The hidden costs of weddings

20:53, Jan 15 2013

You know how people always say weddings never come in on budget and blah blah, yeah well that (almost always) is actually true.

Though we didn't have a set-in-stone budget, we were still surprised at the "hidden" costs our wedding day had. We shouldn't have been surprised really, as everyone always talks about the "little things" that add up – and they sure do.

I came across this piece today where they listed nine hidden wedding costs and I thought I'd add my own experience.

Among the nine, they had postage stamps, wedding dress alterations, rental transport and corkage fees. Those ones stood out to me as "Mhmmm" moments because I can definitely relate. 

I made my own save the dates and invites (with help!). I loooove stationery and it was hard to decide on a final design but one of the biggest decisions was to rule out anything too elaborate in size and shape due to postage costs. Even though we did keep the costs down, it still added up. Sure those flash-arse boxes with the bottle with a message inside look great, but how much would they cost to send?

Wedding dress alterations


Oooooh how SMART I thought I was buying a dress that was on special and off the rack. Sure, it would need some alterations, but I'd still save money. THINK. AGAIN.

Things I didn't take into consideration:

Type of fabric – turns out lace is extremely expensive to alter. Every little minor alteration became a drama. I semi gave up in the end and my dress wasn't perfect, but I didn't care!

Amount of alterations – I had to get my dress altered twice, both times = not cheap. Because I’d moved cities, I was too busy to take my dress back to the first place, where I was really unhappy with what they’d done. Instead I took it to another dressmaker - cue saying goodbye to even more $$.

Also, I bought my bridesmaids’ dresses from a cheap shop. They were perfect except for the length – so there goes more money altering the hemline and adding belts. We’re not talking much, but again it added up. If I had my time over, I’d probably just buy "perfect" dresses that didn’t need altering.

Rental transport

Our plan was always to get a van and pay someone to sober-drive people home from the wedding. We did that, but hardly anyone used it (however, I'd like to think they walked to their accommodation…).

Anyway, we ended up spending a bit on this – for little return – but I suppose it assisted with my peace of mind.

Corkage fees

Waking up the day after our wedding in the awesome accommodation that husband (HA! Goodbye Beyonce!) booked for us, I checked my email on my iPhone and boomfa – a bill for corkage. Goodbye $700-odd that we’d forgotten about! Whoops! (It was still worth it though as we were able to BYO, which saved us money).

Wedding ring

Beyonce (OK, he really needs a new name now) did really well picking me out a beautiful engagement ring. One thing we didn't factor in, though? The "matching" wedding ring - and associated cost. I was happy to have a plain-ish, cheap-ish wedding band, but putting it next to my other ring just looked nasty! Soooo... we ended up getting the matching ring. Ching-ching, bling bling.

Don't get *too* wound up in the money side of things though. One tip someone once said was never, ever add up all the costs to truly find out how much your day cost. By that he didn't mean stick you head in the sand and spend up large - just more that once the big things are done and dusted, absorb the other costs and don't lose sleep over them. One of the nice things I overheard Mr Greer say to someone who asked how much our day cost was "Don't care, wouldn't change anything and you can't pay for how that day made us feel." Priceless. 

What were some hidden wedding day costs for your big day?

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