19 Unexpected Wedding Expenses To Look Out For - Eternity

19 Unexpected Wedding Expenses To Look Out For

6th July 2023

Let’s set the scene: you’ve just got engaged, just had a chat with your partner about your wedding budget, created your Pinterest account, started adding to your Eternity UK budget tracker, it’s all going great, and then…you forgot about wedding insurance costs, and travel costs, and postage costs, and the list goes on.

Planning a wedding is, of course, an exciting and joyous time, filled with dreams of a magical day. However, amidst the enthusiasm and anticipation, it’s essential to be prepared for the unexpected! Wedding expenses can quickly add up, and sometimes, unanticipated costs can catch couples off guard.

In this blogpost, we’ll explore some of the unexpected wedding expenses that often arise and offer tips to help you navigate these financial surprises.

Unexpected Wedding Expenses: Logistics
Wedding insurance

Starting off with a debatable one, this one can creep up on you if you aren’t initially sure of whether or not to get it. It’s one that we, and most suppliers, will absolutely recommend, but can sometimes be overlooked by couples.


There is so much transportation involved in a wedding, whether it be shipping your wedding outfits over from abroad, travel to and from your wedding venue on the day, transporting your overseas guests – be sure to look at your entire itinerary and account for everything.


Are you going to be posting over your wedding invites? Mithai boxes? Anything else? Be sure to account for any stamp or courier charges that you may incur. It may seem like a little in the moment, but can really begin to creep up when you least expect it.

Marriage license

In the UK, you need to inform your borough of your intention to marry, and there is a fee associated with this. Don’t forget to budget it in!

Couples meals

Sometimes couples forget to include themselves in their wedding guest headcount (don’t worry, your caterer will definitely count you in), but it becomes a minor unexpected cost to consider.

Unexpected Wedding Expenses: The Fun Stuff
Tailor fees

Once you and your families have got your wedding outfits, some of you will naturally need to get your outfits altered. If you’re having 5 events, and 5 of you need alterations, the cost of this can be a couple hundred pounds at least. Beware and remember to ask your outfit supplier about any last minute alterations.

Bridesmaid / Groomsmen proposals

Your friends have been there from the start, and so you want to treat them with a bridesmaid or groomsmen proposal, but it can start to become more and more expensive as you start curating your boxes / invites. 

Hen & stag parties

Following on from the above, the actual hen & stag party costs can start to creep up as you plan. As you would with any holiday, be sure to budget accordingly in advance and try to stick to it.


Tons of couples are definitely guilty of not budgeting correctly for their dream honeymoon! You don’t want to compromise on your R&R time, so remind yourself to stick to your wedding budget pot, to avoid eating into your honeymoon wedding pot.

Wedding favours

Every couple usually knows whether or not they want to do wedding favours, but sometimes, they forget to account for the amount your wedding favours cost. This includes everything from stickers, to water bottles, to fans, and so much more.

Wedding gifting

So gifting is a large part of our culture, but some couples sometimes underestimate how many people they want to gift wedding items to. Alongside your guestlist, create a gift list early on and start to set aside rough budgets.

Beauty treatments

Whether it be a pre-wedding pamper massage, or a 12-month skincare plan, beauty treatments can add up one-by-one, so you will want to allocate a certain amount for this throughout the 12-18 month period.

Dry cleaning

This can be a pre-wedding and a post-wedding unexpected expense. Once you have your outfit and you’ve worn it, you will want to preserve it correctly to ensure that it is a beautiful keepsake for years to come.

Unexpected Wedding Expenses: Suppliers
Trial fees

Whether it be your hair & makeup artists, cake tastings, or catering tastings, you will want to account for trial fees with each of the above. Sometimes, suppliers will discount the ‘taster fee’ from your final bill, and sometimes they won’t. The best thing to do is ask suppliers in advance and account for this accordingly. A makeup artist could be in your budget, but a trial with them could creep up out of budget.

Overtime fees

Ok so you’ve booked your pianist for 3 hours, inc. set-up & take-down, but your wedding plans are running slightly late – now what? You need to ask for transparency and understand any overtime fees with your suppliers, especially the entertainment suppliers, to ensure you’re not hit with any unhappy fees the next morning.

Food fees

Feed your suppliers! Now, this is a personal choice, but if your suppliers are staying with you for hours throughout the day, you should allocate specific headcount to feed your suppliers. Discuss this one with your caterers, and be sure to ask any suppliers about dietary requirements in advance.

Travel fees

This one seems obvious, but can often be forgotten, especially if suppliers don’t blatantly state it (they should!). Sometimes, couples shy away from asking about travel or delivery fees, in the hopes that they will go away, but it can be a recipe for disaster and avoiding the inevitable. Always ask your suppliers for a breakdown of all the wedding fees that you can incur. This is one that you will particularly want to account for if you are having a destination wedding.


Beware of this one! Suppliers will sometimes quote fees ex. VAT, and once VAT is included it can be an entirely different price bracket. 

Supplier extras

Ask your suppliers about their ‘extra’ costs. For example, a photographer may charge extra for canvas printouts. Be sure to understand your wishlist and what you want, and then understand extra expenses accordingly.

Budget correctly

Your wedding planning will inevitably be full of unexpected surprises along the way, but we hope that this has helped make you feel slightly more at ease. Now that you’ve had a read through of unexpected wedding expenses, make sure you start organising your wedding budget to include these items with the FREE Eternity UK digital wedding planning tools.