Wedding List of Expenses
If you are looking for a detailed list of wedding expenses so you can adequately budget, then you have come to the right place.
Cutting the most significant wedding expenses can save you money.
Weddings are costly.
We are not here to sugarcoat anything.
Nothing is worse than starting a marriage in debt, so we genuinely advocate using a detailed wedding budget to ensure you stick to what you can afford.
If you recently just got engaged, well, Congratulations!
Now you can look forward to planning the wedding of your dreams.
Or are you feeling overwhelmed with h how much weddings cost these days?
You, my friend, are not alone.
My Facebook group of brides planning weddings all feel the pressure of finances.
So there is no denying that it could cost you an arm and a leg just for planning a simple wedding.
Wedding planning with extra special care for the budget can take effort from even the most organized couples.
Whether you already have your wedding budget set, with a vendor payment checklist made, and everything is going to plan, you might come across some wedding expenses you might have missed.
We don’t blame you.
You have probably never planned a wedding, so thinking of everything can be overwhelming.
Encountering unexpected expenses can completely throw you off your game entirely.
Due to financial limitations, thousands of couples find having the wedding they imagined challenging.
Having a big picture of how much everything can cost will save you a lot of headaches down the line, as this allows you to see where you can cut unnecessary wedding expenses.
It will also help you save money for your wedding.
I have encountered many brides who freak out when they realize how much an average wedding can cost.
But when they realize it, cancelling or eloping might not be the right choice.
To help you plan a realistic wedding budget, we will share exactly what you can expect to pay for your wedding and any unexpected costs that can pop up along the way.
I recommend you go through this wedding list of expenses to help build a realistic budget you can stick to.
You can make a better plan when you have a detailed list of all wedding expenses right in front of you.
Here are a few things we will cover today
A wedding budget breakdown list
A list of all expenses for wedding planning
A short wedding expense list to refer
And a list of unnecessary wedding costs
We all know the main expenses like the wedding dress, venue and catering will be one of the more significant portions of your wedding budget.
But what about those that aren’t so obvious and can catch many brides and grooms off guard?
Planning a wedding (whether big or small) is a massive investment of your money, time and energy.
You don’t want to waste either.
Every wedding is unique because you want a wedding that defines you as a couple.
Your list of wedding expenses will look much different than the next person’s.
What you find important might not be as essential to you as the next person.
You will have to start your wedding list with the essential items you want to have on your big day.
With all this information, determine what wedding vendors you need and decide precisely what you can afford.
Create a detailed budget plan for wedding expenses and how you will pay for everything.
When you are researching the wedding vendors you want to book, you can use our vendor’s checklist printable, take notes and quickly scan them against your wedding budget to see if they work for you or not.
Then go through the list of wedding expenses you might not have thought of, so you are prepared and can make changes to your budget before it’s too late.
So what are the wedding expenses?
Before we get started on our detailed list of wedding expenses to expect, we wanted you to take the time to like our Facebook Page here! We also use affiliate links in our blog posts, meaning we can make a commission if you use any of our affiliate links.
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How much does a small wedding cost?
Your wedding costs will significantly depend on where you are hosting your wedding.
The country, town, and city will significantly affect your wedding expenses and the amount you are expected to spend on your wedding.
You will need to call two to three wedding vendors to get a detailed list of expenses in your area.
Once you start to budget, you will learn that wedding food is not cheap.
On average, a plate of a 3-course meal is typical $50 to $60 per person.
And in some places, you can even spend upwards of $100 per person for a wedding.
ValuePenguin surveyed the United States to calculate the average cost per guest for a wedding, which is an exciting read!
The average cost of a wedding in Canada differs from elsewhere.
The Wedding Budget Broken Down
There are a lot of things to consider when allocating your wedding budget.
You will need to decide on your needs realistically and wants list.
There is always a lot of pressure that comes with weddings.
I am sure you might feel you need to please everyone from families to friends.
Without being a bridezilla, remember this is your day.
The most important part of planning your wedding is making the choices that matter most to you.
Wedding cost breakdown list & what to expect to pay
Again your wedding expenses and costs will significantly differ from couple to couple and country to country.
We wanted to share a complete list of wedding expenses you may not have had on your list.
The most significant wedding expenses are typically the venue, food and entertainment.
If you are on a tight wedding budget, cutting your number of guests will significantly reduce costs.
Grab your wedding budget checklist to enter your numbers and estimates.
But look at these wedding cost breakdowns documented by The Knot and compare prices.
Wedding expenses checklist:
- Venue – $16,107
- Wedding Photography – $2,783
- Reception band/music – $4,156
- Florist – $2,534
- Videographer – $1,995
- Wedding dress – $1,564
- Groom’s attire – $280
- Wedding cake – $582
- Ceremony site – $2,197
- Ceremony musicians – $755
- Invitations – $462
- Transportation – $859
- Favours – $268
- Rehearsal dinner – $1,378
- Engagement ring – $6,163
- Officiant – $278
- Catering (price per person) – $71
- Wedding day hair care – $119
- Wedding day make-up – $100
As you can see, a wedding can cost a lot depending on the type of wedding you are having, the number of guests and the location of your wedding.
An itemized list of wedding expenses is a good idea to help set a realistic wedding budget.
Use this quick wedding expenses checklist as a guideline.
Prices tend to go up, and this list was the average wedding cost list at the time of this post.
You will need to pick up the phone and call each wedding vendor to determine the costs.
Don’t forget also to grab this easy-to-use wedding vendors checklist printable right here!
List Of Wedding Expenses You Didn’t See Coming
They are a lot of hidden wedding costs that couples do not put into consideration when it comes to planning their big day.
And even when you think you have created the perfect wedding budget, these extra wedding expenses can throw your whole account off track!
When you have an overall picture of potential expenses for a wedding, you can make proper decisions based on that.
Here is a wedding expenses checklist to track during the wedding planning:
1. Cake Cutting Fee
One of the expenses you will have to make is the wedding cake but what about cutting the said cake?
This is one of the most forgotten wedding expenses that couples neglect.
Many wedding vendors charge an extra $1.00 for each cut slice.
Cake cutting fees are usually charged by your wedding venue when a cake is brought in by an outside bakery not affiliated with that venue.
If you have 100 guests each wanting a slice, that could be an extra $100 that you didn’t even think of.
Enquire about this with the relevant vendors to ensure you’re not cut short.
2. Extra Power
Holding a wedding can use a lot of power from the extra lights and band equipment.
Make sure that when booking a venue for your reception, they either include this factor into their pricing or have an extra power price plan before booking.
3. Extra Time / over time
Time is money, as they say, and it can be an expense that can catch many out.
Wedding venues will have specific times for arrival and how long you can stay, so if you want more time at a specific venue, you may need to pay for this.
4. Guest Transportation
This is a factor, especially for those with their wedding ceremony and reception in different venues.
It’s one thing to arrange transport for the bride and groom, but what about everybody else?
Look into this when thinking about having two separate venues and making everything run smoothly on the day.
5. Wedding Vendor Meals
One of the other wedding expenses is not thought about by many couples.
Between the photographer, musicians and wedding planner doing long hours, it could be up to you to feed them.
Discuss this with your vendors beforehand and make arrangements with your caterers to cost out the potential additional meals.
6. Wedding Dress Alterations
You want to look your best on the day, and whether you are buying a dress off the rack or custom-made, one extra expense could be the alterations required.
If you buy your dress in advance, it’s possible that you could lose or gain a couple of pounds before the big day so consider this when planning for additional costs.
Wedding alterations for your wedding dress are expensive.
I have seen quotes starting at $400 and as high as $1100.
If you have not included this on your list of wedding expenses, better add it now.
7. Pre-wedding Beauty Expenses
You want to look good on your wedding day, which means doing a beauty regime before that big day.
The beauty industry is a multi-million industry.
You need to account for these beauty trips you might do on your bridal budget.
I know brides that sign up for gym membership to achieve that wedding weight loss.
Spray tanning, wigs/hair extensions, manicures and pedicures, massages and everything else you do to keep up with your beauty routine.
A trip to a beauty parlour costs thousands of dollars.
Did you account for these expenses on your wedding planning budget?
Try these beauty affirmations to get through the stresses of wedding planning, and grab this incredible Beauty & Glow Up Planner.
8. Wedding Day Accessories
Your wedding day accessories include anything from wedding jewelry, headpieces, your veil, clutch or even something blue/borrowed.
Don’t forget the wedding shoes.
Some couples also purchase comfy shoes to change into later during the reception.
All of these can set you back $500-$750.
9. Marriage License Fee
On your wedding list of expenses, don’t forget to account for everything you need to make your wedding official and legal.
Marriage licenses typically must be obtained 30 days before your big day, depending on your location.
The average cost is around $50 to $150.
You might even face additional fees for processing.
Be sure to check.
10. Taxes and Tips
It’s advised and greatly appreciated that you tip your wedding planner, musicians, drivers and other people that help put a wedding together.
A great way to save for this is to put a little by each week and put them away in an envelope marked for each person.
This helps take away the stress and unexpected cost of the day.
11. Wedding Insurance
Most venues will have insurance covered for indoor weddings.
But if you want to have an alfresco ceremony, you may have to pay extra due to the insurance fees incurred.
If you want to have an outdoor experience, make sure to inquire about this before booking.
12. Thank You Notes
After the big day and after you’ve enjoyed your honeymoon, you’ll want to thank your guests.
Even a simple thank you card can be a cost you weren’t expecting.
The budget for this and look at different options beforehand, so you are not left out of pocket or unable to formally thank your guests.
13. Fancy Stamps
Stamps and postage costs can become relatively high when you consider sending wedding invitations and thank you notes to 150 people.
Consider this when budgeting for your stationery, or take the digital option.
Wedding websites are becoming very popular not only because of their cost-effectiveness but also their Eco-friendliness.
14. Your Bachelorette Party
Things have become expensive for everyone.
And bachelorette parties are not what they once used to be.
Brides want lavish parties that they may not even afford.
And expecting your bridal party to foot the bill is not a reality, especially if your perfect bachelorette party idea is a week or weekend away.
Unfortunately, this is one wedding expense you will need to add to your list and wedding budget.
15. Accommodation For Night Before
If you do not have enough space to get your respected bridal party ready at your house, you will need a room or an Airbnb booked the night before.
Most couples do not accommodate this cost on their list of wedding expenses.
You might even have to book two nights to accommodate your needs.
Either way, this wedding expense needs to be accounted for.
Other Wedding Cost Expenses To Consider
Here is an additional list of wedding expenses to consider.
Make sure you think of every little thing to have the money in case it pops up later.
- Oher outfits for pre-wedding events
- Honeymoon or Mini-moons
- Additional wedding guests
- Wedding planners
- Post wedding events
Unnecessary Wedding Expenses:
According to most brides I have asked, many couples spend money on unnecessary things.
As you know by now, weddings are not cheap.
Throwing away money that could go into building your future together is irresponsible.
But sometimes, you might want certain things; after all, you only get married once.
I suggest you sit down with your partner and look at all the different ways you can save on your wedding by eliminating unnecessary expenses without ruining your wedding vision.
- Wedding favours
- A reception dress
- Save-the-dates (unless it’s a destination wedding)
- Multiple locations for venues
- Imported wedding flowers
- Wedding cake
- DIY wedding projects
Check out the complete list of over 50 unnecessary wedding costs you can eliminate immediately to save some money.
Ways To Track Wedding Expenses
You will need a great tool to track all your expenses.
My wedding budget planner has a wedding expense tracker you can use to stay organized with wedding finances.
You can also grab this wedding budget worksheet to help determine if you can truly afford a wedding at this time.
It is easy to become overwhelmed by all the small details needed to plan a quick wedding.
You must stay focused on your end goal.
Working with a checklist is key to ensuring you do not miss anything important.
We have created a quick list you can follow along with to help you keep track of things.
Our wedding vendor payment tracker for couples is straightforward and an excellent way to keep track of all the money you’re spending on your big day.
And there you have a complete list of expenses for a wedding!
Which wedding expenses were you not prepared for?
And did we leave anything out?
Leave us a comment below.
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Check out our wedding printable shop to get more checklists, printables and everything you need to plan a wedding.