Think you’ve got your wedding budget all figured out? Not so fast! Hidden wedding costs like décor rentals, wedding dress alterations and even cake cutting can quickly send your budget soaring. Here are a few hidden wedding costs to be mindful of when planning your big day.

1. Alterations

Buying a once worn gown for a cause or a vintage dress is a great way to save money and go green. A simple hem can be less than $100, but moving zippers or fixing beading can cost $500+.

bride having her alterations made, which can be a hidden wedding cost

Image: wetcleanus.com

2. Postage

Wedding envelopes weigh more than regular letters – many can cost up to $2 each to mail. While not a huge expense, many couples are not expecting a $300 postage bill when choosing a large design.

3. Welcome Bag Delivery

Some hotels charge $5-$7 per bag they hand out to guests but might not advertise it.

wedding welcome bags with eco friendly goodies
Image: www.weddingelation.com

4. Extra Hours

Both the wedding venue and the wedding band or DJ can charge more if the couple wants to go late (often after 10pm).

5. Taxes and Tip

These things can run up to 20% on top of costs – a huge difference.

6. Flowers

Choosing out of season flowers (like roses most of the year) can increase a wedding budget significantly because the flowers will need to be imported. Picking local, seasonal wedding flowers  is better for your wallet and the environment.

wedding roses if they are not in season add unforseen costs
Image: huntcountrycelebrations.com

7. Wedding Attire and Accessories

The expense of dressing the wedding party, from bridesmaid dresses to groomsmen tuxedos can get very costly, especially considering accessories like shoes, jewelry, etc. Renting or reselling any wedding attire is a great way to recoup costs for your friends, and wearing eco-friendly jewelry also saves money.

8. Cake Cutting

Many couples think that bringing in their own DIY wedding cake will save money, but a lot of venues have their own in house pastry chef and/or a contract with a cake company. They require a cake cutting fee that ranges from $1-$7 per guest.

cake cutting can add several dollars per guest to a wedding budget
Image: static.wixstatic.com

9. Dinner Rentals

If the reception space does not provide wedding décor like linens, china, flatware, tables or chairs, couples will find themselves stuck with a huge expense. For example, rental chairs can range from $2-$20 per chair, and rental delivery can run up to $500+.

10. Set Up Fees

Things like décor, sound equipment, floral arrangements and rentals may require set up and delivery which, depending on agreements with each vendor, can add additional costs.

bridal aisle set up can cost money at a wedding
Image: www.bulgarihotels.com

11. Clean Up Costs

Some venues include clean up costs, but others do not. These charges can run up to $750 for garbage removal, freight elevator use, and cleaning. If you want to make sure everything is recycled, be sure to ask ahead of time and/or arrange to have your friends or family pick up and deliver recyclables after the event. Click here to see what can be recycled in your area.

 12. Vendor Meals

When doing the head count couples need to consider their vendors. These are often offered at a discount, but need to be inquired about.

13. Corkage Fees

If they want to save money on wine they may lose depending on the fees. Generally wines over $20 a bottle make sense to pay cork fees on. Corkage fees also allow couples to bring in organic wine or a favorite that is not available on the menu.

bride and groom toasting with champagne
Image: onewed.vom

14. Permits

If planning a wedding in a state park, there are often permits and usage fees to consider. Couples and wedding planners should look online well in advance of the big day.

15. The Backup Plan

Couples MUST have a backup indoor or tented venue. This plan, whether used on the day or not, can add cost.

When it comes to the budget, hidden wedding costs are easy to avoid or factor in with a little planning. If you keep these hidden wedding costs in mind before you make big decisions you won't get caught with a bill larger than you anticipated. Going in to debt to fund your wedding is not a good idea and if your parents are footing the bill they will not appreciate a large add on at the last minute. Keep this checklist handy as you go through the planning process. There are also many ways to cut wedding costs that can even out the budget worth considering.