Hidden Costs Of A Wedding

Outside wedding ceremony set up | Essex Wedding Planner

As a wedding planner I always take special care to fully understand venue’s and suppliers pricing structure before sharing their costs with my couples.

Ensuring there will be no additional costs added to the final invoice not only prevents unexpected surprises, but it also allows you to compare all prices like for like.

Keeping track of your expenditure is key to ensuring your wedding day is planned within budget, so to help you do just that here’s my guide to wedding costs that can sometimes be overlooked whilst planning your big day.

VAT, Delivery & Set Up Charges

Not all wedding suppliers will need to charge VAT, so it may not be listed on all the quotations you receive. If there is no mention of VAT make sure you check whether the price quoted includes or excludes VAT and if it excludes VAT will there be any to add.

This is particularly important for key suppliers such as your caterers and venue, as typically they will take a large portion of your budget. So what looks to be within budget can quickly become unaffordable once you have added 20%.

As with VAT some suppliers may not include additional services such as delivery and set up as standard. So be sure to ask each suppliers if there are any additional costs that may need to be added to your final invoice.

Additional Hours

Another important point to check before you confirm your venue and commit to any supplier is how many hours are included within their fee. Check what time you can access the venue on the day of your wedding and also the time the music will stop and the bar will shut. If you require additional hours this will come at an additional cost.

Similarly check timings with each of your suppliers as they will have standard hours included within their terms and conditions. Many will be willing to adjust accordingly, but suppliers such as your caterers, entertainment & wedding planner/co-ordinator will add extra hours to their invoice should you need them to set up early or stay later should your celebrations be continuing into the small hours.

Ceremony Room

Venues may apply an additional set up fee if you choose to hold your ceremony with them. So, double check the small print and make sure you are clear on any additional costs that may apply if you choose to keep your ceremony and reception within the same venue.


Some venues may allow you to bring in your own alcohol, which at first will seem like a great way to save money. But, this will only be the case if you are still saving money once corkage fees have been added. Speak to your venue or caterers to discuss their corkage fees and be realistic when calculating the amount of alcohol your guests will consume.

Additional Church Fees / Registrar Fees

When including your church fees in your budget breakdown check that the choir, organist and bell ringers are included, (assuming you are looking to include these within your church ceremony), as they are often excluded from a churches standard fees.

If on the other hand you have chosen a non religious ceremony within your reception venue, the registrars fees will be in addition to your venue hire fee. So make sure you check the applicable charges when you book the registrars to conduct your ceremony.

Clean Up

As discussed in previous blog posts, if you have hired a dry hire venue or are hosting your wedding within a marquee it’s highly likely that you will need to make arrangements for any waste including glass to be removed. Some dry hire venues may also apply a charge for the venue to be cleaned following your wedding.


When trying on wedding gowns you should bare in mind that the dress will need to visit a seamstress for any necessary alterations. You gown could need to be taken up, or in, you may wish to add extra detail or hire an underskirt, all of which will come at an additional cost.

Most boutiques will be able to recommend a seamstress, so consider speaking to them prior to purchasing your gown to ensure it is still within budget once the alteration costs have been added.

Supplier Meals

Some of your suppliers may expect a supplier meal and refreshments, with many of them writing this into their contract. Typically this will be your photographer, videographer, band/DJ and planner. Although they won’t expect to eat from the same menu as you and your guests, providing a meal and refreshments to your suppliers will still add to your final catering bill.

Post Wedding

Following your wedding day there will still be costs to consider. Sending your thank you cards, prints and an album from your photographer (if this was not included within their package), dry cleaning costs and postage costs to return any hire items. All of which will soon add up, so these costs should be calculated and added to your budget breakdown.

I really hope this information has been helpful and will assist you in ensuring there are no nasty surprises throughout your wedding planning journey.

If you would like to read further wedding planning advice take a look at other blog posts I have created, and if you are considering working with a wedding planner and would like to discuss how I can assist you please do get in touch to discuss the planning services I offer.

Image Credit: Terri & Lori Fine Art Photography & Film

Pin It

Posted in

Leave a Comment

Welcome to my Blog
Essex wedding planner Hayley Jayne Weddings & Events in garden

Contact info

Hayley Jayne Weddings & Events
Brentwood, Essex

01277 226785
07889 171453

About Hayley

With a keen eye for detail, organisational skills that are second to none and the love of a “to do” list it was inevitable that Hayley would become an events planner. She started her career within the legal profession and was a Personal Assistant for 14 years before training with the UKAWP to become a professional wedding and events planner and then going on to launch “Hayley Jayne Weddings & Events”.

Connect with us

Trained with Planning Redefined

Hayley Jayne Weddings & Events trained with the UKAWP