Creating a Wedding Budget: 4 Hidden Expenses to Consider

wedding budget planning

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When creating a budget for weddings, couples usually focus on the general expenses associated with planning a wedding.  Couples are often caught off guard by unexpected expenses that were not a part of the initial wedding budget.  Hopefully, we can help you avoid those hidden costs.  Here are 5 wedding expenses that are often overlooked:

Delivery and Set up Fees

Wedding rental equipment is almost always a wedding expense.  When couple considers a budget for wedding rentals, they often fail to include delivery and set up fees.  Considering the type of wedding rental, wedding rental delivery fees can cost couples a couple hundred dollars.  While this may not sound like much, in wedding planning, every dollar counts. 

When selecting vendors for wedding rentals, pay close attention to delivery and set up fees.  It would also help to try to use a minimal number of vendors.  If you use a different vendor for several different rentals, the delivery and service charges incurred will definitely throw you off budget.  When preparing to sign a contract, inquire about promotions or other options to lower delivery and set up fees.

Considering picking up your own wedding rental items? Just remember, the week before your wedding will pass by very quickly.  There will be several items that require your attention.  Unless there is the option of delegating this task to a very trustworthy friend or family member, opt for delivery.

Alterations and Accessories

Brides never fail to include their bridal gown when planning a wedding budget.  However, many brides fail to include alterations and the accessories to accent the bridal gown.  How many brides have you seen in a gown with no jewelry, shoes or veil?  Not many.  Brides should also consider items such as slips, undergarments and shape wear.    These items quickly add up very quickly when working with limited resources.  When creating a budget for your bridal gown, be sure to overstate the price to accommodate these accessories.

When you bridal gown arrives, it will likely require alterations.  Based on the number of alterations required, the costs associated with alteration can be less than a hundred dollars or exceed a couple hundred dollars.  In an effort to limit alterations to your dress, try to select a bridal gown that compliments your figure and height.


Many brides are surprised by the cost of ordering wedding stationary.  Modern brides are not only sending wedding invitations but also save the date announcements, thank you cards and wedding announcements.  When planning your wedding budget, make sure to include postage.  In addition to postage for the wedding invitation, be sure to include postage for your RSVP cards.  Many brides fail to consider return postage.  Another aspect of postage many brides over look is the actual postage associated with mailing a wedding invitations.  Some wedding invitation styles require additional postage.  When mailing invitations, consult with your local post office to ensure the proper postage is used in the initial mailing.

Service Fees

Wedding catering is also a very large expense.   This expense is increased further when service fees are included.  When planning you wedding budget, add twenty percent to the catering expense to cover service fees.  Wedding caters usually add anywhere from 10 to 20 percent to your tab, AFTER taxes to account for service fees.  Also, when interviewing caterers for your wedding, make sure to gain a clear understanding of any additional fees that will be added to your tab (i.e. Service fees, gratuity, etc.).

Planning a wedding can be very expensive, this is no secret.  In an effort to stick to your wedding budget, try to cover all your bases when creating your wedding budget. We have given you a few ideas to get your creative juices flowing.  Please consider these tips and continue looking for any gaps when creating your wedding budget.


  1. This is so true. Thanks for sharing this great advice. I definitely cosign on every point. Especially the alterations. Depending on where they are done they sometimes cost as much or more than the dress!

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