We know, weddings are expensive. Really expensive. It seems like everything keeps adding up, including things you never realized you’d have to pay for! Well, unfortunately, we have a few more costs you will want to ask your vendors about when planning your reception. While you may hate these, we’ll admit, kind of silly extra expenses, we know you’ll thank us for bringing them to your attention now!
Set up & Take down
Many venues (and sometime catering) will have a fee for set up and take down for your reception. Understandable, since they have to pay people to do the job, but make sure you ask what those fees are. Are there some things you can have friends set up before and take down after to cut down on the cost?
As you probably know, most catering companies charge by the plate, which tends to include the actual plating of the food for each guest. Check to see what those fees are. Would it be cheaper to do a buffet or family style for guests to serve themselves?
If you’re looking at booking the perfect venue, be sure to check about their recommended companies for things like flowers, catering, etc. Many places will charge extra for you to use vendors they don’t normally work with, and if you need to save the money but don’t like their exclusive vendors, you may have to find a different venue.
There is almost always a delivery fee, so your tent, flowers, cake, etc., costing extra to be delivered shouldn’t surprise you, but do ask about what the cost is. Can you have someone pick up any of these otherwise delivered things to save money?
Venue Furniture Fees
Of course, the lounge chairs, tables, and dining chairs are gorgeous and are perfect additions to your wedding theme! However, make sure you check to see if there are any fees that come with using them. They’re taking into account the accidental spill, tear, crack, or anything that comes with guests using their furniture (guests that may or may not have been hitting the open bar one too many times…).
Cake Cutting/Serving Charge
Like the meals, caterers or venues can charge a cake cutting fee per guest. Ask about how much this could be, and then see if there’s an easier way to get around it. Have a dessert table, or have a sliced sheet cake already plated and allow guests to take pieces as they wish instead of having the cake served to them. This cost may be higher if you use outside bakers, so see what the caterer/vendor offers for cake options if it’s cheaper.
You may think bringing your own wine will save money, but some venues charge a fee since it’s their servers that have to pour, and then clean the glasses. If you’re having an open bar, it may be more cost effective to pay per head, no per drink, as many vendors will try to push. It may be cheaper to bring your own booze, too, but again, check with serving cost and really do the math, it won’t always save you money in the long run.