The 20 Hidden Costs of a Wedding

Have you heard of the 10% rule? Plan to add these “hidden” costs into your wedding budget

We all know what the major expenses are of a wedding: clothes, location, food, entertainment (oh, and that silly little thing that started it all — the ring). But every married couple will tell you not to forget the “hidden” costs, too.

A Hudson Valley bride asks...
“My budget includes the venue, my gown, his tux, the photographer, the deejay, the caterer, cake, and flowers. Somewhere I read that I need to add 10% for ‘hidden’ expenses. That scares me! I want my budget to be as complete as possible, so what am I missing?”

The Wedding Guru says...

I have heard of that 10% rule. Here are a few items you may not have considered (but should):

  • Accessories
  • Undergarments
  • Cake-cutting and corkage fees (if you bring in your own cake and/or liquor)
  • Cleaning and preserving your gown
  • Clothing and luggage for your honeymoon
  • Transportation for guests
  • Welcome bags for guests
  • Gifts for your bridal party and parents
  • Sales tax
  • Service charge to your caterer
  • Tips and meals for your vendors
  • Tips to the venue staff
  • Tips for coat check and valet
  • Donation or honorarium for your officiant
  • Church fees
  • Overtime costs
  • On-site security
  • Postage for your “thank you” notes
  • Prints of your favorite wedding photos
  • Marriage license alterations

Readers, share any I’ve missed in the comments box below!

Got more questions? Write to me at!

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About This Blog

Tying the knot shouldn't put knots in your stomach, so whether you're the blushing bride, hubby-to-be, or even a wedding guest, The Wedding Guru Judy Lewis can answer all of your wedding-related questions.

This blog hails from, the one-stop resource for services and products, promotions and specials, a Regional Bridal Show schedule, Wed Shop, and links to money-saving and wedding-related Web sites.

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