10 hidden costs of planning a wedding

Planning a wedding can be tough on your wallet, but if you plan for these costs, you can prepare beforehand and stick to your budget.

10. The engagement party

Often, this gets overlooked when planning a wedding because it is not something that is for your actual wedding day. From booking a venue to purchasing an outfit for the party, expect to chalk up a good chunk of change for this celebration with family and friends.

9. Postage

Make sure you weigh your wedding invitations before sending them out. If it’s heavier than a typical card, additional postage is required. Though it may seem like a relatively small expense, if you’re sending out 100 or more invitations, it can add up quickly. Don’t forget that Save-the-Dates, RSVP cards and thank-you cards will require the same process.

8. Your marriage license

Remember, you have to file for your marriage license to make it official. Depending on the state you live in, a marriage license can cost up to $100. Make sure not to overlook this on your to-do list, since making your marriage legal is pretty darn important.

7. Thank-you gifts

On top of purchasing gifts for your bridesmaids and groomsmen, it can be easy to fail to remember other special people, such as your flower girls and ring bearers. It goes without saying that parents also deserve a little something special, so calculate those gifts into your budget as well.

6. Venue lighting

Do you want an awesome setup of lights for your reception? What about rows of string lights for a warm glow during dinner? Expect to pay a pretty penny – some light setups can cost up to $1,000, making this hidden cost a big one to ignore.

5. Wedding decor

We’re not talking about flowers or wedding favors – little things like the guest book, candles on the tables, specialty linens and printed menus for your guests can add up faster than you can say “I do.” Plan ahead for these little details that can ring up a big bill.

4. Transportation for your guests

Though it may not apply to everyone, many couples opt to foot the bill if there are several out-of-town guests, if it’s a destination wedding, or if guests become too intoxicated to drive home. Plan beforehand to make sure there is no stress the day of your wedding concerning your guests’ safety.

3. Cake-cutting fee

If you hire an outside vendor to make your cake, some venues will charge you per slice for cutting and plating. Make sure you speak with your vendor about this before the big day, as this can set you back a few hundred dollars.

2. Overtime fees

If you’re only getting the party started by the time your vendors are supposed to leave, you may want to keep them there for another hour or two. Typically the DJ, photographer and videographer are there for a set amount of time, and will charge overtime fees if you ask them to stay longer. Talk with the vendors beforehand to see what your best option would be if you’d like them to stay past the hour you agreed upon initially.

1. Taxes and gratuities

Be sure to carefully look over your contracts to make sure the sales tax is included in your price. When dealing with a reception bill that is thousands of dollars, the taxes can be extraordinarily large. Keep in mind that tipping your vendors in some cases is expected, so be sure to set aside extra money for them the day of the wedding.