Even the most organised of brides can forget about these hidden wedding costs, which can easily add up to throw your wedding budget right off! Take a look at this list – have you remembered them all?
The legal bits
Plenty of couples forget that the legal parts of a marriage actually cost money! For most marriages or civil partnerships you legally need to give at least 28 full days’ notice at your local register office, which will cost you £35 each. If you’re having a civil ceremony, then this will cost you £46 if you marry at a register office, but is likely to be more if the registrar is visiting you at your venue. On top of that, you’ll have to pay £4 for your marriage license, whether you’re having a church or a civil ceremony.
Church ceremonies also cost money! If you’re having an Anglican wedding, you’re looking at a cost of £456 for a ceremony in your home parish (provided you both live there), or £497 for a ceremony outside your home parish – this includes the legal fee, having your banns read, and the cost of your marriage certificate. Roman Catholic churches don’t charge a set fee for ceremonies, but you’ll be expected to make a donation.
Don’t forget that you’ll also have to pay for the use of the organist, bell-ringers, choir and any added extras, which could add another couple of hundred onto your ceremony budget.
Stamps and envelopes
You may have a wedding stationery budget, but you’ll also need to factor in postage costs – something many couples forget! When choosing your invitations and save the dates, ensure that they’ll easily fit through a standard letterbox if you don’t want to be charged extra. If they don’t fit, you’ll be charged to send them as a large letter, which can double your postage costs! This is worth bearing in mind if you have lots of thick card elements, badges or embellishments to your stationery.
Also double check with your stationer that envelopes are included in your stationery costs, as you want to avoid the nasty surprise of having to buy your own!
Make sure to factor in dress fittings and alterations when you’re deciding how much you can afford to spend on your wedding gown. Ask your boutique for a rough estimate for fitting costs, and bear in mind that brides have on average three fittings. Don’t haggle in this area, either, as boutiques aren’t likely to budge on these costs. If you want to save a few extra pounds, ask if you can have a deal on your accessories instead.
Whether you’re paying for your wedding hair and makeup or doing your own, you’ll need to factor in any beauty treatments you want to get beforehand. This could be as simple as just getting your hair cut and coloured, or having your eyebrows done, but could include having spray tans, facials, manicures and waxes. These things can add up, so make sure you give yourself extra wiggle room in the beauty budget!
Before booking your wedding venue, make sure you’re aware of any corkage costs that you may be charged for bringing in your own alcohol. There’s no point sourcing your own cut-price booze if you have to make up the difference with extra charges, which can range from £5 a bottle to £20! Also be sure to check if there’s an extra charge for glasses and service if you’re bringing your own alcohol.
Delivery and set-up costs
This extra charge can apply to any of your suppliers, from the flowers and cake to any decorations or entertainment. Bring these costs up sooner rather than later (i.e. before you sign a contract!) to ensure that your chosen suppliers are definitely within your price range.
If you’re having an outdoor ceremony, or a large indoor one, you’ll need a sound system to ensure that everyone will be able to hear your vows! Address this with your venue to see if it’s included in the price, or budget for sound system hire if you’re throwing an outdoor or back garden wedding.
You’ll need breakfast on the big day, especially if you’re having an early or midday ceremony! Make sure that you’ve covered costs for your bridal party and groomsmen if they’ll be with you on the morning, as everyone will need a good breakfast to ensure they’re set until the wedding reception.
Food for your vendors
Don’t forget that you’re not the only ones who’ll need feeding! You’ll need to provide food for your wedding photographer, videographer and wedding planner if you have one, especially if they’re going to be with you from getting ready to the first dance or later. If you’re on a tight budget, then some venues or caterers will be able to provide a simpler meal for your vendors, but it’s something you should include in the budget either way. Some bands will also ask for food as part of their rider, so be sure that you know the costs of that before booking.
If your wedding reception overruns in the evening, then you may be charged by your venue – be sure to find out these costs upfront. You may also incur an extra cost if your music runs past a certain time, or if it’s too loud. It’s always useful to ask about these costs, as they can easily be missed in a contract.
Looking for ways to cut costs on your big day? Get more wedding budget advice here!