Beware of additional fees. If a deal is “too good to be true” be sure to ask questions to get to the bottom line of your event. This is good advice for buying anything, and also holds true for your wedding venue.
Working in the hospitality industry, I have heard many stories regarding hidden or additional fees that are added at the end of a bill. These unexpected charges may be enough to completely blow your budget.
Ask about gratuity and taxes. Know the percentage of these and if the gratuity or service charge is taxed. There may be a price per person that you are expecting, but you have not factored in a 20% service charge and 12% tax on top of that amount. Taxes and gratuities are something that most all venues will have. Asking ahead of time will help you prepare for your final bill.
Look at your contract. Are there any fees or percentages that are laid out in the contract? If there are questionable line items in the contract, be sure to ask prior to signing and committing.
From past weddings, I have listed a few questions that have been asked regarding additional charges. Some sites may include some or all of the items below, but it never hurts to ask.
- Is there a rental fee for the space?
- Is there a set up fee and/or clean up fee?
- Is there a rental for the tables or chairs?
- Is there a fee for table service items such as glasses, plates, and silverware?
- Is there a cake cutting fee?
- Is there a fee to bring in outside vendors such as disk jockey, cake vendor, or florist?
- Are table linens included in my meal prices or are they additional?
- Is there an additional fee for servers or bartenders?
- Is there a bar set up fee?
- Is there a fee for the dance floor?
- Is there an additional fee to get in my reception room early for decorating?
- Is there a fee to stay later than the originally contracted time?
Finally, if there are any doubts or concerns that you have that a venue may be hiding fees, ask to see a copy of a past event without any personal information to see if there are any questions on a standard bill. You can even ask for the venue to put together an idea of your bill based on rough estimates. After seeing this type of bill, then other questions may come up and you will see what other charges may occur. You can also ask the simple question of what is included. Hopefully your venue can provide you with a list of items that you will receive complimentary.