Unexpected Wedding Costs Every Couple Should Budget For

Unexpected Wedding Costs Every Couple Should Budget For

Most couples budgeting for a dream wedding start by going through wedding checklists. These checklists include costs such as venue space, photographers, DJs, and other vendors’ fees. Using checklists is helpful to draft a total spending goal and keep vendor costs under control.

However, even the most detailed wedding checklist can’t always include every future wedding expense. Many couples run into several unexpected costs that set back or disrupt their meticulously planned budget.

So, what’s the best to prevent these spending setbacks? This article will help you prevent spending scares by detailing some of the most unexpected wedding costs every couple should budget for.

In this article, we’ll examine the following expenses and how they affect your budget.

  • Stationery Expenses
  • Postage Costs
  • Hotel Fees
  • Pre-Wedding Meals
  • Alteration Costs
  • Sound and Lighting Expenses
  • Vendor Tips

Let’s get started!

Unexpected Wedding Costs Every Couple Should Budget For

Stationery Expenses

Most couples allocate a certain amount of their budget toward paying for their save-the-dates and wedding invitations. However, fewer couples remember to save enough money in their budget to cover the cost of day-of stationery items. These paper items may include the following:

  • Wedding programs
  • Escort cards
  • Signage
  • Table cards
  • Menu cards

While the costs of these additional stationery items should be less expensive than your save-the-dates and invites, it’s still essential to ensure you remember paying for these finishing details.

Postage Costs

Printing and assembling your wedding invites and save-the-dates is a significant fee, but sending these items is another unexpected cost many couples face. Often, the individuals getting married don’t realize how much they will spend just in postage costs. So, if you’re drafting your wedding budget, consider how to keep the weight and size of your postage as low as possible to optimize your savings.

Before printing your invites, learn how to save more on wedding invites so you can balance your wedding stationery costs.

Unexpected Wedding Costs Every Couple Should Budget For

Hotel Fees

On the eve of your wedding, stay in a hotel that helps you get the best beauty sleep possible. While staying at a hotel the night before and after your wedding day is optimal, many couples stay in hotels out of convenience. However, depending on your wedding venue location and wedding day schedule, staying at a hotel before your wedding could make your big day considerably smoother.

Hotels are certainly convenient—but they’re far from inexpensive. Therefore, couples must save part of their budget to cover the room cost of staying in a hotel before or after their wedding day.

In addition, couples that also plan to indulge in exclusive hotel features such as massages, facials, manicures, pedicures, and other luxury activities should plan accordingly.

Unexpected Wedding Costs Every Couple Should Budget For

Pre-Wedding Meals

It’s common for the nearlyweds to remember the morning of their wedding day as a blur. However, the process of preparing for a wedding takes hours. Wedding mornings are packed with last-minute tasks for hairstyling, makeup styling, decoration setups, and outfit changes.

While preparing for your ceremony, provide food and beverages to the attendants. Your wedding party will be at your side all day, so your friends and family must have enough food and water to keep themselves energized.

Pre-wedding meals should be simple, light, and filling. Review some of the best pre-wedding foods to stock up on.


After you spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on wedding attire, spending even more on alterations is frustrating. However, it’s an inevitable and critical wedding cost. How much you’ll spend on alterations depends on how much tailoring you’ll need. Since wedding dresses in particular often have custom and intricate designs, alteration fees can easily add up to hundreds of dollars.

The best way to reduce this inevitable cost is to be as detailed with your measurements as possible when ordering your wedding attire. The more time and attention you invest in your initial measurements, the more accurate your clothes will be.

Essential Alterations Tip: If you’re between sizes when you’re choosing your wedding attire, always choose the larger order size when submitting your order. While doing this can sometimes cost extra, the fees will pale compared to the money you’ll pay a tailor if your attire is too small.

Unexpected Wedding Costs Every Couple Should Budget For

Sound and Lighting Expenses

One of the biggest and most unexpected wedding costs every couple should budget for is sound and lighting systems. Of course, the location of your wedding ceremony plays a significant role in deciding how extensive your sound and lighting system should be. For example, many indoor venues already have sufficient sound and lighting systems. In contrast, outdoor venues often require couples to find a separate source for lighting and sound.

Since your sound and lighting will affect your photography, videography, and the view of your guests, couples must invest in high-quality and reliable sound and lighting systems. So, don’t let this unexpected cost creep up on your wedding budget. Instead, start reviewing your options for sound and lighting systems as soon as possible.

Vendor Tips

It’s not unexpected that couples should tip their vendors. However, many couples do not realize how much they’ll spend on gratuity. Tipping each of these services will cost a major portion of your wedding day budget between your photographer, videographer, live entertainment, venue coordinator, and other vendors. Before hiring each of your vendors, ensure you can sufficiently pay their gratuity.

Throwing the wedding of your dreams means creating a budget that includes every aspect of spending. We hope this guide about the most unexpected wedding day costs has helped prepare you to build a realistic budget that incorporates a fuller view of your future expenses. The more time and preparation you put into foreseeing your wedding costs, the better you’ll be able to manage these costs without overspending.

If you want to learn more wedding prep advice, reach out to Everyday Bride. We feature expert knowledge from professional vendors all over the country. To view more guides, tips, and tricks, browse Everyday Bride’s website for more information.

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Everyday Bride

Freelance Writer
January 4, 2022

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