30 Unexpected Wedding Costs Brides Forget to Budget For

Sticking to your budget is one of the trickiest parts of planning a wedding — especially because there are so many hidden costs.
By: 
Kristen O'Gorman Klein

Guests
 

Transportation for Guests
While you’re generally not responsible for how guests get to and from your wedding, it becomes your concern if a guest gets too intoxicated to drive home. “If you can’t recruit a friend or family member to provide the necessary transportation, you’ll need to pay taxi fare,” said Warner.

wedding transportation
Photo Credit: Azelle Photography

Unexpected Guests
Inevitably, a guest who RSVP’d “no” will turn up anyway, a clueless friend will show up with an uninvited plus one, or your cousin will bring her kids even though you specifically said no kids were invited. “As rude and upsetting as this may be, it should be anticipated by planning ahead for a couple extra dinners and place settings,”  said Warner.

Welcome Bags
While these are certainly not required, gift bags are a lovely touch if you’re hosting out-of-towners. “They may include handwritten welcome notes from the bride and groom, fresh fruit or flowers, disposable cameras, bottled water, a schedule of events, brochures for local attractions, and a city map,” said Warner.

wedding welcome baskets
Photo Credit: Marie Labbancz Photography

Gifts
 

Presents for Parents and Other Family Members
You already know that you’ll need gifts for your hardworking bridesmaids, groomsmen, flower girls, and ring bearers. But don’t forget about your parents! Consider an engraved frame, an IOU for a parents’ album after the big day, or even a second honeymoon package. “It doesn't have to be costly — the emphasis should be on remembering them. But if you calculate these costs, you won't be surprised down the road," said photographer Elisa BrickerSome couples also opt to give small gifts to other family members, like grandparents and any siblings not included in the bridal party. “Purchase these gifts early in the planning process so the expense doesn’t hit you at the last minute,” recommended Warner.

Favors
Favors can cost anywhere from $3-8 (or more) per person, according to Ann Taylor of A Chair Affair Inc., which can make a sizable dent in your wedding budget depending on the size of your guest list. A few ways to cut costs: Opt for one favor per couple rather than per person; go for a DIY option if you’re feeling crafty, or skip favors altogether — they’re definitely not required, and most guests won’t even notice if you don’t have them.

winter wedding favors
Photo Credit: Jan Michele Photography