When planning a wedding, sticking to a budget can be so tricky! This guide will walk you through the common hidden costs that you might not think about when it comes to wedding planning. Be prepared financially for these hidden costs that no one told you about when planning a wedding in NYC!

Accessories can be a hidden cost when planning a wedding
Christina getting ready at the Hoxton Hotel

Tailoring Fees

Buying a sample dress can seem like a good deal at that time but keep in mind how much it would cost to get the dress to fit your body. Tailoring fees can cost so much depending on how much changes you have to make to the dress.

Gratitutituy Fees

Preparing a tip amount for your vendors can creep up on you! Be sure to budget in gratuity fees when hiring your vendors.

Corkage Fees

If you have a special bottle of champagne that you would like to pop at your wedding, be sure to ask your venue what their corkage fees are. If your Father in Law is planning on buying a special bottle for each table, this can quickly add up!

Having too big of a guest count

When you are thinking of your invitation list, think about the people who love you and genuinely would want to be there for your wedding. Inviting a long lost friend or a family friend who you talk to once a year could be an additional cost that you wouldn’t want to incur. When planning a wedding in NYC, the guest count is so important when budgeting. For instance, a meal per person for a NYC Wedding can average to be $250/person. On top of that, renting a chair can cost $10, wedding favors can be $5-7 each and any menu cards, invitations, postage can cost up to $12-$15 per person. The cost really can quickly add up!

Overtime Fees

Even if you foresee your event ending right on time, ask your venue and vendors beforehand what their policies and pricing is if your event ever goes over time. This is something that you may not be able to control and having a budget for this would not have you stressing out when an unexpected bill comes from your vendor after your wedding.

Purchasing a Photo Permit / Entry Fees for Photo Locations

One of my favorite locations in NYC to shoot at is the Top of The Rock. Although beautiful, it can be really costly to have your wedding photos here. Entry fees are around $50 per person after taxes. You should be budgeting this for around 4 people – you and your partner, your photographer and your wedding planner/Maid of Honor. Entry Fees for your wedding fees can quickly cost you $200!

Related Article: Engagement Session at the Top of the Rock

Bridal Party Gifts

While planning for my wedding, I knew that I wanted to pay for my bridesmaids dresses. After all, they would be your “free Labor” for the day – helping you with setting up, being at the guest check in table, helping you clean up the venue after the wedding ends etc.

For our Chinese wedding, It would not have been possible without the efforts of our bridal party. On top of bridal party gifts (which included a bathrobe and earrings), we also included a red packet for each member.

Of course, you don’t have to go all out but we knew that we wanted to thank these important people in our lives and budgeting for gifts was one of our priorities.

Gifts for the Parents/Grandparents

Gifting our parents was another hidden cost that we did not really think about. Some gifts to consider could be jewelry, skin care products or even a hand made gift! After all, it is the thought that counts and I am sure your parents would love anything you give them!

Day Of Stationery

You’ve just started your wedding planning and are scrolling through Minted to find your dream wedding invitation set. What you might be overlooking is the day of stationery that can be easily forgotten.

This can include:

  • Names of Guests Printed on Cards
  • Menu Cards
  • Religious Booklets – e.g. Hymns/Sermon Messages

Vendor Meals

Don’t forget to feed your vendors! Your vendor would probably have started shooting your wedding in the morning and by the evening, energy levels are low. Providing your vendor a meal is usually on your vendor contracts but also it will hugely benefit you too! If you have your vendors energized, they can continue to work on their maximum capacity and document your night the best way possible.

Day of Coordinator

For those brides who like to be in full creative control when planning their wedding day, hiring a wedding planner might not be top of the list. When they slowly come to realize that they do not want to be there after the wedding to make sure that personal items would be returned to their hotel rooms, and that the venue is cleaned up, hiring a day-of coordinator could be something that wasn’t planned for but necessary at the very last minute.

Wedding Party Attire

Paying for your bridal party outfits + your ring bearer outfits + your flower girls outfits can slowly add up. You may also wonder why a five-year-old white tulle dress could cost up to $250 but trust me, IT CAN. It may sound ridiculous to you at that time, but wedding costs really can add up!


When planning for a wedding, you may be thinking – Oh , I would just need a wedding bouquet and a floral arch for the ceremony. And then you go on Pinterest, Pin a bunch of dream wedding photos and send it to your florists for a quote. You would quickly see how this can add up. Be sure to also ask if your florists charge any transport fees.

This is what I would suggest when asking your florist for a quote.

  1. Bridal Bouquet + Bridesmaids Bouquet
  2. Groom Boutonniere + Groomsmen Boutonniere + Boutonnieres for both fathers
  3. Hand Corsages for both mothers
  4. Bridal Car Florals
  5. Ceremony Arch
  6. Loose flowers for your flower girls
  7. 2 Anchor Florals for the end of the aisle
  8. Floral Centerpieces for each table

Additional Entertainment for your guests (e.g. A photo booth or an Ice cream cart)

When thinking about your guests’ entertainment for the night, you might want to add a photobooth in as a nice gift for your guests.

Some couples also provide late-night food for their guests who are partying through the night.

If you are thinking about gifting your guests with these sorts of entertainment, be sure to think about whether your guests would appreciate it and if it is worth the money.

If you know that your guests would just want to be on the dance floor and not really utilize these services, maybe consider opting this out of your wedding.


You’ve just said YES to your dream wedding dress! After dropping 5 G’s on your wedding dress, you might not have thought about the accessories to go with the dress.

Wedding Shoes, earrings, and a necklace to match can quickly add up to be another 1.5 G!

You might also want to budget for a veil. A veil can average around to be $250 – 300 depending on what type of veil (cathedral, bird cage, two-tier, fingertip) and detailing you go with (is it plain, does it have embroidered or painted details?).

Additional White Dresses for your Bachelorettes Party, Rehearsal dinner, Bridal Shower

Very often, a wedding becomes a wedding weekend! Be prepared to be dressed to the 9s!

Check out this post for my recommended list of white dresses for any bride to be!

I hope you found this article helpful when budgeting for potential hidden cost for a wedding

Related Articles: 30 Questions to ask your Wedding Venue in New York City

Related Articles: How to plan a NYC Wedding under 5k

20 Hidden Costs that no one told you about when planning a wedding in NYC!

June 17, 2020




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