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12 unexpected wedding costs couples forget to budget for

Keep your bridal budget in check

hidden wedding costs budget
Rachel Avery
Homes Editor
21 September 2021
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With the average cost of a wedding these days coming in at anything between £18,000 and £32,000, having a budget spreadsheet is a very wise thing to do. You will already know about big expenses like your venue and the catering but here are some hidden costs that could cost you big…

MORE: The real cost of being a wedding guest - and how to save money

1. Wedding gifts

On your wedding day, it’s likely you will receive lots of lovely presents from your nearest and dearest, but have you thought about the ones that you are going to give? It is custom for you to offer a token to the bridal party as well as the mothers of the bride and groom. Flowers are usually a nice touch, or sentimental jewellery often goes down well.

2. Insurance

One of the more boring aspects of wedding planning, we'll give you that, but wedding insurance is so important. If your day is disrupted for some reason that can't be helped, the protection is there for you to be able to get your money back.

wedding costs

Don't get caught out by extra costs

3. Marriage licence

It is very easy to focus on the celebrations of the day but getting married is actually a legal process and the documentation needed costs money so don't forget to budget for that.

RELATED: 7 surprising legalities you need to know before getting married

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4. Posting your invites

A lot of time and effort may have gone into the design of your beautiful wedding save the dates or invites but have you remembered the stamps you'll need? Best join that post office queue!

5. Wedding dress alterations

If there's one reason not to max out on your wedding dress budget, this is it. It will be amazing news if your wedding dress and bridesmaids' dresses fit perfectly off the peg, what's more likely is that you will need to pay for some alterations. You can get your bridal boutique to take care of this or take your gown elsewhere.

wedding dress adjustments© Photo: Alamy

You may need your wedding dress altered 

6. Suppliers' food and drink

Wedding vendors such as photographers and videographers may have a clause in their contracts to say that they require food and drink while working for you. Check this before you finalise your catering as you may need to fork out for another meal or two. Don’t worry, they usually eat behind the scenes, so you won't have to make room on your top table!

7. Corkage fee

Some wedding venues will charge a little extra if you want to bring your own alcohol on site rather than buying theirs and this is called a corkage fee. Although this may sound a bit much, it could work out cheaper in the long run if you're able to get wine from the wholesalers.

wedding wine© Photo: Alamy

Will you have to pay a corkage fee?

8. Tips for your suppliers

While it is not UK custom to tip any of your wedding suppliers, it could be a nice idea to give a small gift such as a bottle of wine to anyone who's gone above and beyond to make your day amazing.

READ: Best wedding dress hire sites in 2021: Selfridges, HURR & more

9. A room for the night

With some wedding venue packages, your bridal suite will come included, but that's not always the case so be sure to check your contract so you’re not surprised by the extra fee.

10. Breakfast food

Of course, you've meticulously planned the wedding breakfast, but what about the actual breakfast on your wedding day? It’s likely that you and your bridal party will be filled with excitement so it won't need much but just remember to get someone on champagne and croissant duty the night before!

wedding make up trial© Photo: Alamy

Bridal makeup trials can add up

11. Wedding dress cleaning

Most brides get their wedding dress dry cleaned and preserved after their big day, so remember to put some money aside for this and get it done as soon as possible after the day.

12. Beauty trials

If you're having your hair and makeup done professionally, you are bound to have factored this in, but don't forget the trials beforehand - they all add up.

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