It’s no secret that in today’s world, weddings are pricier than they’ve ever been. Sure, most people might not spend as Carrie did in Sex and the City ($160,000), but with an average wedding cost of $38,000 in 2019, tying the knot can easily break the bank if you’re not careful.
That’s why it’s important to have a detailed, all-encompassing budget planned out ahead of your big day, and to be sure you’ve accounted for less obvious or hidden costs, too.
Not sure where to start? Here are four hidden costs to think through before your wedding day.
Postage stamps are essential when it comes to inviting guests to your wedding– but if you’re not careful, they can easily slip off your radar. According to The Knot, stationers rarely advertise their shipping costs despite the fact that shipping alone can drastically increase your invitation associated costs. Plus, particularly heavy or oddly shaped wedding invitations can cost as much as $2 apiece just to mail.
Regardless of whether you’re shipping the invitations yourself or going through a wedding vendor, be sure to incorporate postage stamp costs into your overall budget.
When most people think wedding costs, they think big: elaborate flower arrangements, elegant venues, and designer wedding gowns are all things that might come to mind. Yet the very item that makes one’s marriage official is often an afterthought.
Sure, marriage licenses aren’t the most expensive cost you’ll incur while planning a wedding, but they’re still worth accounting for. In some states, like Florida, they can cost as much as $100.
Brides typically have a set hair and makeup budget, but wedding-related beauty costs can far exceed just hair and makeup. Many brides choose to have spa treatments like chemical peels or facials ahead of their big day. And at the very least, they will almost certainly indulge in a luxurious mani/pedi– as they should. You only have one wedding, after all.
These “extra” beauty-related costs are totally understandable, but it’s important to plan for them from the start.
Sure, you’ve probably already booked a suite at or near your wedding venue if you’re not leaving for your honeymoon the night of. But have you lined up hotel rooms for the wedding party? This is by no means expected, but if you’re having a destination wedding or requiring your bridesmaids and groomsmen to purchase flights or travel long distances to be at your wedding, covering their hotel rooms is a much-appreciated gesture.
Depending on where you’re getting married, you can expect to shell out between $100 and $300+ per room on hotel accommodations.
Transportation For Guests
While you’re certainly not under any obligation to transport your guests to or from the wedding venue, if you’re having alcohol at your wedding, expectations are less black and white.
Regardless of whether you’re having a cash bar an open bar or a hybrid, it’s important to think through guest safety before your big day. If your cousin, Jim, for example, has a bit too much to drink at the reception, how will you be sure he makes it back to his hotel safely?
To avoid the possibility of drunk driving, many couples arrange taxis, Ubers, or driving services to transport their guests safely from the reception. And while this is an admirable choice, arranging transportation for your guests is a sure way to run up your wedding bill.
Want to estimate this cost in advance? Look into the average rideshare cost in your wedding city to better budget for transportation expenses.