5 Hidden Wedding Costs

bigstock-Broken-Piggybank-37600780When planning a wedding a lot of couples get so caught up in the excitement that many hidden costs fall beneath the radar. Here are 5 things to watch out for and factor into your budget.

1. Dress Alterations

  • When you choose the dress of your dreams, there may be alterations such as hemming, a zipper, extra buttons or a bustier. These items are not included in the cost of the dress.
  • Some boutiques will charge you for steaming the dress. Make sure you ask this when you make your purchase.
  • Charges for additional fittings; the standard is usually 2, but after that, most will add additional fees.

Tip – Make sure you ask and are aware of all the additional fees associated with the dress. This can affect your dress budget significantly. Also please refer to this blog post for some helpful tips in saying yes to the dress!

2. Gratuities/Tax/Tips

  • Your venue or caterer will take a percentage (15-25%) for gratuities.
  • When you get a quote from the venue or caterer, remember you need to add your province/state tax on top of the total.
  • Be sure to add these costs into your budget. It is customary to tip the:
    • organist,
    • limo driver,
    • hairdresser,
    • band,
    • bartender,
    • coat attendant,
    • delivery people.

Tip – It is customary to tip between 15-20% on these services.

3. Postage

  • When budgeting for your invitation, make sure you ask the supplier about their shipping charges.
  • Triple the stamp cost: outside envelope, RSVP envelope and thank you card envelope.
  • If you have an oversized invitation or a thick one, this will cost you more to send each one.

Tip – Many couples forget to budget for the stamp for their thank you card

4. Delivery Fees

  • There will be an additional delivery charge for items such as:
    • chairs,
    • linens,
    • equipment,
    • decor.
  • There if often a next day pick-up charge especially if it’s a weekend wedding.
  • Some companies will only deliver items. They will not do set up, so make sure you ask about this.
  • Floral deliveries to the church, home and venue will also have their own fees.

Tip – Make sure you ask up front regarding shipping, set up, pick up etc. This can really add up.

5. Overtime Costs

  • Most DJ’s, photographers, videographers, bands and venues are based on a set amount of time. Anything after that is usually clocked as overtime.
  • If you surpass your agreed time, they will often not tell you – they just charge you overtime on the final invoice. Be Aware!

Tip – Make sure you are very clear on the exact amount of time you have them booked for and stick to it, otherwise, it will cost you a lot more to have them stay! I just went through this with a winter wedding. The couple decided 10 minutes before the band was due to stop to have them play an extra hour, ouch!


Be sure when you order your wedding cake, it includes cutting fees. Or if the venue is cutting it for you, make sure you check and see if they are going to charge you to cut it.

Lastly, if you are not using the services of a wedding planner, I cannot stress enough the importance of reading the fine print on ALL the contracts before you sign them. You will likely be surprised to see what hidden charges are there!  If you do decide to use the services of a wedding planner, please review this blog post for helpful tips.

I’d love your feedback! And don’t forget to leave a link back to your own blog too if you have one, via the commentluv feature here on the site.

Until next time,




2 thoughts on “5 Hidden Wedding Costs

    • Thanks Susan. That’s why having a planner reduces the headache for clients. Appreciate your feedback and support. Kathy

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