might be surprised by all of the fees added on by your rental company,” says Samantha Glascock of Revel Wedding Co. “Whether it’s the delivery and installation of the items you rent, insurance to cover product damage, or restocking fees for when the items are picked up and returned to their warehouse, you could see a $150 item double in cost!” Make sure to leave a buffer in your budget to cover these fees.

Coat Check and Bathroom Attendants

If you’re having a fall or winter wedding or plan to hire an attendant to make sure the restrooms are tidy, plan to add these fees on top of your venue or caterer’s standard staffing costs. “These labor costs are often outside of what is usually included. If you’re getting married during cold months, you’ll definitely want a coat check attendant to help deal with winter layers!” Glick explains.

Gratuities

“You won’t want to be frantically running to the ATM the day of your wedding, so plan for the gratuities in advance,” says Glick. “Add a line for gratuities to each section of your budget. Depending on how many vendors you have, the total can range from $1,000 to $3,000, so account for it from the beginning!” How much you tip each vendor will vary, but you’ll save yourself a lot of trouble if you put the cash (and a handwritten note!) in labeled envelopes in advance of your wedding day for easy distribution.

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