published March 12, 2020
ByAudrey N
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10 Hidden Wedding Costs to Watch Out For

First of all, congratulations to you and your partner! They call it the happiest day of your life for a reason – you have a lot to be excited about! – but we’re here to make sure the big day doesn’t break the bank.

If you’re new to the wedding planning world… get ready. There’s a million options for anything and everything, and it can quickly become overwhelming. Especially when it comes to your budget. How much should you spend on a wedding dress? What about a three-course menu?

Make sure to create a realistic wedding budget that works for you and your partner, but keep in mind that unforeseen expenses always pop up out of nowhere and can add up quickly. 

Here are a few unexpected costs to watch out for:


If only every bride could have her dress fit like a glove the first time around. Even if you’re choosing to wear a pre-loved or heirloom wedding gown, chances are you’ll need to get it tailored. For all the grooms out there, suits and blazers may also need some adjusting to make you’re flattering all the right areas. 

Altering a wedding dress is typically more complex than a regular garment because they are made out of more delicate material like chiffon or heavy silk. Dresses are also often detailed in lace, beading and silks that require a lot of TLC.

You can expect alterations to cost you anywhere from $300 to $1000 depending on the tailor and the amount of work needed.


When choosing suppliers for your wedding, it is a good idea to do some extra research on suppliers local to the area where you are holding your wedding. This will ideally save you some money in delivery costs. A good tip is to ask suppliers about additional fees and charges up front when getting initial quotes.

Shop around to find the right company as some include free delivery and pick up, depending on travel distance. While these costs can vary significantly, remember to consider additional surcharges for weekends, which can be another unexpected setback.


Keep in mind that photographers continue to work after the big day is over and often surprise you with extra charges for editing and mailing final files. Ask for total costs and negotiate up to make sure there are no surprises. Also discuss overtime fees so both parties are clear on expected working hours.


If luck doesn’t go your way and it ends up raining on the big day, you might have to deal with last-minute costs for tents etc. With a bit of preparation you will be able to find affordable options.


All the special people in your life who have played a major role in your wedding are often given a gift of gratitude for taking part. Examples of common gifts are jewelry, tie pins and cufflinks. Other examples of appreciated gifts are experiences in the form of a restaurant dinner, a spa treatment or an overnight stay in a hotel. However much you decide to spend on thank you gifts is up to you, just make sure to set your budget early on. 


Weddings usually end up going a bit longer than expected – no matter how detailed the schedule is. In some cases, this overtime may involve hidden costs. Compiling a list of information on how overtime affects the budget is therefore a recommendation to be prepared in advance for potential costs that may arise.


You may not be aware, but it is custom wedding etiquette to offer a meal to staff working at your  wedding reception. This depends on the venue as some may cover this in total venue costs, but others may not. This can unexpectedly add to your reception venue budget, since costs per head can be pricey.

Be sure to double check if these costs have already been factored into the price you have been quoted by your venue to avoid unexpected surprises. 


One hidden cost you probably hadn’t thought about (or maybe underestimated) are invitations and postage. Many people often forget how expensive postage costs are these days, especially if you’re inviting anyone from overseas. With this in mind, you’ll not only need to think about envelopes and stamps, you may also want to include return envelopes for your guests. Size and weight of your invitation cards can play a factor in overall costs as well. If you have a smaller guest list, a couple of hours to spare and are looking to save some money, consider delivering the invitations yourself. Or, you could send the invitations digitally. It is 2020 after all. 


Wedding cakes can be a huge wedding expense, on average costing $5371 in Australia. If that wasn’t enough, some venues can add on an additional surcharge to cut and serve the cake during your reception. This fee is usually charged per slice at $1 to $2. Let’s say you had 200 guests, you could be forking out up to an extra $400. Ouch.


All fun stuff aside, there is a serious and legally-binding side to the whole affair. Cue the legals – which is anything from lodging your pre-wedding forms and in some cases, preparing pre-nuptial agreements (called binding financial agreements in Australia), which will require a lawyer. In some states, you may need to pay any associated fees separate to the cost of hiring a celebrant.

We hope these tips can help you out and if you think a Wisr personal loan could help you finance the big day, we’re always here to help.


DISCLAIMER: This article contains general information only, and is not general advice or personal advice. Wisr Services Pty Ltd does not recommend any product or service discussed in this article. You must get your own financial, taxation, or legal advice, and understand any risks before considering whether a product or service discussed in this article may be appropriate for you. We have taken reasonable efforts to ensure that the information is accurate at the time of publishing, but the information is subject to change. We may not update the article to reflect any change.
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