Unexpected wedding costs to budget for

8 unexpected wedding costs to budget for

Finally get to go ahead with wedding plans post-Covid? Lockdown had you thinking it was time to tie the knot? If you’re planning a wedding, budgeting is key! Here are the common unexpected wedding costs it’s easy to forget about, and a few tips to save some cash.

Postage and printing

Gold embossed card invitations might suit your wedding vibe, but they might cost more than the groom’s suit. Plus there’s the postage – with standard letter stamps costing $1.20 each. Then there’s save the dates, menus, ceremony programs, table numbers and name lists plus thank you cards. Budget-friendly options include online invites and skipping the unnecessary on-day stationary.  

Marriage license 

A marriage license in New Zealand costs $150 and is a common unexpected wedding cost. Unfortunately no amount of charm or begging is likely to get you a discount, and it’s an essential part of a wedding in the traditional sense of the term. But hey it’s 2020, so if you’d prefer to skip the official paperwork, you do you! Just remember you won’t be able to officially change a surname without a wedding certificate.

Dress alterations

If you’re buying a wedding dress off the rack, chances are it’s going to need some alterations. A hem brought up, a waist let out, or straps added can equal hundreds of dollars. Remember to include this in your dress budget, or play it safe with a designer white dress minus the ‘wedding’ price tag. 

Bridal accessories

You’ve got the dream dress, the to-die-for shoes, but it doesn’t stop there. It’s easy to forget the accessories when preparing your budget. You’re going to need the right lingerie for that dress, some bling for your hair, stunner earrings, maybe even a veil for full ‘I’m the bride’ impact. Then all those boys need ties, and even socks to keep their style in check. 

Guest favours

A wedding is a small gift offered to each guest. It’s a polite thanks for coming, but something for everyone can quickly add up. Don’t forget to include it in the budget, or simply choose to thank everyone in your speech instead.


Unless you or a close friend are make-up artists, you’re probably wanting to get the pros in for your big day. Depending on the size of your bridal party, make up and hair costs can quickly add up. If you’re looking to save cash, consider a simple blow wave which will be significantly cheaper than a ‘wedding up-do’. Alternatively, opt for a DIY straighten for a sleek look.


Unless you’re getting married in your hometown, chances are you’ll need your own accommodation. Best to book early before all your guests nab the best spots! Since the guys and the gals typically get ready separately, you might need an extra location.  

Pre and post wedding outfits

In all that wedding prep craziness, it’s easy to forget a killer outfit for any night before and day after celebrations. Real friends and family won’t judge you for an outfit repeat, but if you do want something new, just don’t forget to budget for it.

The truth is, weddings are expensive! Even with a well thought out budget, costs can easily get out of hand. If you’re looking for a personal loan to help get you down the aisle, The Lending People can help with super easy applications and instant decisions! You’ll be saying ‘I do’ in no time.