Weddings are among the most expensive life events, and really the sky’s the limit on how much you can spend. But, when you’re deciding how much to spend and how much money to allocate to certain things, it’s important to also prepare for unanticipated wedding expenses. There are actually quite a few unforeseen costs involved in hosting a wedding that you might not have given a second thought.

The Wedding License

While many couples focus on the ceremony itself, it’s important to remember that the legally binding part of your marriage is your actual wedding license. You’ll need to give yourself enough time to apply for, pay for and complete your marriage license. While fees vary by location, a marriage license typically costs between $50 and $100, not a huge amount, but you want to include it in your budget.


If you’re planning on hosting your wedding at your home, at a local park, or even on a beach, you may need to apply for a permit with the town or township where your wedding will occur. Generally the cost to obtain a permit is typically low, around $50, but the cost can increase to $250+ depending on your state and where you are planning on hosting your wedding. And, no, it’s not in your best interest to not apply for a permit! The relatively low cost of the permit comes with the peace of mind, to be able to legally host your guests in your chosen locale without fear that authorities may put a stop to the festivities.

Wedding Insurance

Wedding insurance policies typically cost under $100 and can increase from there. But…Without a doubt, the cost is worth it! Wedding insurance policies typically include General Liability Insurance, which is often the main requirement that venues may insist on, in order to host your event. Your wedding Insurance protects your venue from a lawsuit if any of your guests get injured (highly unlikely, but it’s best to plan for every possibility). Policies also offer you financial protection for any property damage to a venue during an event (again, we know this is highly unlikely but has been known to happen). Sometimes policies even include wedding cancellation provisions that will help to protect the financial investment you have made into your wedding, in case of any unforeseen mishaps.

Postage… Yes, Postage

This shouldn’t come as a surprise, but it’s often an easily overlooked wedding expense! Many couples forget to factor the cost of invitation postage into their wedding budget. Not to mention the cost of mailing out save the dates and thank you cards after the big day. Also, wedding invitations often cost more to mail because they typically weigh more, or are a different size or shape than traditional mail, which also increases postage cost. Make sure to keep this in mind when budgeting for your overall stationery total.

Meals for the Vendors

When you’re totaling up the final RSVPs to get a final headcount, make sure you don’t forget to add in the vendors who’ll be at the event. Typically your vendors are considered guests in terms of your total headcount and they will require a meal. Your wedding planner, photographer, videographer and entertainment are vendors who are often on-site for the full wedding day or reception and it is expected that they will receive a meal. After all, no one does their best work hungry and you don’t want your vendors to have to go offsite to grab dinner.