Having a wedding is expensive!
But would it surprise you know that many couples have been caught out but unforeseen expenses?
Before you put pen to paper on that first contract, there are few details you’re going to want to check out. A general tip to avoid hidden extra charges is to ask your suppliers about specifics such as overtime, cleaning and delivery, so these fixed fees do not surprise you later.
To make sure our lovely readers don’t get caught out we’ve put together a list of 10 charges couples can often overlook.
Why It is Hidden: More often than not Stationers don’t advertise their shipping costs until the last minute. If they did, you might choose to go with easier (read: cheaper) invites. Also, you would be surprised at how many couples tell us they write their invitation list without actually thinking about postage. Depending on the weight of your letters you could be looking at 98p per stand. Imagine sending that out to 100 people!
The Price: Large, oddly shaped or heavy invites can cost more than you think to deliver and then hundreds to post out.
How to Prevent It: Think twice about multilayer cards or boxed invites that can be heavy and add up to more than you might have first thought.
2. Wedding Band Extras & Equipment
Why It is Hidden: The total cost of live music at your wedding can comprise of fees for the musician or bands time but also the minimum amount of equipment they need. If your reception area is extra large, additional speakers and speakers could have to project the very best sound quality.
The Price: Anywhere from several hundred to several thousand dollars.
How to Prevent It: Before you book your DJ or musicians, you’re going to want to explain the layout of the hall or space (or have them take a look), so they can work out the total cost there and then. If they need to bring any additional gear, it’s best to ask them to explain what they need and why it’s necessary before you signing the contract or agreeing to pay.
3. Wedding Dress Alterations and Steaming
Why It is Hidden: Most bridal shops do not include the cost of adjustments in the price of the dress, and remember they’re not running a charity! Often it can take up to 4 hours merely to change the bustier on your wedding gown.
The Price: Prices can vary wildly depending on the shop and how complete the alterations are but a simple hem can be less than £100, but completely rebuilding from scratch cost anywhere in the region of £500.
How to Prevent It: Before you buy the dress you might want to find out if the shop charges per alteration and how much it would cost.
4. Overtime Fees
Why It is Hidden: Whether it’s your band your photographer or your DJ these suppliers often charge a set fee for a set amount of time with them. So if your big day runs on a little, you might be paying their overtime costs.
The Price: With prices starting from £200 an hour depending on the supplier, prices can skyrocket quickly as some businesses charge much higher overtime rates that their average hourly charge.
How to Prevent It: Take the time to price in extra time on the big day for things like getting ready or group shots with your photographer. By doing this, you can make sure your suppliers have a realistic time frame for your big day. Make sure you get any extra charges written down in your contract first, so you know exactly how much extra it might cost.
5. Welcome Bag Delivery
Why It is Hidden: This is one of the least common charges on the list, but it’s far more common abroad so be aware. Many resorts or hotels do not include luggage fees when you book your rooms. They can even not mention it until you get your final bill upon checking out, so it’s best to ask if they charge for welcome luggage. Some hotels even charge left luggage fees so again check!
The Price: Prices vary from hotel to hotel but up to £20 a bag
How to Prevent it: Before you book a hotel ring ahead and check to see if they charge fees for left luggage and delivering welcome bags to someone’s room. If they do, you might want to send someone ahead to hand them out at check-in!
6. Rental Transport
Why It Is Hidden: It would be easy to assume that any company you’re renting from would include the transport of their equipment into the cost of the hire. Well, you would be wrong! Often these costs can be a price per item basis, and if you’ve hired 150 chairs then prices can start to stack up!
The Price: Starting £5 up to £50 per item often much more for larger items.
How to Prevent It: Before you sign your contract make sure you check how much delivery actually costs and if the price is included or added to the final invoice. Don’t be afraid to say no and shop around!
Why It is Hidden: Although not technically a hidden charge as well have to pay tax, most commercial companies (and Costco) do not include these in the displayed price.
The Price: Tax rates in the UK vary depending on the products buy if VAT is applicable you’re looking at 20% on top of the displayed price.
How to Prevent It: Sadly there is just not getting around taxes, but you can usually do a bit of haggling with the supplier to get their costs down and ultimately any tax you might be paying on top.
8. Cake Cutting and Corkage Charges
Why It is Hidden: If alcohol and food are offered as part of your wedding package then usually this is included in the price. Sometimes though if you use an outside supplier there can be some extra charges applied by your venue. Effectively they’re serving someone else’s food!
The Price: From £5 to £10 per guest.
How to Prevent It: Being honest with your venue is a great start and asking for the fees before you choose the venue or an outside supplier helps as well.
9. Cleaning costs
Why It is Hidden: With so much planning to do it’s easy to forget to plan for what happens when it all ends!
The Price: Again if you’re having your wedding at a hotel or wedding specific venue then all these costs are included. Some places can charge the cleaning or rubbish removal on top though so just beware of that. Also, some sites can charge extra if the event drags on for having to clean in the wee small hours.
How to Prevent It: Again this comes down to reading your contract properly, checking over costs and negotiating with your venue.
10. Non-Approved Professionals
Why It is Hidden: Some venues will request that suppliers be from a preferred list and if not they might add on an extra fee.
The Price: This can vary wildly depending on the venue.
How to Prevent It: If your venue does charge these fees then sticking to their preferred supplier list or negotiating regarding fees is a great place to start.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this article and found it useful, please feel free to share your own experiences in the comments below and if you’ve found any hidden costs planning your own wedding we would love to hear from you!
A massive thank you t0:
Tarah Coonan who very kindly allowed us to use her image in the banner of this page! 🙂