Watch Out For These 10 Hidden Wedding Costs – When you’re signing your contracts, ask about things like delivery and cleanup, so that you aren’t surprised later on.
Why It’s Hidden: Stationers don’t advertise shipping costs
The Cost: Oversize, awkwardly shaped and bulky invitations will most often run you as much as $2 each to mail.
How to Avoid It: Skip the fancy boxed invitations and multilayer cards, which can bulk up quickly and cost a lot more than you bargained for.
Wedding Dress Alterations and Steaming
Why It’s Hidden: Most stores don’t include alterations (or steaming) in the price of the wedding dress, and they’re not doing it for free—it can take up to three hours just to alter the bustier!
The Cost: A simple hem can be less than $100, but completely rebuilding a bodice can send the price upward of $500.
How to Avoid It: Ask about what the store charges for every alteration you may need before purchasing the gown.
- Taxes and Gratuities
Why It’s Hidden: Even though these aren’t exactly hidden—we all know there are taxes on almost everything—most couples don’t think about how much they’ll end up owing during the planning process.
The Cost: This will depend on the total amount of money you’re spending as well as the location of the event (taxes vary by state).
How to Avoid It: There’s no getting around paying taxes, but paying the entire bill in one lump sum can help lower the overall price. A safe bet: Tack on an extra third of your total costs to your budget for tips and taxes.
- Cake-Cutting and Corkage Fees
Why It’s Hidden: If you use the cake or liquor provided by your reception site, the charge is typically wrapped into the cost. Going with an outside baker or your own wine can raise the price. Why? Because your venue’s workers are responsible for slicing and serving each piece, then cleaning the dishes—and this means more work for their staff.
The Cost: From $2 to $5 per guest for the cake; from $1.50 to $3 for every bottle the staff opens.
How to Avoid It: Be upfront. Ask about cake-cutting and corkage fees before you decide to go with an outside source for either.