Creating a budget is the first step in the wedding planning process. After all, you can’t start to put together all of the elements of the big day until you know how much you have to spend. With prices being higher than usual right now, it’s more important than ever to be aware of hidden costs that couples often forget about. We've rounded up 13 hidden wedding costs you'll definitely want to share with your clients!
1. Wedding Insurance
If we've learned anything over the past two years, it’s to be prepared for anything and everything. While no couple wants to worry about postponing their big day, it’s wise to prepare for any circumstance. With that in mind, taking out a wedding insurance policy that will reimburse you for any lost expenses in the case of Covid, severe weather, or a family emergency is critical. Check out Everything You Need to Know About Wedding Insurance!
2. Service Fees
This can be an added charge that the venue includes to cover the cost of hiring servers, coat checkers, and bathroom and parking attendants. Make sure you read the entire contract to see if this fee is included or if couples will be expected to cover it separately.
It can be easy to forget that you are expected to tip the service-based workers (wait staff, bartenders, etc.), so couples have to make sure that they set aside 10-20 percent for gratuities. But also check with the venue to make sure tips aren’t already built into the overall price.
4. Testing Requirements
If you’re having a destination wedding outside of the country, you’ll need to figure out the testing requirements for getting both in and out of the country. The United States, for example, requires a negative COVID-19 test taken within 24 hours of departure to enter the country. While many all-inclusive resorts in Mexico and the Caribbean are helping travelers and even covering the costs, others are charging anywhere from $25-75 per person.
5. Dress Alterations
Most wedding shops charge extra for alterations on dresses, and the cost depends on the amount of work that needs to be done.
6. Wedding Party Gifts
Couples should include some money in their budget to gift their wedding party with a beautiful token of their appreciation. It could be something they wear on the big day or an item they can treasure for years to come.
7. Outside Vendors
Some venues will charge a fee if you hire a vendor outside of their approved vendor list. It can be 20 percent or more, so be prepared.
8. Vendor Meals
Many couples forget that they are expected to feed their vendors—band/DJ, photographer, videographer, planner, and any assistants—at the reception.
9. Marriage License
You can’t get legally married in the United States without a marriage license, with the fee varying from state to state.
10. Hair & Makeup Trials
Before couples hire someone to do their hair and makeup for the big day, they'll want to test out their skills. Most beauty professionals charge a fee for this service, with the price depending on where you live and the person’s experience level.
Many couples still opt to mail their wedding invitations, and the cost of postage can certainly add up. Remember, postage is needed for the main invite, and also for the RSVP cards.
12. Welcome Bag Delivery
If you are sending welcome bags or baskets to guests, the hotel may charge you a fee per bag to deliver them to the rooms.
The venue, photographer/videographer, and band/DJ will all charge overtime fees if the wedding runs over. With that in mind, do your best to stick with your wedding day schedule to avoid any delays.
Hero photo courtesy of Kuenzli Photography