Authored by: Jim Emerson
February 29, 2012

It’s easy for budgeted wedding costs to get out of hand, but how about those expenses that you’ve overlooked in your budgeting as there are many hidden fees that can catch you off guard.  If you keep these hidden costs in mind when you establish your wedding budget, all your wedding day surprises will be happy ones.

  • Many couples forget to factor obligatory gratuities or service charges into their wedding budget. This isn’t a tip so much as an additional fee you’ll be expected to pay. 
  • Don’t forget to include the marriage license and certificate fee which typically costs approximately $150. 
  • Don’t forget the costs of the wedding rings. Often forgotten in the budgeting process but can be a significant contributor to the bottom line. 
  • When totalling your wedding dress(es) and tuxedo expenses, don’t forget the cost of the alterations. Most wedding dresses and tuxedoes require some “fine-tuning”, so consider these costs before you purchase your wedding attire.
  • Cutting the cake and serving it to give to your guests is usually an additional charge.  Ask if your venue charges extra for cake cutting, and if so, negotiate to have this fee included in the initial catering estimate. 
  • Some venues will allow you to provide your own wine for your celebration but may charge you a $15 corkage fee per bottle for doing so. Check the cost before signing the contract – it just may be more economical to have the catering company provide the wine. 
  • Don’t forget to budget for the cost of postage stamps. Factor in the costs to send your wedding invitation as well as your reply cards and thank you notes. 
  • Consider purchasing wedding and honeymoon insurance in case you need to cancel at the last minute. Emergencies may arise due to unexpected sickness or natural disasters which could prevent you from celebrating your wedding day or leaving on your honeymoon as planned. 
  • If you are planning a winter wedding don’t forget to budget for coat check services. Depending on the size of your guest list and your choice of venue, an attendant may be required which may amount to a $200-$300 surprise!

So obtain the total costs of each service before you finalize your contracts. In any event, be sure to have a little something extra tucked just in case!  

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About the Author: Jim Emerson

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