Hidden wedding costs

You’ve chosen your dress, booked the venue and have a budget set for the photographer, flowers and food, but chances are, there’s a long list of hidden costs that you haven’t even thought about.

If you have ever wondered how much the average wedding costs in the UK, it’s a staggering £30,000, according to Brides Magazine. It pays to know all the secret spends that will eat up your budget!

Wedding bills

Surprisingly, every wedding comes with a price tag for the paperwork. If you’re getting married in a church the fee is non-negotiable at £497 outside your home parish, and £456 if you marry in your home parish. You may also have to pay extra for the choir to sing, the organist to play or even for the heating to be turned on!

For a non-religious event, you’ll have to pay to register your intent to marry - which costs £35 for each of you - and you’ll need to write a cheque for the attendance of the registrar on the day. Costs vary by council area, but if a registrar comes out to your venue, that can cost around £500.

Pipped by the post

With the cost of sending a large letter now 98p, just sending out the invitations in the traditional way could add a hefty £100 to your budget. Consider creating a gorgeous invite online instead which can be emailed out for nothing.

If you choose to send your invitations, make sure you don’t slip up by not adding enough postage. Not only will this be embarrassing, but many guests may not actually get your wedding invite unless they make the effort to pay the extra postage.

Put a cork in it

You might have budgeted for providing your own drink at the reception, but always check how much your venue charges to open it. Corkage fees vary but expect to pay around £10-£12 to open each bottle of wine, and more for Prosecco or Champagne.

After the meal you might choose to put some money behind the bar so that the drinks – or at least some of them – are on you. Only do this if you can afford it, and set a limit on how much you are prepared to spend, making it clear to the bar staff that when it’s gone, it’s gone.

Gift receipts

A wedding involves a lot of teamwork, and most brides and grooms want to show their gratitude with a gift. But buying presents for your mums, bridesmaids and the best man can add up. Remember something heartfelt – a special photo or book – can mean more than an elaborate bouquet or expensive jewellery.

Look online for handmade presents and gifts that won’t break the bank. There’s some lovely, inexpensive ideas at Etsy.com.

Do a headcount

For every extra person at your wedding, you will be paying extra. But it’s not just the guests you need to worry about. Have you budgeted for those working at the wedding? Find out if you need to provide food and drink for the DJ, band members, photographer or wedding co-ordinator and factor that into your budget for the day. Don’t forget to include yourselves in the headcount too.

Nail it

You’ve probably budgeted for hair and make-up on the big day, but have you done the sums for your visits to the salon in the run up to the wedding?

Waxing, spray tans, manicures and pedicures all add up, but are something that most brides don’t want to scrimp on. Set aside £150 so that you’re ready to glow.