It’s no secret that weddings can be pricey. As soon as you get engaged, the mental checklists start coming. From the dress and the tuxedos to the food and decorations, wedding expenses are overwhelming. When you start that budget planning process, don’t forget about these easy-to-forget charges that could impact your bottom line. 

Hidden Wedding Costs to Watch For

1. Fuel Surcharge

If you rent items like furniture, linens, silverware and decorations, delivery may be included.  However, what may not be explicitly stated is the fuel surcharge. Vendors sometimes hide such charges in an attempt to make their rental prices appear more competitive. Although gas prices are not sky high right now, the big trucks needed to move these pieces could add $100 or more to your final tab, especially if your venue is far away from the furniture warehouse. If you’re having your cake or catering delivered to your venue as well, make sure you ask about the fuel surcharge as well. 

2. Cake Cutting & Corkage Fees

That beautiful 5-tiered cake you ordered to feed 150? There may be more cost to cut into it. Plan to pay roughly $2-5 per guest for cake cutting. It sounds expensive, but if you’re not using the venue’s caterer, the servers are responsible for slicing, serving and cleaning those dishes. Advice to cut down on the cost? Opt for cupcakes over cake, or have a smaller decorated cake, with just sheet cake for easy cutting held in the back. 

If the venue offers a bar service, use it! Otherwise corkage fees can run up to $15 per bottle!

3. Service charges and gratuities

Services charges are not always the same thing as gratuities. You’ll need to plan for both costs if hiring servers. Keep in mind that even though tips are not taxed, the gratuity is likely set between 18-20%. Service charges, though, are taxed and can run upwards of 20%.  Make sure you get those fees in writing at the time you sign with your vendors. 

4. Overtime charges

Hopefully, your wedding is a party that is dancing through the night. However, your vendors are only booked for a certain amount of time. So if your events are running late or your reception goes later than planned, and you want service to stick around, expect to pay overtime costs. Get those in writing and factor in additional time when booking your vendors.

5. Alterations

Whether you buy off the rack or a custom gown, it’s normal to need a few alterations before the big day to achieve the perfect fit. Simpler dresses are often easier, and less expensive, to alter than layered or intricately detailed ones. The cost of alterations depends on your wedding dress’s fabric and embellishments, as well as your height and body type. You should factor in lots of time and set aside a few extra hundred dollars in case of last minute changes. 

6. Postage

Sending out your wedding invitations might be your most expensive trip to the post office ever! Depending on the size and weight of your invitations, the usual 49-cent First Class stamp may not be enough. It’s often the size and shape – not the weight – that may require more postage, so take the extra step of going to your post office and getting an estimate from carrier themselves so that you don’t get a surprise when you show up later.  Don’t forget to factor in the cost of stamps for the RSVP cards as well!

Whether it’s insuring your engagement ring, insuring your combined household, or helping prepare for your financial future, your local Farm Bureau agent knows how to keep your budget on track throughout life’s big moments.