Wedding costs that every bride-to-be should be aware of


If you’ve been in a relationship for a while, chances are that you’ve imagined what your wedding day would be like every now and again.

From appreciating the small details of a friend’s ‘Save the Date’ stationery, to thinking about your first dance when the playlist skips to ‘your’ song – you know that there’s a lot of hard work that goes into making it ‘the happiest day of your life’.

So, if he does surprise you by popping the question, let that be the only surprise along the way by ensuring you already know the wedding costs every bride-to-be should be aware of. Most modern couples tend to share the expense of their wedding day, but there are a few bride-specific elements you might want to think about when you’re putting together a budget as a fiancée.

The bridal outfit

The wedding dress is likely to be the biggest single expense for a bride-to-be, but with so much choice out there from pre-loved gowns and high street ‘off the peg’ dresses to bridal boutiques and bespoke designer creations – you’re sure to find the dress of your dreams within your given budget.

While shopping for a dress you might also come across a few hidden costs.

For example, if you set your heart on a particular dress designer and find the only bridal shop to stock their designs is at the other end of the country – you’ll need to factor extra room in your budget for things like travel, parking, or even paying an appointment fee.

And, once you’ve selected your dress you may have to pay for any alterations to make sure it fits perfectly.

That being said, the bridal outfit doesn’t just stop at the dress. There’s shoes, veils, jewellery, and even lingerie to buy too. Once again, bridal accessories will fall into a range of price points so it’s worthwhile shopping around to get the best value for your money.


Beauty treatments

Every bride wants to look and feel their best on their big day so it’s no surprise that most brides tend to put a little money aside for things like hair and beauty treatments.

Quite often, brides will opt to have their hair and make-up done by professionals at the very least, with others opting for beauty treatments like facials, waxing or massages.

Combine this with the other costs of getting ready for your big day and they can quickly start to stack up, but you shouldn’t feel pressured to buy into what’s seen as the ‘status-quo’. Ultimately, you can look and feel your best without any of these extras.

The bridal party

Depending on the type of wedding you’re organising, you’re likely to have at least one bridesmaid.

Bridesmaid’s might pay towards their own outfits if you ask, but you might need to expect to pay some initial costs – especially if you do the ordering yourself.

And, from increasingly extravagant ways to ask your best friends to be at your side on your big day to thank you gifts for all their help, there seems to be additional pressure on brides to spend more on their bridesmaids too.

And don’t forget the hen party. Food, drinks, activities, outfits, travel, and accommodation associated with modern hen party celebrations can all start to add up, so make sure you stay in control of your spending.

Although none of the bridal party extras are necessary, it’s definitely worth thinking about how many bridesmaids you can afford first, before inviting all of your nearest and dearest to join your bridal party, to ensure your wedding costs stay manageable.

The flowers

Most of the costs associated with being a bride are covered before she walks down the aisle.

But, on the day itself – the typical bride-to-be usually wants a beautiful bouquet of flowers to hold as she greets her guests and poses for photographs so make sure the bridal bouquet has a small budget of its very own.


The honeymoon

With the excitement of the wedding day behind you, the bride still has a few extra bits to think of and budget for.

Before getting to spend some one-on-one time with your new hubby, brides may wish to officially change their name on their passport to reflect their newly-wed status.

Changing your name is pretty straightforward, but it does incur a cost. You can change your name on your passport up to three months before the ceremony or any time after it, by sending your marriage certificate and applying online at or via an application form from the Post Office.

Just make sure you’ve enough money left over to cover the fee.


How to cover your bridal costs

With a long wish list of wedding essentials and luxuries, covering the wedding costs of a bride-to-be alone may feel a bit of a challenge.

Shawbrook’s ultimate guide to financing your wedding is a great place to start when it comes to putting together a clear and realistic budget for your plans.

You’ll also be able to carefully weigh up the different options available to help you pay for your special day.