Your wedding budget: 5 unexpected costs to account for

Whether you’re going for a small, intimate affair or a more elaborate celebration, every wedding planning journey should begin with the budget. Weddings are expensive, but following up your perfect proposal with a perfect ceremony and reception is a must. A realistic budget sits at the centre of every wedding. A budget can help you avoid the common mistakes many couples make when planning a wedding as well as prevent you from paying off your big day long after it’s been and gone.

A wedding budget is important for these reasons and so many more. You must ensure you account for all costs from the outset. A quick web search will reveal the common things marrying couples spend their money on during the planning phase. There are several more unexpected costs that most don’t prepare for. Here we reveal the hidden costs of planning a dream wedding so you can go into the planning process with your eyes wide open.

Cake cutting

It’s not just catering & corkage that you have to factor into your wedding budget. In some venues, there are costs for cutting the cake too. Many charge a fee per slice, which means if you have 150 guests, cake cutting costs certainly add up. Cake cutting is generally charged if you are providing your own wedding cake from an external vendor rather than serving the venue’s own desserts.

Here at Country House Weddings, we don’t burden you with these unnecessary costs. Our venues don’t charge for cake cutting or allow corkage, meaning you have more money in your wedding budget for the things that really matter.


Many couples now choose to send their save-the-dates and wedding invites electronically. There’s something more poignant about delivering this all-important mail the traditional way though, which brings us onto our next unexpected cost.

Stamps just got more expensive, which makes sending invites more costly. It now costs 70p for a first class stamp for a standard letter, which is 3p more than previous prices. Again, if you intend to invite 150 guests, it’ll cost you up to £210 to send the save the dates and official wedding invites.

Hair and makeup trials

Every bride wants to look their best on their wedding day. Although hair and makeup on the day itself will be firmly factored into your wedding budget, the cost of trials for the bride and bridesmaids is often forgotten. Bridebook reveals just how much you can expect to pay for professional trials in the run up to your wedding day:

“If you are planning to have a make-up trial (which we strongly recommend you do) prior to hiring your artist, many will charge you, as the trials still use up both products and time. An experienced artist can charge you as much as £90-£150 for a trial, but many artists will have a package deal for the bride, which will include the trial and the make-up for the day, making the prices gentler on the budget.”

In addition to makeup trials, a hair trial is a vital part of the pre-wedding prep for the bride and bridesmaids. You can save money by getting just one of your bridesmaids to be your guinea pig. You could even ask your bridesmaids to foot the bill for either the trial or hair and makeup costs on the day. Don’t forget the costs of last-minute beauty treatments that will leave you looking and feeling your best. Facials, eyebrow waxes, hair removal, manicures and pedicures aren’t cheap!

Guest transportation

Many brides and grooms want to make it as convenient as possible for their guests to attend their weddings, especially if the ceremony or reception is being hosted out of town. One way to do this is by providing guest transportation to and from the venue. Don’t forget to factor this cost into your wedding day budget.

Supplier meals

Be sure to look after the suppliers who are charged with capturing your big day, such as your photographer and videographer. These extra meals may not have been accounted for by your caterer. Your photographer and videographer are likely to be with you all day, so don’t leave them hungry.

For more budgeting advice for your big day, read our dos and don’ts.

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