Commonly Overlooked Costs To Add To Your Wedding Budget

Your wedding day is fast approaching and you’ve got all the big items checked off your budget: the venue, the dress, the food. But have you included the smaller charges that often creep up unnoticed? These can quickly balloon your budget if you’re not careful. As planners, we work closely with couples and their money concerns on a daily basis. Here are the areas people tend to forget about when making their wedding budget. 


The cost of postage can add up quickly, especially if you’re sending save-the-dates, invites, and thank you cards. Stamps start at $1 and can go up to several dollars per piece depending on weight. If your budget is tight, make sure to discuss approximate postage costs with your stationary provider before committing to that luxury boxed invitation suite.

Taxes and tips

Have you received a too good too be true quote from a vendor only to realize later that it didn’t include the 13% sales tax and 18% gratuity? You’re not alone. While these costs shouldn’t be hidden, many couples don’t take them into account on their original budgets. Keep in mind that a service charge is not the same as a tip and does not go directly to the staff. If a vendor has provided great service and doesn’t automatically add gratuity, it’s customary to tip them on the wedding day or soon after.

Marriage license

The legal paperwork for you marriage is an unavoidable and important cost. In Ontario, the fee for a marriage license ranges from $75 to $166. Looking to cut costs where you can? Grab your partner and go on a little road trip. Rural licensing offices tend to charge significantly less than ones located in larger cities. 

Vendor meals

Vendors who are on-site the day of your wedding often state in their contracts that they must be provided with a meal. Some couples may raise an eyebrow at this, but it’s for good reason. Day of vendors typically work 12-14 hours on your wedding day with little downtime. If they’re sneaking off to eat their own meals or to take breaks they risk missing important moments. Vendors should always be provided with a meal and a chair, but feel free to skip the stationary and centerpieces.  

Alterations, undergarments and accessories

Remember that the price of the wedding dress is not just the number on the tag. Bridal gowns typically require alterations, specialty bras and shapeware, shoes, and jewelry. Alterations can range from $75 to $250 and up depending on the intricacy of the dress and amount of work needed. Play it safe and add a cushion of at least $500 on top of your dress budget. 

Planner or Day Of Coordinator

Even if you choose to do most of the wedding planning yourself, you’re going to want someone on the ground overseeing your big day. Many couples are disappointed when they assume they can rely on a friend, family member, or their venue coordinator to fill that roll. The cost of a coordinator may seem like a lot upfront, but it allows you and your guests to relax and fully enjoy the day knowing it’s safe in the hands of a professional. Check out KEP’s Services page for more details on how to pick the perfect coordination package for your needs and budget.  

Xoxo, KEP


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