Whatever style of wedding you’re planning, you’ll definitely have a budget to stick to. Working out what to spend on the different elements of your big day can be tough. But, just when you think you’re doing really well, it’s easy to be hit by hidden wedding costs. These pesky wedding costs crop up without warning and can do serious damage to your careful budgeting. So, to avoid some of the most common hidden costs, here’s a little wedding planning advice for you…
Before we jump straight in to looking at the costs themselves, let’s start with a little advice about your wedding budget. When you start out, always include a contingency in your plans. Aim to spend roughly 10% less than your total budget so you’ve got some cash in reserve in case anything unexpected arises. If you make it to the big day without having spent this, you could use it to upgrade your honeymoon or just transfer a nice lump sum straight to your savings account!
Hidden Wedding Costs
So, to help you stay on budget, here are some of the hidden wedding costs that you might not have thought about:
Postage – posting out your invitations can easily add £100+ to your budget, especially if you’re sending large invitations or bulky wedding information packs. Find out from your stationer the size, thickness and weight of the finished invitations before you order so you can work out your postage costs in advance.
Image courtesy of Bowtie and Belle
Supplier meals and drinks – some suppliers stipulate in their contracts that they need food and drink during your day and, if you’re feeding your ten-piece band, these costs can soon add up. Speak to your venue to find out if they offer cheaper , simpler meals for suppliers.
Travel – again, some suppliers will charge travel (and even accommodation) if they’re driving a long way to be with you. When you’re enquiring with suppliers, check that their quotes include any travel and accommodation costs so you’re fully prepared.
VAT – not all suppliers need to charge VAT but, if they do and it’s not included on the quote that you see, you’ll suddenly find yourself paying 20% more than you thought. It’s always best to ask if quotes include VAT at the outset.
Delivery and set-up – This is something to ask florists, stylists, cake makers and other suppliers who’ll be delivering and setting up on the day. Is their quote fully inclusive or all delivery, set-up and even collection of items post-wedding?
Image courtesy of Daffodil Waves Photography
Alterations – alterations to your wedding dress can quickly mount up and add hundreds to the cost of your dress. When you’re trying on gowns, ask your boutique for their alterations price list and also ask what alterations they think you’ll need to your dress so that you can predict how much you’ll need to pay.
Image courtesy of Images by Anna
Trials – hair and makeup trials can again cost £100+ and even more if you’re including your bridesmaids in the trial too. Trials are great because they’ll help you refine your look before the day but make sure you know how much your hair and makeup artist charges for these practice sessions before you book.
Image courtesy of Studio Rouge
Costs after the wedding – we hate to tell you but there’s likely to be things to pay for, even after the wedding. Professional dry cleaning of your wedding dress, postage of thank you cards, prints of your wedding photos and even albums can all come together to cost £500+.
Wedding Planning Tips
To help you avoid these hidden wedding costs, you need to ask LOTS of questions when you’re wedding planning. Here are a few tips to help you along the way:
- Always make sure that quotes are fully inclusive.
- Ask for quotes to be as detailed as possible so that you can easily compare the cost and service you’ll be receiving.
- Read through a supplier’s terms and conditions to make sure there’s nothing hidden in there and if you spot something you’re not sure about, query it with the supplier.
- Make sure that you’re absolutely happy with everything BEFORE you sign any contracts.
- Carefully note payment dates and details so you can budget accordingly.
Finally, remember to look, read and question – you won’t be hit by any hidden costs if you’re careful so taking the time to check through everything can save you hundreds of pounds!
For more great advice, take a look at this feature where we share 10 low budget secrets.