Some of the costs associated with planning a wedding are obvious, such as renting the venue and booking a DJ, but others are more discreet. So if you’re planning to tie the knot in the near future, keep reading to learn more about the hidden costs of planning a wedding.

Cleanup Costs

Many venues will charge a clean fee to remove garbage and other unwanted items from the property once the wedding is over. This fee can range anywhere from $50 to several hundred dollars, depending on the venue’s terms. So, how can you avoid the cleanup fee? Take the time to read the venue’s contact so you’ll know exactly when the cleanup fee is charged and how much it costs. Some venues may require a cleaning deposit that is refunded if you meet the cleaning obligations set forth in the contract.


It’s easy to overlook the cost of postage when you’re busy planning a wedding. After all, how much can it really cost to mail invitations? If your invitations are larger than standard letter size, awkwardly shaped, or if they weigh more than one ounce, you could end up spending $2 bucks a piece in postage alone. Compare prices with USPS, UPS and FedEx to determine which parcel service offers the best price. And remember, you’ll need to mail wedding invitations, save the dates and thank you cards.

Vendor Overtime

Of course, some vendors may charge overtime fees if your wedding goes beyond the specified time listed in the contract. To avoid this financial headache, create a detailed timeline of your wedding and stick to it!

Cake-Cutting Fee

Some reception venues may offer to bake and serve your wedding cake, eliminating the need to hire an outside baker. If you choose an outside baker, the venue may charge a “cake-cutting” fee of $2 to $5 per slice, simply because the venue’s staff must slice the cake and clean the dishes. Cake-cutting fees can quickly add up for medium-to-large-sized weddings, so read the fine print when choosing a venue.

Marriage License

While not a huge expense, you’ll still need to cough up some cash for a marriage license. Depending on your state of residence, this can range anywhere from $25 to $100.

Wedding Dress Alterations

If you need your wedding dress altered (and most brides do), consider taking it a professional tailor instead of using the store’s in-house alteration service. Most wedding dress boutiques offer in-house alternations, but you can expect to pay a premium price as opposed to using an outside tailoring service.