Sneaky wedding costs you need to look out for


With the average wedding now costing around £22,000, not far off the average yearly salary in the UK, many can’t afford to incur any extra costs not included in the overall budget. However, there are many aspects of planning a wedding which often get forgotten, and some aren’t as small or minor as you’d initially believe.

Aspects of the wedding which you’d be forgiven for forgetting include tips, forgetting to include the bride and groom in the headcount and extra charges, such as VAT and cleaning charges. These are small and forgetting them won’t result in a huge amount of stress or money.

To prevent yourself from forgetting these, make sure you make a detailed list while planning the wedding and ensure you tick off each point as you go along. Perhaps give someone else, like the maid of honour, or –if you can afford one – a wedding planner the list so you can concentrate on the more important aspects of your wedding. Fortunately, these are little costs and won’t amount to really blowing your budget out of the water.Personalised wedding favours

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There are other additional wedding costs which will result in a large amount of both financial damage and anxiety. One such example is the wedding favours. These are gifts you give to your guests as a thank you for attending; they’re designed to show your gratitude. Therefore, if it’s forgotten, it’ll be considered rude. *

However, many underestimate how much these favours will cost; each guest needs one and if you’re buying individual, personalised gifts, the price can skyrocket very quickly. To get around this cost, making the wedding favours yourself is actually very fashionable, as well as cost effective. Making your own sweets, truffles, bathroom or beauty products with personalised jars, honey or candles are all considerate ideas to give to your guests that won’t cost you an arm and a leg.

Keeping track of all the different costs involved in organising a wedding can be tricky, particularly when there are so many hidden expenses that can sneak up on you when you least expect it.

Creating a budget that includes all of the most commonly forgotten wedding costs can help you to avoid last minute problems and  make big savings.

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View more photos of Sunita and Ricky’s Sikh wedding photographed by Bhavna Barratt 

Start with a wedding budget

A thorough, realistic budget is the best tool for preventing forgotten, unexpected and unnecessary costs from sneaking up on you during your wedding planning.

Work out how much you can afford to spend in total, make a list of everything you need to sort then decide how you’ll divide your wedding budget.

Try to make your list as detailed as possible, and ensure that you set aside enough for each item. Recently married friends, wedding magazines and websites are all good sources of advice.

Suddenly realising that you forgot to budget separately for the bride’s shoes, veil or accessories after you’ve spent your money on an expensive dress is exactly the sort of stress you want to avoid as your big day approaches.

You should also look at prices or ask for quotes early on to ensure that the money you set aside for each cost is realistic.


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Wedding costs everyone forgets

However carefully you plan your budget, there always seems to be something extra that needs to be organised and paid for before the big day arrives.

Here are some of the most frequently forgotten costs - make sure you remember to include them:

  1. Registration costs to make your marriage official.
  2. Stationary and postage costs for sending save the date cards, invitations and thank you cards.
  3. Accessories and alterations to suits and dresses for the wedding party.
  4. Including the bride and groom in the head count for the reception.
  5. Favours, thank you gifts and tips.
  6. Extra charges on your bill from venues and suppliers, including delivery fees, corkage, VAT, overtime and service or cleaning charges.
  7. Printing and framing photos, and buying wedding albums.

Tube signs centre pieces

View more of Ayshea and James’ fusion wedding photographed by Lifeline photography

Deciding what to spend

Once you have a list of everything you need to pay for, you can start deciding how much you want to spend on each item. The way you do this should depend on your overall budget.

If money truly is no object, you can simply start arranging - think of using a cashback credit card so you get a little extra back on your spending.

If, like most people, you have a set amount of money to spend on your wedding, perhaps from your savings or a parental contribution, you should start from this upper limit and divide it into portions for each of your expenses.

You can easily create a spreadsheet, or adapt a general expenses template, to monitor your spending. Keep track of any overspends, which you should try to make up for by spending less on other items, or underspends, which will give you more to spend elsewhere.

If you’re trying to keep costs to a minimum then prioritise your list into must-haves and maybes so that you can make sure you can afford the aspects that are most important to you before paying out for things that are ‘nice to have’ but not essential.


View more photos of Jacob and Mandeeps wedding photographed by Lin and Jirsa photography

Avoiding unnecessary wedding extras

If you are working with a limited budget, it’s possible to make some cuts to the normal list of wedding necessities.

For example, if you can choose a venue where you can hold both the service and the reception, you might be able to get a better deal, and you can also cut down on transport costs.

Weddings held out of peak season or on any day other than a Saturday will usually be cheaper because there’s lower demand so this is worth investigating.

It can also be a good idea to look closer to home for your venues, since you can avoid high travel costs or needing to pay for overnight accommodation.

You might also be able to cut down costs by limiting the number of guests you invite - either in total or just to the wedding breakfast. Having a buffet and/or a pay-for-your-own-drinks bar can also help.

You can always give people the chance to celebrate with you at a distance with a live online broadcast of the event, no matter where the wedding takes place.

Another good way to cut down on your costs is to consider doing more of the work yourself or asking friends or family to gift their time as a wedding present.

Why pay for ready-made wedding favours when you can put together something more personal at half the cost? Why spend your wedding day in an anonymous hotel when you have a huge garden where you could put up a marquee and celebrate in a place that means something to you?

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Minimising unexpected costs

To give yourself a little leeway make sure you set aside an amount to cover unexpected costs, ideally about 10% of your total budget.

If one of your suppliers lets you down, an unexpected guest turns up, something is broken or turns out to be unsuitable, or the weather forces you to change your plans, you need to have some emergency funds available to deal with it. Another option is to take out wedding insurance to cover some of your major expenses.

It might not be possible to avoid all unexpected costs, but at least you can be prepared for them, and if it turns out that you never need to use this money, it can give you something extra to spend on your honeymoon.

This article was written by contributor - Missi Davies -  a freelance writer.

* {Raj states - that I’d personally consider leaving out wedding favours to reduce cost }
What other wedding costs have you cut out to save money? Feel free to share your comments below!

2 Comments Sneaky wedding costs you need to look out for

  1. Danielle|Chic Brown Bride

    I agree with you I’m not a big fan of wedding favors so if push comes to shove I would definitely give them the boot! I think it’s good to have a miscellaneous fund for unexpected costs as well.

  2. Indianweddingplanner

    good Post BY author I Really appreciate your words and your understanding about the crucial issue which need to think when wedding is thing to joint of two people then why spend more money on gifts and favors being an author you have given certain point to think


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