The Wedding Budget Broken Down

The budget is set, the checklist made and everything is going to plan.

That is until you come across an unexpected expense and it throws you off your game entirely.

We all know the main expenses like the wedding dress, venue or flower arrangements that go into a wedding.

But what about those that aren’t so obvious that can catch out a lot of brides and grooms.

We’ve put together a list of 10 wedding expenses that you might not have thought of, so you are prepared and can make changes to your budget before it’s too late.

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How Much Does A Small Wedding Cost

Your wedding costs will greatly depend on where you are hosting your wedding. 

The country, town, and city will greatly affect your wedding expenses and the amount you are expected to spend on your wedding. 

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 did a survey in the United States to calculate the average cost per guest for a wedding and it is an interesting read for sure!

The average cost of a wedding in Canada is definitely different for weddings elsewhere in the world. 

Looking for a breakdown of wedding expenses to expect? Weddings can be expensive. Without a proper wedding budget you need to be aware of unexpected wedding expenses you need to know about #weddingexpenses #weddingbudget #weddingspreadsheet

Wedding Cost Breakdown

Again your wedding expenses and costs will greatly differ from couple to couple and from country to country.

But take a look at these wedding cost breakdown as documented by The Knot:

  • Venue – $16,107
  • Photographer – $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
  • Favors – $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 end up costing a lot depending on the type of wedding you are having, the number of guests and location of your wedding. 

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 definitely through your whole account off track! 

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.

A lot of wedding vendors charge an extra $1.00 for each cut slice.

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 in advance with the relevant vendors to make sure you’re not cut short.

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 that they either include this factor into their pricing or have an extra power price plan in place before booking.

Extra Time 

Time is money as they say and it can actually 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 to have more time at a specific venue you may need to pay for this.

Guest Transportation

This is a factor especially for those that have their wedding ceremony and reception held 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 to make everything run smoothly on the day.

Wedding Vendor Meals 

One of the other wedding expenses 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.

Talk this over with your vendors beforehand and make arrangements with your caterers to cost out the potential additional meals

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 take this into consideration when planning for additional costs.


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 on the day.

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 really want to have an outdoor experience make sure to inquire about this before booking.

Thank You Notes

After the big day has passed and you’ve enjoyed your honeymoon, you’ll want to say thank you to your guests.

Even a simple thank you card can be a cost that 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.


Stamps and postage costs can become quite high when you take into consideration sending wedding invitations and thank you notes to 150 people.

Take this into account when budgeting for your stationery or take the option of going digital.

Wedding websites are becoming very popular not only because of their cost-effectiveness but also their Eco-friendliness.


How to pull off a frugal (not cheap) wedding on a budget

10 Ways To Stretch Your Wedding Budget  (cheap wedding ideas)

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Don’t forget to join our Wedding club for more tips on planning a wedding. We have plenty more ways for you to create a budget for your wedding which will email you directly.

10 Wedding Expenses You Did Not Plan When Preparing Your Budget