Planning a wedding can be an exciting and overwhelming experience.
From choosing the perfect dress to selecting the ideal venue, there are countless decisions that need to be made. But with so many things to consider, it’s also easy to overlook some details and fine print that can lead to additional costs.
Here is a list of hidden wedding costs you should take note of so that you will be better prepared when planning your big day.
Hidden venue-related costs
When it comes to planning a wedding, the venue is one of the biggest expenses. However, there are hidden costs that you should take note of to avoid any unpleasant surprises.
1. Decoration and setup fees
If you book your wedding at a hotel, it usually comes inclusive of decorations. However, if you book your wedding at a restaurant, it is important to check if the wedding package at the restaurant is inclusive of decorations. While some venues provide decoration, there are others that simply provide the location and food. You are required to hire a florist or decorator separately to spruce up the place.
A floral wedding decoration in itself could cost from $4,000 to $7,000 for a venue decoration set up. This includes features like floral walkways, guest table styling, stage styling and a wedding arch. Should you require more features such as fairy lights, balloons, or a feature table, this will further add to the costs.
To avoid any unexpected costs, make sure to ask about the venue’s decoration policy and fees upfront.
2. Corkage and cake-cutting fees
When you book a venue, you might think what you’re paying is all-inclusive. In fact, many venues charge corkage fees for bringing your own alcohol, as well as cake-cutting fees for serving your wedding cake. These fees can add up quickly, especially if you have a large guest list.
When it comes to having alcohol at your wedding, it is always good to ask your wedding vendor if there is alcohol included in your wedding package and the additional charges per bottle. Thereafter, weigh the costs with the corkage fee and choose the option that makes the most sense for you.
Alternatively, you can negotiate these fees with the venue or choose a different vendor which doesn’t charge them.
3. Overtime charges
Wedding receptions can often go longer than expected, and some venues charge overtime fees for every hour past the agreed-upon end time. These fees can be steep, so it’s important to plan your reception timeline carefully.
To avoid overtime charges, make sure to discuss your reception timeline with the venue and plan accordingly.
Hidden wedding photography related costs
1. Additional overrun fees
Another hidden cost that couples should be aware of is photography fees. While most photographers offer packages that include a certain number of hours of coverage, additional fees may apply for extra hours.
Most of the time, it is usually cheaper to get a longer-hour package from your photographer, as compared to paying for the additional hours on the actual day. So be sure to plan adequate time for your actual day wedding photography, so that you have one fewer thing to worry about on the actual day.
2. Material costs for pre-wedding photography prints
If you are planning to display your pre-wedding photographs on your wedding day, your photographer may provide the additional service of helping you print your pre-wedding photographs.
Depending on the size and material used, this can range from $10++ (for normal photo printing) to $200++ (for large canvas display pieces) depending on your expectations. Do remember to budget for this additional expense while planning for your wedding.
Hidden costs from bridal packages
Another big expense when planning a wedding is the bridal package. However, many couples are unaware of the hidden costs that can come with these packages. In Singapore, bridal packages often include a range of services such as photography, make-up, and gown rental. While these packages may seem like a good deal at first, it is important to clarify exactly what your package includes, so that you will not be caught unawares by unexpected costs later on.
1. Additional charges for dress and suit alteration
For instance, while many packages include gown rental, there may be instances where alterations may not be included. The cost of alterations can vary depending on the extent of the changes needed, and it is important to clarify this with the bridal studio before signing a contract.
Do also note that some bridal studios may only be open to altering the length of the suit and dress and not the overall fit of it. Make sure to clarify with the studio what kind of alterations can be made to the suit and dress rental, and the cost that comes with it.
2. Charges for fake eyelashes, ampoule, and early morning surcharge for make-up artists
Couples should also be aware of the cost of additional make-up services. While many packages include make-up for the bride, there could also be additional charges.
Most of the time, if you require your make-up artist to come early in the morning on your big day, you have to pay an early morning surcharge. These conditions of course vary for different make-up artists, so do check with the one you are engaging what their expectations are on the actual day.
There will also likely be additional charges for things like fake eyelashes and ampoules, so do include those in your budgeting as well. Should additional family members or bridesmaids need make-up services on the day, these are usually charged separately as well. It is good to let your make-up artist know beforehand so that she can source for additional help if required.
Other hidden costs to take note of
1. Vendor meals
Amidst the splendour of weddings in Singapore, an often overlooked cost involves providing meals for hardworking vendors.
From photographers and videographers to your make-up artist, these professionals play a crucial role in ensuring the event’s success. Couples should cater meals for them as a gesture of appreciation, so don’t forget to budget for this in your planning as well!
2. Red packets for gatecrashing, helpers, solemniser and vendors
Source: The Wed Mag
In Singaporean weddings, it is customary to offer red packets, also known as “ang baos”, as a gesture of goodwill and gratitude.
While most couples plan for the red packets given by guests during the wedding banquet, there are additional red packet expenses that can catch couples off guard.
Firstly, during the traditional gatecrashing ceremony, where the groom and his entourage must complete a series of challenges to “win over” the bride, the groom is expected to present red packets to the bridesmaids as a way to seek their blessings.
Additionally, red packets are often given to helpers who assist in various wedding-related tasks, the solemniser who officiates the ceremony, and even to the vendors who have worked diligently to help make the day a memorable one. These cumulative red packet expenses can add up to a significant cost that couples should factor into their overall wedding budget.
3. Transport fees for photographers, make-up artists
External services like photographers and make-up artists are indispensable for capturing cherished moments and ensuring the bridal party’s best appearance.
However, hidden costs lie in transportation fees, peak-hour surcharges, parking, and even accommodation if needed.
Acknowledging and budgeting for these expenses help avoid last-minute surprises and financial strain during wedding preparations in Singapore.
Planning a wedding is a big undertaking and couples can be caught by unexpected costs. By doing your research and asking the right questions, you can avoid any unwelcome surprises.