• CAT Creative + Consulting

13 Wedding Expenses You've Probably Forgotten



Sure--almost everyone can account for the big ticket wedding items such as a venue, catering and a dress and most will even remember the medium items such as a cake and invitations. But, what about all of the small items that are often times forgotten? From accessories to services, check out the list below of wedding items that could become budget busters if forgotten.


1. Hair, Nails & Makeup Services


This one may seem like an obvious expense but 1 or all of these items are on our list of most forgotten expenses for your wedding day. Not only should you consider the bride’s “beautification” services but also consider services for your bridal party and whom will be paying for those. Also, grooming isn't just for the ladies! Some grooms choose to get fresh cuts or beard grooming services for the big day. Whether the financial responsibility falls on you or your BP, reservations and availability of your providers should be considered.


P.S. Don't forget to make appointments well in advance!


2. Outfits


While all of the fuss is happening over THE dress, the bridal party outfits and the groom’s get up, many people forget that there are several other events that happen pre-wedding that most people like to prepare for. Outfits for the Rehearsal Dinner, Bachelor and Bachelorette parties as well as Bridal Shower(s) are details that people forget will be hitting the checkbook until right before the event.


3. Shoes


This one is pretty straightforward-- amidst the gushing over the dress, veil and even accessories, make sure you don’t forget your wedding shoes! Consider what type of shoe you want and whether you want a change (or two) of shoes as well to accommodate comfort. Depending on the style and number of pairs you’ll need, this expense could range from chump change to a pretty penny.


4. Wedding Day Accessories


Speaking of outfit accessories, make sure you are covering all of your bases and considering ALL of the accessories you might need. This could include: jewelry, headpieces, shoes (see #3), tradition pieces (something borrowed, blue, etc.). Also, don’t forget the hubby! Things such as lapel pins, tie tacks and cuff links are oft-forgotten pieces that could leave you scrambling last minute and your budget busted.


5. Thank You Gifts For Bridal Party (Including Parents)


With bridal party proposals on trend these days, most people remember gifts for their bridal parties but what about the parents/close family? Don’t forget about the people who raised you, brought you to this point (and most times, have footed some of the bill for the wedding)!


6. Wedding Day Gift for Your Soon-To-Be Spouse


On the same track of gifts, make sure you talk with your spouse prior to the big day and 1. Decide if you are exchanging gifts and 2. Determine a budget. Whether it’s a hand-written note or a lavish wrist watch, there will likely be some expense involved that you should be prepared to budget!


7. Postage


In our experience, this is the MOST forgotten expense...and it is just that...an EXPENSE. If you are sending full invitation suites, not only will you need postage to mail the invitations but you also are responsible for the postage on the RSVP’s! While you are at it, you will also need postage for any thank you notes that you will send after the big day has come and gone as well as Save The Dates so your guests hold your special date months in advance. For those of you counting along, you will need FOUR sets of postage total to accommodate all of your mailing needs.


P.S. Guest count DOES NOT EQUAL invitation count. Don’t forget that people share households, are couples or are children that don’t need their own invitations. Make sure to make a version of your guest list that lists the guests in their specialized “households” so you know how many invitation sets to order.


P.P.S Once you have your “household” number, multiple that number by 4 to get the number of stamps you will need!


8. Save The Dates & Thank You Notes


As mentioned above, While you are considering your invitation suite, don’t forget to grab a quote for Save The Dates and Thank You Notes. Arguably, the “pre-invitation” and “post-invitation” are just as important as the invitation itself.


9. Wedding Bands


Again, this one seems like an obvious one but between when you receive your engagement ring and the big day, there is so much planning on so many little details that unless you bought your engagement right and band as a set, this can be a forgotten detail. Make sure you put this on your to-do list, sooner rather than later, to give yourself ample time to get it in before the big day as well as time to budget for this priceless, yet potentially pricey expense.


P.S. Don’t forget to discuss insurance for your rings, if it wasn’t purchased with your original policy. That could be an expense that continues far beyond the wedding day!


10. Alterations


Luckily, most bridal boutiques will remind you of alterations when you pick up your dress but budgeting for these ahead of time falls on your own shoulders. In addition to typical wedding dress alterations (usually ~$300 minimum), don’t forget your specialty pieces that might need altered. Things like wraps and veils are items that may potentially need alterations as well as smaller details that might need to be added (i.e. if you are sewing in your “something blue” to your dress). Make sure to factor that in before you get quotes on dress alterations.


11. Tips for Vendors


Don’t forget to budget some love for your amazing vendors! Make sure you go through all of your vendors and evaluate which ones require (or deserve) tips and which ones are good to go!

Pro Tip: put cash in labeled envelopes and designate someone in your bridal party (perhaps a parent) to take care of that for you on your big day! Check out this list of recommended tip amounts to help you decide what’s appropriate.


12. Officiant Fee


Depending on your relationship with your officiant, you may or may not have an officiant fee. Be sure to have that conversation when booking so you know what to budget for. A lot of religiously-affiliated officiants will just ask for “donation” or “tip”, in which case, it is expected to give at least something. (See Tip #11 for a list of recommended tip amounts)


13. Transportation


There are several scenarios in a wedding that you might need transportation for that you might want to consider and budget for, if they apply to your wedding. Transportation for the bridal party for the day of the wedding and/or transportation for guests to and from locations are all things to consider. Check with your hotel representative to see if the hotel you have booked a block of rooms at offers a shuttle to your venue (if in close proximity) or see if there are transportation services that offer discounts for wedding days. Either way, figuring out your transportation could be a large expense depending on the circumstances.


BONUS: Honeymoon Items


Although this isn’t directly a wedding expense, the honeymoon and all of the other smaller expenses that come with it shouldn’t be forgotten. Since it usually comes right on the heels of an expensive event, it’s worth budgeting for your honeymoon (even if it’s being gifted). Things to consider for honeymoons are: new luggage, passport fees, transportation (whether that be flights or Ubers), matching “we’re married” apparel, shore excursions/non-included activities, and more. Be sure to explore all of the things you might need for your big adventure after the big adventure!