• by Devyn

10 HIDDEN Wedding Costs!

It undeniable, having a wedding is expensive. Most couples go into their planning with a certain amount they are comfortable spending. They site down and look through all their possible vendors (venue, f+b, entertainment, photographer, etc.) and they think they're ready to go!

There are however "hidden fees" that most do not think about until after the fact. So with this blog post I wanted to give you 10 examples of those "hidden fees" to help prepare for those inevitable fees so they do not sneak up on you and surprise you later on, forcing you past your budget!

I am putting "hidden fees" in quotations because yes, some are actually hidden, but others most couples just don't know to look for or to ask the right questions!


When budgeting your Save the Dates, Wedding Invitations, Bridal Shower Invitations and Thank You Cards for both your Shower and Wedding do not forget to factor in the cost of postage! Most couples do this based on the amount that they are being quoted by the Stationers or Websites and these costs do not include the postage.

TIP don't forget to include the postage on the RSVP cards!


Most shops do not include alterations when pricing out your wedding dress. Almost all dresses need to be altered in some way or anther and the cost to do so at times can be rather hefty.

TIP Inquire with other seamstresses, do not feel obligated to use the shop you got your dress from. There may be someone local that is just as experienced but half the cost because they are more "mom and pop"


It is a new trend to propose to the ladies and gentlemen that you want in your bridal party. These are a cute personal touch, however they add up quickly, especially if you have larger bridal parties. This cost isn't necessarily hidden, however, when putting together your initial budget, this is typically a cost that is forgotten.

TIP These days most couples also give their party a gift at the rehearsal dinner, for the ladies it is typically a robe to get ready in or a pair of earrings to wear that day. And for the gentlemen it is typically a pair of socks that match with their suits. My advice is to A). Include those items in the proposal to the bridal parties and eliminate the gift at the rehearsal dinner. Or B). do something smaller for the proposal like a bottle of wine and then have those extra items for the parties at the rehearsal dinner!


Yes, even a city hall wedding will cost you. And you might just shrug it off since it's such a small fee, but all of those tiny fees add up over time and I promise you, they add up quick!

TIP Well... this one is unavoidable. However, another bonus tip - like I said all the tiny costs add up over time, here is an example ribbons on your favors, betcha didn't think to add that into your budget!


One of my favorite flowers for a wedding bouquet or even centerpieces in the Peony. But, did you know that they are in season in the Spring? That means that if you want them in any other season they are harder to find, therefore the prices may double at times.

TIP Before you get your dream floral arrangements designed in your head either ask your florist at your initial meeting, what flowers are in season at based on your wedding date. Or head to google and figure out what's in season before even meeting with the florist.


Some venues require you to use caterers or florists from their preferred vendors list and charge you a fee if you don't.

TIP When you are on your venue hunt be sure to ask the question up front if they have preferred vendors and if you need to use them or if they are just recommendations.


If your vendors are onsite for a certain amount of time, typically 4+ hours, most will require a vendor meal. Be sure to read through the entire contract to see if they do require these. If they do, don't forget to update your venue/caterer to add to your order.

TIP Offer chicken, most times this is the cheapest option. Also don't forget to ask if they have any allergies, more times than not you will get a vegetarian so offer them a pasta option!

CHAIRS (moving)

Many couples feel that they are saving money by using the same chairs from the ceremony then moving them to the reception. However, most venues or planners will charge a fee per chair to move from one space to the next.

TIP I would either do 25% chairs and 75% standing for guests so there are less chairs to move (depending on the length of the ceremony). Or hire a few of your cousins that won't be needed in any photos to help move the chairs and throw them a few bucks, make them feel like its their job in the wedding, it will make them feel special!


Another item that is typically in fine print on menus and in your contracts so be sure to keep an eye out for this one! It is usually $2-$5 additional per person because its more work and additional dishes.

TIP Do just a cake topper for your "cake cutting photos" and to take home with your to have on your 1year anniversary and offer guests cupcakes or cake pops!


Many full service venues do not charge this fee because the "administrative fees" you see added onto your total many times covers this cost. If you are in a tent many of your vendors may charge this if the equipment being brought in requires an extra set of hand to assist. Be sure to ask the question and look for this in your contract. I have seen this get up to $500!

TIP Hire a wedding planner, most include this in their packages! I myself stay until the end of the night with all my weddings after guests leave, making sure all gifts, personal items and décor items are packed up and delivered to the designated location. This allows the couple to not have to worry about this and enjoy the rest of their wedding night!

I hope this was a helpful post! Be sure to reach out with any questions, I'd be happy to hear from you all!

Until next time ...


XX Devyn, Emerald Events