Planning your wedding? Well, first things first, The Budget. Once the sums are done, you can start all the fun bits of finding a venue, photographer, the wedding dress and all the pretty things in between. But what about hidden costs? You can absolutely guarantee that last-minute purchases will pop up in the final weeks of planning so, to avoid a nasty shock, we’re giving you a heads up on 27 Unexpected Wedding Costs you may not have considered. If you had to foot the bill for all of them, you could be looking at well over €5,000 on top of your original budget, so this feature is definitely worth a few minutes of your time!
But First, a Note on Budgeting
It’s so important to be savvy about your finances, and have a plan in place for if you do overspend. Remember the three main sources of finance couples use to pay for their weddings – savings, contributions from parents, and personal wedding loans – and decide which source or combination of sources will work best for you and your partner. If you’re considering taking out a personal wedding loan, our top tip is to shop around. You’re looking for a loan with terms you’re happy with, and the lowest possible interest rate.
Hair & Beauty
1. Makeup Trials
For many brides makeup is so important and getting it right is crucial. While trials are often included in the overall price of the makeup package, you may have more than one trial with more than one makeup artist. Whether you spend the time doing an in-person or virtual consultation to chat through your look and any skin issues, or simply just chatting together to see if your personalities are a good fit, time with your creative team is a valuable investment. With some brides having up to 4 (or more) trials, and with trials usually costing €50 a pop, it can add up very quickly! Cost: €50 per trial
2. Hair Trials
Like the makeup trials, deciding on your hairstyle may take more than one visit to your stylist, so be sure to factor in these costs. Top Tip: Have images ready to show your stylist and a clear idea of what you want before you go in for a trial. Cost: €50 per trial
3. Wedding Beauty Prep
While you may have set money aside for your professional hair and makeup on the wedding day — remember to keep in mind any pre-wedding beauty treatments you may want to indulge in, this includes everything from facials, dedicated skincare and laser treatments to spray tans, teeth whitening and waxing. Cost: €100-€600+
4. Bridesmaids Beauty
If you are opting to pay for your bridesmaids (or your mums) beauty, such as mani/pedis and tan, as well as their hair and makeup on the day, don’t forget to factor in these costs into your wedding beauty budget too. Cost: €100-€400 (approx.)
5. Last-Minute Beauty
In the run up to the wedding you will be getting your last minute beauty treatments done. With hair colour, eyebrows, lashes, hair extensions and mani/pedi appointments all potentially on the list, it can get a little pricey, so make sure to allocate a budget for this early on. Cost: €100-€350 (approx.)
6. Male Grooming
Don’t forget about the groom! Make sure to factor in pre-wedding male grooming, and on-the-day male grooming such as haircare, beard and moustache trims, or hot towel shaves. Cost: €100
7. Wedding Morning Attire
Want matching pjs and robes for the bridal party? Don’t forget to cost these in, as well as your pretty getting ready attire too! Cost: €50-€300
8. Wedding Dress Alterations and Dry Cleaning
Your alterations may be included in the cost of your wedding dress. However, if you have bought an off-the-rail dress, second-hand dress, sale dress or high street dress you may need to arrange your own alterations as well as dry cleaning. Alterations can vary from €100-€300 depending on how much work is needed. Cost: Alterations: €100-€300. Dry cleaning: €100-€150 (approx.)
9. Day Before/Day After Outfit
Looking gorgeous on your wedding day is one thing, but what about that perfect pre or post-wedding day outfit? Cost: €80-€100 (approx.)
10. Wedding Underwear (practical and not so practical!)
Having the right wedding underwear is, well, serious business. Getting the proper shape and support under your wedding dress is essential and good underwear isn’t cheap (but you won’t regret it!). Make sure to include your garter and any lacy honeymoon numbers too! Cost: €100-€300 (approx.)
The Wedding Day
11. Venue or Hotel Rooms for the Night Before
If you and your bridal party are planning on getting ready at a different hotel than your wedding venue, or getting ready in a hotel suite, you’ll need to budget this in, as well as pay attention to check in/check out times as you’ll often need to book the room for two nights in order to have the morning to get ready. Cost: €180-€500
After an early wakeup call, by midday you and your bridal party will be starving. Venues often supply sandwich platters and champagne while you’re all getting ready but these can cost more than you think. Ask about it early on, so you’re not surprised by additional costs. Cost: €60-€200 (approx.)
13. Getting Married Outside
Due to insurance costs some venues charge a separate fee to say “I do” alfresco. Weather permitting, this can be an amazing option. Check with your venue first, and pop the figure in your budget just in case the sun is shining on the day! Cost: €150-€300 (approx.)
A fee that pops up at the last minute! This one depends on the venue, and whether you’re having a cake you brought in yourself – served to guests individually – instead of the venue’s own desserts. Cost: €2.50 per person. Based on 120 guests = €300
15. Corkage Fees
If you are opting to bring in your own wine or champagne, corkage is usually discussed with your venue in the beginning. Be sure to find out what the exact charge is before you buy wine and make the final decision. If your hotel’s corkage fee is on the high end – but it offers bottles of wine for less than €15, it could work out cheaper to order your wine directly from the hotel. Cost: Between €7 and €15 per bottle (approx.)
16. Photographers & Videographer Meals
Your photographer and videographer are with you for the whole day working hard and they’ll be hungry too. Make sure to throw them in the pot when counting up the number of meals. Cost: €65-€200 (approx.)
17. Gifts for the Bridal Party
After a year or so of planning and prep with your bridesmaids and groomsmen, it’s a lovely gesture to gift them with something to say thank you for all their hard work. Jewellery gifts are still the most popular for the ladies, while fancy hip flasks and cufflinks are popular for the boys! Cost: €100-€600
18. Flowers & Presents for Parents & Other Family Members
You already know that you’ll need a token of appreciation for your bridesmaids, groomsmen, flower girls, and ring bearers. But don’t forget to budget something in for your parents or anyone who has helped significantly. It doesn’t have to be costly, the emphasis should be on remembering them. But if you calculate these costs now, you won’t be surprised down the road. Cost: €100-€300
19. Transport For Guests
While you’re generally not responsible for how guests get to and from your wedding, many couples often choose to provide transport if moving guests from one location to the other, or if the venue doesn’t have accommodation using private bus services. If it’s something you wish to offer guests, it’s best to plan this into your budget ahead of time to avoid it being a last minute splurge. Cost: €300-€500
Other Unexpected Costs
20. The Hen Party
While typically you don’t have to financially contribute to your own bridal shower, hen party or stag do – new outfits, nails, tan and hair & makeup for the weekend can all add up! Cost: €100 – €500
21. ‘Popping The Question’ Gifts for the Bridal Party
Planning cute and creative ways to ask your Bridesmaids/Groomsmen/Flowergirl/Ring bearer to be part of your day? Whether it’s sweet cards, a thoughtful gift or mini bottle of bubbly for each, remember that those little costs can add up! Cost: Up to €50 each
You have all your invitations paid for, beautifully written, addressed and ready to go. You may have had a stationery budget, but more than likely you have forgotten to add in the stamps! A stamp for one invite will set you back back €1.35 or more in postage fees. Depending on the number of invites you’re sending, the weight and the distance, your stamps could ending up bumping up your stationery budget more than you thought. Cost: €50-€270 (approx.)
23. Out of Season Flowers
Certain blooms are not available all year round but can be brought in, but for a pretty penny! If you want ways to save on your flowers, stick to seasonal and local flowers—they’re both eco- and econ-friendly! Cost: Can add an additional €500+ to your wedding flowers.
24. Passports for the Honeymoon
If you’re heading away straight after the wedding make sure your passports are in order. Getting a new one issued just in time can set you back €100 each! Cost: €80-€100
25. Pretty Little Extras
Personalised items, ribbons, velvet ring boxes and vow books – all those pretty little wedding day extras can start to add up! Don’t forget to include these in your stationery or styling budget. Cost: €80-€200
26. Thank You Notes
After the big day, honeymoon has finally come to an end, you’ll want to thank all your guests for joining you on your special day. If you are having a bespoke stationery suite made, you can get some ‘Thank You’ notes made ahead of time. Alternatively you can buy them separately on the high street or online. Don’t forget the cost of postage too! Cost: €120 (approx.)
27. DIY Projects
While taking on lots of DIY projects can seem like a way to save money, the price for supplies and props can often spiral out of control. If you’re putting lots of time and effort into décor and styling, here are some tips to help your budget stay on track:
- Put a plan together and cost out each item you will need, this will help you keep track of your spending.
- Shop around to find the best price for items.
- Ask your friends, family and venue before you buy anything. You’d be surprised what people will have for you to borrow.
- Give yourself plenty of time to take on each DIY project this will help avoid any mistakes.
You can apply for an AIB personal loan today and make your dreams become a reality. Head to the AIB App or check out the online loan calculator on the AIB website for more details.
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