10 hidden wedding costs

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As the sound of wedding bells grows nearer, the cost of most weddings seems to grow without bounds. The dress, the flowers, the church, the rings, and the reception hall are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the cost of a wedding. While most of the costs are obvious to almost anyone, there are those hidden costs that may be minor or significant depending on the overall cost of the wedding.

The bride’s shoes

Because the focus of the bride’s attire is always pointed toward the dress and veil, it is easy to forget the cost of her shoes. It is becoming a common practice at wedding for the bride to wear athletic shoes or flip flops. However, these shoes are never really appropriate at a formal wedding ceremony. The bride needs to wear shoes that are good quality and do not hurt her feet. This usually means buying a more expensive shoe to match that huge sticker price on the wedding dress. These shoes can range from $35 to $200 or more.

Shopping costs

Rarely does anyone factor into the cost of any purchase the cost of locating it. Unless you are able to do all of your shopping online for the wedding, you will burn up many gallons of fuel going from place to place. You have to buy flowers, a cake, clothes, decorations, and a host of other items if you do not hire a wedding planner to do these things. Either way, you are going to pay for your own fuel or some else’s fuel to find your materials. Depending on the cost of fuel and the distance needed to drive, this cost can become quite high.

The bride’s hair and makeup

These costs are sometimes bypassed by having a friend of the bride do the hair and makeup for her without charge. Most of the time, it requires several trips to the beauty salon to get just the right hair and makeup. Of course, the hair dresser expects payment each time. At $30 to $100 per trip, the hair and makeup costs can head toward the stratosphere.

Invitations and postage

When the wedding budget is being created, the price of invitations is either overlooked or grossly underestimated. This budget omission can come from an oversight or it can happen because the guest list begins to grow without bounds. Decent invitations can run up to several dollars each. Even if couples do not get surprised by this cost, they may very well be shocked by the price of several hundred or a couple of thousand first class postage stamps.

Rehearsal dinner

Traditionally, it is the groom’s family that foots the bill for the rehearsal dinner. This is why this cost is sometimes hidden in the wedding budget. The couple or the bride’s family will focus on what they will be paying for. This expense can easily hit hundreds of dollars and may run up into the thousands.

The minister’s pay

This expense is not a hidden cost as much as it used to be. Many ministers are very upfront about their charges for weddings. Having been paid far too little or nothing at all many times, ministers have begun to use a set fee for weddings. For a formal wedding, the minister should be paid a minimum of $100 or more.


Tips can be easy to miss in any budget. If the wedding or reception is held where there are doormen, valets, and other helpful people, they should be tipped. You may want to investigate what the proper tip for various services should be.

Wedding license

As a percent of the cost of the wedding, the license fee should be quite low. These licenses usually cost less than $50. However, with smaller weddings, this amount can be a significant addition to a lesser budget.

Gifts for the wedding party.

Most brides and grooms do not forget these gifts, but they may forget to include them in the budget. With large wedding parties, these gifts can add up to hundreds of dollars even at a low-budget affair. Not adding them in to the initial budget can bring financial problems near the end of the wedding expenditures when capital is running low.

Clean up expenses

Almost every church and reception venue charges a deposit to insure that the location is cleaned up after the wedding and/or reception. Many families decide to do this clean up themselves. This is usually a big mistake. Family members and members of the wedding party are tired and sometimes tipsy. This makes cleaning up a low priority item. It is better to just pay someone to come in after the wedding and/or reception to clean up the leftover mess.


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