Avoiding hidden wedding costs

Category: Personal Finances


Engaged couples are likely already prepared for the hefty costs associated with a lavish wedding, but even a low-key wedding can have some hidden costs that many people don’t expect. The following are some hidden wedding costs that can often be far more expensive than you thought they’d be.

Audio equipment for the band

Cost: Ranging from hundreds to potentially thousands of dollars

Why it’s hidden: The expense of the band performing at your wedding includes their time and the minimum amount of equipment needed. If you’re having a reception in a much larger space, then extra microphones and speakers might be needed in order to project the best sound possible.

How to avoid it: Before booking your DJ or wedding band, clarify the size and layout of the reception area if they won’t be seeing it themselves beforehand. This way, they’ll know what they’re working with and will know ahead time if extra equipment is needed. But before agreeing to pay for additional equipment, have them explain why it’s necessary.

Wedding dress alterations

Cost: Hemming can be somewhat inexpensive, but completely altering a dress can cost up to $500 or even more.

Why it’s hidden: Many bridal shops don’t include alterations in the price of the wedding dress, and many brides need it in order to get a perfectly fitted gown for their special day.

How to avoid it: Ask the shop what the cost is for every alteration. This can be something to consider before you make the decision on where to purchase your wedding gown.


Cost: Bulky, oversized wedding invitations and/or thank you cards can cost as much as $2.00 a piece in postage

Why it’s hidden: Stationers often don’t advertise what shipping costs are.

How to avoid it: Keep things simple with a single card in a plain envelope, as opposed to multilayer invites and boxed cards.

Overtime expenses

Cost: Varies; often starts at $250/hour

Why it’s hidden: Your photographer, DJ/band, and videographer are often booked for a number of hours, and not for your entire event. You might not expect your wedding to last longer than it does, but if that happens, you’ll be charged extra.

How to avoid it: Take additional time for getting ready and taking photos into consideration. This way, you can book everyone for a more realistic block of time. Get any overtime charges in writing, so you’ll know exactly how much you’ll have to pay if the wedding lasts longer than expected.


Tags: family finances, weddings

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