Trying to figure out a budget for your special day?

Here I've comprised a list of 8 things you may never have even considered in your planning! We all automatically think of the big 4.... venue, photographer, flowers and celebrant.... but it's the little details that often get over-looked.

Truth is, weddings are bloody expensive! The modern wedding can cost over $15k! There's often a lot of ways to keep the costs down. Whether that's electronic invitations, buying the flowers and doing bouquets and design yourself, or even buying decor secondhand. There's plenty of wedding buy/sell pages on Facebook that brides use to move on their old decorations... some of the things have never been used!

Hopefully this list helps x


Fancy embossing on luxury paper might suit your wedding style, but sometimes stationary can cost more than the groom's suit. The standard letter costing $1.20 each to post. Then there’s the "save the dates", menus, table and name lists, plus thank you cards. I'm probably even forgetting something there! You can save a lot of money by choosing to do electronic invites, skipping the need for unnecessary on-day stationary. Chalkboards are a novel way of decorating the venue - especially if you get the children of the family involved.

Clothing alterations

Chances are your dress is 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, because even those secondhand dresses with "the right measurements" can turn out to be not quite right. Or you could play it safe with a designer white dress minus the ‘wedding’ price tag. 

Guest favours and Gifts

These are 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. You can also choose to send out thank-you cards after the honeymoon - but this can also be a small cost too.


Chances are you’ll need your own accommodation. Especially if you're looking at an overseas wedding! Best to book early before all your guests nab the best spots. You also may need to consider another location for the guys and the girls typically get ready separately.

Marriage license 

A marriage license in New Zealand costs $150 and is a common unexpected wedding cost. It’s an essential part of a wedding. You also need to remember that you won’t be able to officially change a surname without a wedding certificate

Bridal accessories

You’ve got the dream dress, the to-die-for shoes, but it doesn’t stop there. 

Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue...

Jewelry, lingerie, hair accessories.... the list will go on!


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.

Pre and post wedding outfits

Stag do, hen's night.....

Prep robes/Bride and Bridesmaid robes for the girls getting ready...

Or even if you want a second dress for the reception (because most do)... outfits before and after the ceremony can also take a bit of thought and money.