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Hidden Costs To Be Aware Of When Planning Your Wedding.

When planning your wedding you may speak to some suppliers and get invoices that have some additional costs on them that you weren't considering and hadn't included in your wedding budget. These could vary from supplier to supplier but it best to make sure you speak honestly to your supplier and ask about any hidden costs and make sure you are aware of every little cost that you will be charged for. This post will outline some of the more common 'hidden costs' to look out for when planning your wedding, so that you can factor these into your budget and ask the relevant suppliers if they charge them.


Corkage can either be charged by your venue or caterer or bar supplier. Usually this would be spoken about when you inform the supplier of what you are looking or wanting to do, but it is always best to ask and confirm this cost in advance. Especially if you are using a dry hire venue! The dry hire venue I used to work at as one of my first jobs in the industry used to charge for the use of the bar if you didn't want to use the venue stock and staff, or if you wanted to bring your own alcohol in. This cost could range from a few hundred to a few thousand pounds extra on top of your budget so please make sure you check!

Ceremony - Church or Civil.

When planning your ceremony, you will need to factor in the cost of the hire of the church or if having a civil ceremony remember to make sure if the ceremony room is included in your hire price. Secondly if you are having a church service you may have dreamed of having the bells rung as you leave the church or having a organ player play the song you are walking down the aisle to. These would also all be additional costs, check with the point of contact what is included in the hire price you are paying. You dont ever want to assume something will be included for you.

Church in Down Ham Essex

Alterations/ Dry Cleaning

Once you have found your perfect dress you'll attend fittings to make sure that it fits you like a glove on your wedding day. This may mean some tweaks and alternations as well as any additional bits you may want put on or taken off such as sleeves. This all comes at an additional cost on top of what the dress costs. Usually dress shops dont have an on site seamstress and will need to send the dress off to be altered for you, costing them and you a fee. Also after the wedding you may want to clean the dress and take it to the dry cleaners so that it is in pristine condition once again, another cost that you need to think about.

Envelopes and Postage

Stationery hidden costs are probably one of the popular costs that are overlooked. Yes you have paid money to have these beautiful invitations designed and created for your wedding, but how are your guests going to get them!? The best way to work out this cost is to speak to your stationer and get an idea on what the letter size is and compare this to your courier of choice, so for example if using Royal Mail and you have large letter sized invitations you would be able to look online and work out the rough cost for this depending on the class you choose. I would always estimate you would be looking at least £1 per invite depending on size and class. Also make sure to find out in envelopes are included! If not you will be needing to purchase those which will be another cost.

Service charge and VAT

VAT is another popular hidden cost that a lot of couples dont think about in the first instance. Be sure to ask your suppliers if their prices are + VAT or including VAT, never assume and always allow an extra % of your budget that you can use as a contingency to cover any suppliers if it comes out higher than anticipated. Service charge is another one to look out for and ask about in your early meetings and when retrieving quotes. This is something to definitely confirm with your caterer and venue as this is common with these suppliers. You may find that you could potentially be charged a 10-12.5% per person, so its something you need to check in advance instead of receiving a nasty bill.

Supplier food

If you have a photographer, videographer or suppliers that are at your wedding for the entire day it is likely you will need to feed them (best to check contracts!) They dont need to have the same meals at the same costs as you and your guests are having during the wedding breakfast, but speak to your caterer to find out how much they usually charge for supplier meals and they may be able to create a hot buffet for them that can work out a lot cheaper for you. Your caterers will be able to give you the best advice for this as it is something they would arrange a lot.

Wedding Grazing Board

Post wedding

Just because the wedding is over, it unfortunetly dosent mean the costs have come to end, be sure to think about post wedding too. As mentioned above you may need to dry clean your dress/suit. The you may also want to send out thank you notes to your guests for their gifts or attendance. Make sure to count this into your stationery budget and again allow for postage of these!


While I always advise going for hair and makeup trials to make sure you are 100% happy with your chosen supplier and what your hair and makeup will look like on the day, dont forget this will come at a cost. Depending on your supplier and what you are having done it could be up to £100 per person per trial. Something to certainly keep in mind and budget for!

Overtime/Additional Hours

This one is venue related. If you have found your perfect venue but they insist on your reception finishing at 11pm but you wanted to go on until 1am, see if they can offer you some additional hours? There is likely to be a charge for this but if it is a deal breaker that you cant finish at 1am then this would be a hidden charge that would need to consider. Also bare in mind that these additional hours could also come at a fee for any other supplier that would need to be on site for longer. Such as DJ, Band, additional catering, coordinator etc.

Set Up/ Clean Up / Take Down

Most suppliers will be able to set up their service or product such as florist but it is worth remembering that if you dont have staff on site for your wedding day you are likely to need someone or a team of people to assist with the clean up and take down. This wouldn't be included in a lot of suppliers cost so if this is something you know you will require its worth asking from the get go and including it in your initial enquiries so that you can make sure you get the correct quotes and suppliers who are happy to include this in their quotes for you.

Non approved suppliers

Its worth checking with your venue if they have a policy against using suppliers who aren't on their recommended supplier list. This is not very common but the worst case scenario would be to hire a supplier to then find out closer to the wedding that your venue wants to charge you an additional fee to use them. Find this out at your viewings!

If you would like to avoid these hidden costs, why not work with One Oake on your wedding plans? As a wedding planner who has worked on hundreds of weddings, I know all about hidden costs and can let you know about these in advance and tell you where you may need to allocate more budget to cover some of the costs mentioned above. Get in touch using my contact page and lets chat about your wedding!


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