The Sneaky Six — Don’t Forget to Include These Things in Your Wedding Budget

Planning a wedding is an exciting journey filled with dreams of love and lifelong commitment. However, turning those dreams into reality often comes with a hefty price tag. As you embark on the path to matrimony, the question of how to manage wedding expenses can loom large. In this article, we’ll explore invaluable budget tips ensuring that your special day is as magical as you’ve envisioned, without breaking the bank.

It is advised to set your budget at 75% of the maximum amount available to spend. Inevitably, there are details that are excluded from the planning and therefore the budget. Setting aside a small reserve ensures that there is enough money to cover all the costs of the wedding and reduces stress. These are some of the most common items that couples forget to include.

The Marriage License

Yes, you must pay for that! The cost of a marriage license in Virginia varies by county. Expect to pay between $30 – $35 and be sure to note the forms of payment that are accepted at the county office. This is a small, but often overlooked cost.


You’ve included the cost of your attire, alterations, and accessories. Don’t ruin the look by failing to have the proper support (or socks)!


Wedding invitations printed on lovely, weighted stock with multiple pages will require more than the standard postage. Formal invitations should include a response card with postage attached to save guests the trouble of having to find a stamp and risk receiving the response after your deadline or not at all. Ask your stationer how much postage is required and take one complete invitation suite to the post office to confirm the cost.


Planning to stay in a hotel the night before the wedding?  Want to keep the hotel room until you leave for your honeymoon on Tuesday?  Great! Plan for those extra room nights in your budget.

Wedding Day Meals

You’ve asked wedding attendants to join you six hours prior to the start of the wedding so you can get ready together. Feed them! It’s going to be a long day and you’ll need some energy to get through it. Additionally, make provisions for wedding vendors that will be with you more than four hours (i.e., the band/DJ, coordinator, photographer, videographer).


Remember you are paying for services. Gratuity should not be expected by any vendors. However, if a vendor goes above and beyond your expectations and the agreed upon services, add an additional 10 – 20%. The DJ, MC, band members, makeup artist, manicurist, stylist, photographer, videographer, and wedding planner/coordinator do not typically have gratuity included in their service cost.

Nadia S. Anderson is a CPA, Certified Wedding and Event Planner, the Owner of Virginia Grace, an Event Management company focused on planning luxury weddings and coordinating events at Lavender Hill an intimate garden venue in the heart of Richmond. To learn more about how her team can help you create stress-free wedding memories, please visit To learn more about the venue, visit