12 Unexpected Wedding Costs You May Not Have Budgeted For

You’ve got your spreadsheet and your numerous notebooks, you think you’ve covered absolutely everything you could need to budget for, then something totally unexpected crops up. Read on to find out the most common wedding costs couples forget about. 

Last minute beauty buys

You’ve had your trial with your make up artist and loved it. They are going to make you look gorgeous on the morning of your wedding. Ideally this would last all day, but the reality is not a lot of make up has that kind of staying power. My make up artist recommended I buy the shade of lipstick so I could reapply throughout the day, along with a good translucent powder to avoid any shine in photographs. She used top quality products, which meant me forking out £20 for a Bobbi Brown lipstick!

Beauty treatments

The days leading up to your wedding may end up being quite stressful, coordinating everything you have spent so long planning into one amazing day. I came down with a cold a few days before my wedding (typical!) and as we were staying in a gorgeous spa hotel I thought an ‘immune boosting’ spa treatment couldn’t harm! You may also want a bit of pampering before the big day, so don’t forget to budget for this, along with having your nails done and any other pre wedding pampering you may need.

Dress alterations

You’ve almost blown the budget on your dress, but don’t forget to allow for alterations. It’s likely you will need a seamstress to make a few alterations, from hemming the dress to taking it in/letting it out,  so your dress fits you to perfection.

Dry cleaning your wedding dress

Once the big day is over, the costs don’t stop there. You may be surprised at just how dirty your dress has got, and if you plan on keeping it you will need to get it dry cleaned professionally, which can be upwards of £100.


Of course your not going to forget your dress, but what about a veil, shoes, something for your hair? Jewellery? The all important wedding lingerie (you may need 2 sets, one practical and one a little bit more appealing for the wedding night)? Don’t forget about bridesmaids here too, they may also need shoes, jewellery and other accessories.

On the day stationery

Save the dates and invitations are not the only stationery you will need. Many people forget about the stationery on the day, including the Order of Service and menus and place name cards for the tables. If you want a simple DIY idea for your order of service to save a few pennies check out this post here.

Feeding the photographer/videographer/band

Anyone you have working all day will also need feeding, so don’t forget to let your caterers know. Does your photographer/videographer


Presents for the bridesmaids, best man, ushers, flower girls, parents… The list can end up being quite a long one, and you may find there is a while host of people you want to thank for all their help in making your big day so special. Don’t forget to budget for it!

Co-ordinator on the day

This one does depend on your venue, as a lot of hotels do come with an on the day coordinator. A lot of DIY brides get right up to the wedding before realising they need somebody on the day to co-ordinate and make sure everything goes to plan! If you don’t have a coordinator, it’s worth thinking about who will make sure your best laid plans actually happen. If you think you may need somebody, do your research early and factor in these costs. For our own teepee wedding, this was mainly done by family and the best men, along with our super organised caterer, however looking back I think an on the day co-ordinator would have been a good idea.


Postage is one of those things we just didn’t think about, yet really adds up! By the time you have sent your save the dates, then your invitations and thank you cards you will be spending a fortune with Royal Mail. A first class stamp costs 63p, say you send out 60 save the dates, invitations and thank you cards, this comes to £113.40! Also beware of the fancy invitations you may set your heart on. With extra embellishments on the front they may be classed as ‘large letters’ bumping your costs up even more. To save a little here, we sent our save the dates inside Christmas cards, but this only works if it’s the right time of year, I’m not suggesting sending Christmas cards in July!

Decorating your venue

It’s likely you will have budgeted for flowers, but what about all of those little extras you have your heart set on to make your venue so unique to you. Candles, mason jars, signs, table numbers – make sure there is money in your budget for all those little extras.


You’ve written your guest list and chased those last minute RSVPs in time to give final numbers to your caterers, but don’t forget to add 2 more – you! So many people forget to include themselves in the numbers for the big day, make sure you don’t miss out on your specially selected canapés and glasses of Prosecco by not including yourself.

There are so many unexpected costs in your wedding day that will keep cropping up, so it’s a good idea to budget for ‘other’ keeping aside at least 10% of your budget for those mounting costs.








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