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  • Writer's pictureSimple Wedding Planning

7 Hidden Wedding Costs You Need to Know About


About the Author

Hey There, Jen here! I believe planning your own wedding does NOT have to leave you breathing into a paper bag. Yes, weddings can be expensive. Yes, you have eleventy billion decisions to make. Yes, it’s terrifying how easy it is for critical details to get dropped. And yes, putting together a guest list is the #1 cause of broken engagements (OK, I made that one up. But the drama is real).


I create wedding content (such as this blog in addition to my website, Simple Wedding Planning) to help you avoid all the headaches and enjoy the process of planning your own wedding. Over the past six years and more than 100 celebrations, I’ve learned how to break down a HUGE process into bite-sized pieces that leave absolutely nothing to chance. Whether you’re opting out of hiring a planner for budget reasons or you just love the idea of DIYing your big day, I can help.




Congratulations on your engagement! As you start planning for your big day, you may find that wedding costs can add up quickly. From the wedding venue costs to the dress, flowers, and catering services, there are plenty of expenses to consider. However, there are also several hidden wedding costs that you may not have thought about. In this blog, we'll take a closer look at some of the hidden wedding costs you need to know about during the initial stages of your wedding planning journey.



1. Service Charges and Gratuities

Many wedding vendors, such as caterers and florists, may add service charges or gratuities to your bill. These costs are often not included in the initial quote, so it's important to ask about them upfront. Typically, service charges range from 15-20% of the total cost, while gratuities are around 10-20%.


2. Marriage License Fees

Getting legally married requires a marriage license, which comes with a fee. The cost of a marriage license varies depending on the state or country you're in, so make sure you research the cost in your location.


3. Alterations and Accessories

When buying a wedding dress, it's important to remember that alterations and accessories can add up quickly. Alterations can cost hundreds of dollars, while shoes, jewelry, and other accessories can also be expensive. Be sure to budget for these costs when shopping for your wedding attire.


4. Transportation

Transportation can also be a hidden cost. Whether you're renting a limo or hiring a shuttle for your guests, transportation costs (and the way they charge) can quickly add up. Make sure you research transportation options in advance and budget accordingly.



5. Vendor Meals

It's common courtesy to provide meals for your wedding vendors, such as planners, photographers and DJs. However, this can also be an added expense that many couples overlook. Be sure to include vendor meals in your catering budget.


6. Overtime Fees

Many wedding venues and vendors charge overtime fees if your event goes longer than planned. Make sure you understand the overtime policy of your vendors and venue and budget accordingly.


7. Taxes

Don't forget about taxes! Many wedding vendors and venues will add sales tax to your bill, which can increase your total costs.


In conclusion, there are several hidden wedding costs that you need to be aware of during the initial stage of your wedding planning. By factoring in these costs early on, you can avoid any surprises and stick to your budget. Remember to ask your vendors about service charges and gratuities, budget for alterations and accessories, research transportation options, include vendor meals in your catering budget, understand overtime policies, and factor in taxes. Happy planning!


To get more wedding advice and tips, go to my blog page by clicking HERE.

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