10 Details Not to Forget When Deciding Your Wedding Budget

Don't let these aspects of the day sneak up on you!

No matter how much money one may have available for the big day, just about everyone sits down to figure out a proper budget for their wedding.

Photo: Michael Segal Photography

No matter how much money one may have available for the big day, just about every couple sits down to figure out a proper budget for their wedding day. Perhaps you’re paying for everything yourself, and you have other plans for your savings account... or maybe your parents are paying, but you want to be respectful by staying within the generous spending limit they have offered.

Once you know the total dollar amount that is available to you, it’s generally advised to determine what percentage will go to each part of the celebration. Sure, there are the obvious areas like your wedding venue, wedding photographer, florist, dress, and caterer; however, there are often hidden costs you may not have initially expected. Some may balk at the idea of fully itemizing for every penny, which is perfectly understandable! However, it’s important to account for even the smallest details because they can often add up – and then suddenly you find yourself at risk of going over budget.

Here are 10 of the most common items that can fall through the cracks, sneaking up on you after you’ve already carefully allocated your money for each part of the wedding:

Extra Meals

Sure you're likely including the catering costs for your guests, but what about meals for your wedding vendors, such as the photographer and videographer, band, or DJ? It's important to consider these as well – or check with your caterer to see if these meals are included (or discounted) with your package.

Postage Costs

Though stamps aren't one of the higher-priced items within your wedding budget, the cost can certainly add up – especially if you have a large guest list. Consider the postage for your save the dates, invitations, and the return envelopes for RSVP cards.

Extra Catering Fees

Some venues and caterers may charge cake cutting and corkage fees should you choose to have your favorite bakery create your wedding cake or you decide to bring in your own wine or alcohol.

Extra Rental Charges

Especially if you're hiring outside rental companies to bring in the tables, chairs, and décor, you'll often need to set aside extra funds for the setup, takedown, and delivery of rentals. Discuss this with your venue and rental company to make sure you're clear on the policies!

Welcome Bags for Guests

If you're planning on providing your loved ones with welcome bags at their hotel rooms, you'll not only have to factor in the cost of the welcome bag itself, but also the delivery of welcome bags to the rooms of your guests.


If you've set aside a certain budget for your bridal gown, it's important to also include the cost of any necessary wedding dress alterations in your overall dress budget.

Taxes & Gratuities

Even if you know there will be tax added to your totals, it’s easy to forget when adding up prices. It's also important to offer a tip to vendors, so be sure to set aside a part of the overall spending limit to thank your wedding team!

Hotel Rooms & Suites

You'll likely remember to include the cost of your wedding-night accommodations, but hotel suites used for getting ready will need to be reserved for the night before and the day of the wedding. Even if you don’t plan to sleep there, it's important to book the night prior since check-in usually occurs later in the afternoon.

Meals for Your Wedding Party

With most wedding timelines, breakfast and lunch will need to be served for the bridal party as everyone is getting their hair and makeup done prior to the ceremony.

Shapewear & Accessories

This is another item that should be included with your wedding-dress budget. Special shapewear or other undergarments that work with your gown will need to be purchased to ensure you look and feel picture-perfect on your wedding day.

For more wedding tips and ideas, discover a celebrity wedding planner's guide to seating charts, read our list of what to buy once you become engaged, and get 25 ideas for fall weddings.