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Be inspired every day with Living North
bride and groom with blush flowers
September 2023
Reading time 2 Minutes

Weddings are an expensive business, and there are often hidden costs couples forget to factor into their carefully thought out wedding budget

Read on to find out what to look out for so you don't fall into that trap.

Wedding Insurance

Planning a wedding is one of the largest financial commitments many families make so it makes sense to insure your wedding in the event that something goes wrong. It may seem like an unnecessary expense but it will give you some peace of mind and protection and, as we have seen recently with a pandemic, you just never know what the world might throw at you on your special day.

Supplier Expenses

You’ve chosen all your favourite suppliers; the caterers, the band(s), the photographer and videographer but before you book do check if they expect to receive travel expenses and even overnight accommodation on top of their fee. They will also expect to be fed and watered whilst they are with you and whilst this won’t be part of your contract, it is something they might well expect and it is helpful as it means suppliers can stay on site throughout without having to go off to find sustenance. Check with your caterer who might well offer you a supplier meal at a special rate, rather than your guest rate.

Time Out

If your wedding runs behind you may find that your photographer and/or videographer will charge you for that extra time so be sure to understand if this is the case and try to keep your schedule on track to avoid extra costs. Similarly, most wedding bands won’t just carry on into the night unless by prior agreement and will often charge by the hour, so be aware if you want to party on. Resorting to a playlist and speakers post official party time is your cheapest option. Venues might also add charges for extra cleaning and cloakroom and bar staff if the party carries on for longer.

Hidden Fees

When you are booking your venue check carefully for any hidden fees. Some venues will charge extra if you don’t select their preferred suppliers and this can run into hundreds of pounds for anything from a cake stand to chair hire and wedding decor.


It is usual for the bride and groom to pay for the bridal party’s accommodation so bear this in mind if that’s what you intend to do if you are wanting gangs of bridesmaids and groomsmen.

The Photographs

Your wedding photographer will play a critical part in your day, but it is not usually just their time you will pay for. Most photographers will have packages and most will include an online gallery, but some may limit the number of photographs you can have as each one will need to be edited which takes time, and physical prints or a wedding album may well incur extra charges too.

Beauty Trails

Check with your chosen makeup artist and hairdresser to see if any makeup or hair trials are included in their fees quoted, or whether they will charge extra on top.

Wedding Dress Fittings

Most brides are unaware of just how buying a dress works. Most bridal shops carry standard sizes of sample dresses and It is very unusual for a bride to find a dress that fits like a glove off the rack. Dresses are usually ordered in to the nearest size for the bride and will then be altered to fit, and that can be costly so will need to be added to the final cost of your gown. A rough guide is around 10 percent of the cost of the dress for alterations, so you can see it’s quite a lump on top of your budget.


It may be you plan to wear something borrowed when it comes to your wedding jewellery but if you have your heart set on a particular necklace or earrings to go with your dress then these all need to be budgeted for. As do your bridal shoes and the correct non-show underwear for your gown, a special wedding perfume or clutch bag. They may not be expensive but it all starts to add up!

Thank You

Whilst many save the dates and invitations are now digital, sending thank you cards to guests and suppliers after your wedding is an important part of the whole event. Whether you make your own, use a wedding photograph as a card, or even want to send gifts too, it all costs, as does the postage. With a first class stamp alone costing £1.10 you can see even with a small wedding how the cost swiftly creeps up. 

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