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How many of these hidden costs were you factoring in to your wedding budget? I would bet that there is at least one or two things that weren’t on your list!



Not every venue requires you to have wedding insurance, but most venues in the DMV area do. It is relatively inexpensive and you can purchase it a few months before the big day. Check with your venue for any specifics that you need to include in the policy- the amount of coverage they require or the type of insurance. Your vendors might also need to provide their Certificate of Insurance (COIs) to the venue and if they need to pay to become additionally insured as an extension of their current insurance, you might pay for that as well.


One of the biggest frustrations with wedding attire shopping is stating your budget, finding the outfit of your dreams at that price point, and finding out that you then need to pay more for alterations and tailoring- I get that the cost is often a curveball you weren’t quite expecting.
Ask clarifying questions as you shop- Is this fabric more expensive to alter? Can we order customizations that might help reduce the cost of alterations later on? Alteration costs can vary wildly depending on the design of the dress and tailoring can also be pricey. It can be frustrating and costly to go with a place that charges a flat rate if you’re only shortening the hem, and likewise, a dress with beading that has to be painstakingly removed and then hand stitched back into place will naturally cost more, so a flat-rate tailor may be more cost-effective for you. Suits are often more cut and dry when it comes to the price of tailoring.


Save the dates, invitations, thank you notes- you are going to be using a TON of stamps! Make sure that you get your invites measured and weighed so you make sure that you are posting them correctly- the last thing you want is to have all of your invites returned and need to resend them. They may also have to be hand-canceled, especially if they include bulkier or more fragile design elements like wax seals. This can sometimes incur an additional fee.


Most vendors, if not all of them, require a meal for each one of their team members. Your vendors are on site for hours and hours (and many times all day) to facilitate your big day- it is a kind thing to provide them with a warm meal and a place to take a break.
Vendor meals do not cost as much as guest meals, but depending on the scale of your event and the number of vendors you have, this line item can sometimes be a shock. Check your contracts to see how many you need to provide; not every vendor requires a meal (for example, hair and makeup artists are usually only on site during the getting ready stage of the day, and may not need to be factored in). Also, your catering team is generally taken care of by the business- so you don’t have to worry about feeding the 15+ members of your catering team!


If your venue doesn’t have a built-in rain plan, factoring in the cost of a last minute tent rental can take some couples by surprise. Oftentimes, due to limited availability, tents will have to be booked in advance whether or not you end up using them. While you generally won’t owe the full amount if your forecast is clear skies, you will lose your deposit. Consider it peace-of-mind insurance, and be sure to factor it into your budget- that is the cost of dealing with the weather gods.


Getting married in DC? Be prepared to pay for valet services for your hair and makeup artists and tolls for your transportation team. Travel fees can range, depending on the vendor and the distance, to reimbursing for gas, to paying for flights/hotels, to paying for travel time.


If your caterer doesn’t offer a basic table setting package, or your venue comes with tables but they don’t fit your vision, you may have to rely on furniture, linen, and tabletop rentals- and this can get PRICEY. Some chairs can get up to $30/chair, but if you have a specific picture in your head be prepared to add a few thousand to your bottom line. Also factor in rental delivery fees and staff, this line item can be much, much larger than you expect!


As always, we can help you figure out how best to move forward in any scenario, to maximize your wedding budget, and minimize those unpleasant costs and hidden fees through full planning or partial planning service- let us help you make a plan for every step of your big day!