Katherine. Wedding Rings. September 23rd , 2017.
Why It`s Hidden: Most hotels don`t factor in a welcome bag delivery fee when you block rooms. And they may fail to mention the rate unless you ask—and they`ll just add it to your final bill. They may even charge you a fee for holding the welcome bags if you drop them off before the guests arrive, so make sure to ask. The Cost: Up to $7 per bag. How to Avoid it: During the booking process, ask about the hotel`s policy on receiving and delivering welcome bags to guests` rooms. It may be free or cheaper if they hand the bags out at the counter as guests check in. Rental Transport. Why It`s Hidden: You`d assume the rental companies would include these extra fees in the per-item costs (do they honestly think you`re going to fit 150 Chiavari chars in your car?), but surprisingly they don`t. The Cost: From $50 up to more than $500. How to Avoid It: Ask the rental company what their shipping and packaging fees are up front—if the cost is too high for your budget, shop around a bit. You might actually save some money by renting items from a more expensive company that includes delivery costs at no extra charge. Taxes and Gratuities. Why It`s Hidden: Even though these aren`t exactly hidden—we all know there are taxes on almost everything and gratuities are expected for almost any service—most couples don`t think about how much they`ll end up owing during the planning process. The Cost: This will depend on the total amount of money you`re spending as well as the location of the event (taxes vary by state). How to Avoid It: There`s no getting around paying taxes, but paying the entire bill in one lump sum can help lower the overall price. A safe bet: Tack on an extra third of your total costs to your budget for tips and taxes. Cake Cutting and Corkage Fees.
Why It`s Hidden: If you use the cake or liquor provided by your reception site, the charge is typically wrapped into the cost. Going with an outside baker or your own wine can raise the price. Why? Because your venue`s workers are responsible for slicing and serving each piece, then cleaning the dishes—and this means more work for their staff. The Cost: From $2 to $5 per guest for the cake; from $1.50 to $3 for every bottle the staff opens. How to Avoid It: Be up front. Ask about cake cutting and corkage fees before you decide to go with an outside source for either. Cleanup and Breakdown Costs. Why It`s Hidden: Many couples spend so much time planning the actual day they forget to budget for what happens when it`s all over. The Cost: While a full-service venue won`t charge for these things, if you`re paying a flat fee to rent only the space, anticipate additional charges for garbage removal (up to $250) and cleaning (up to $500). And even most full-service venues require same-day setup and cleanup. So if you`re getting married on a weekend, expect to pay time and a half for labor, and if your party goes into the wee hours of the morning, you may face extra charges for late-night pickup and cleanup. How to Avoid It: Read your contract carefully—the setup and breakdown costs should be included in the labor charge. Non-Approved Professionals. Why It`s Hidden: Some venues require you to use caterers or florists from their preferred pros list—and tack on a fee if you don`t. The Cost: Usually an extra 20 percent or more. How to Avoid It: Stick to their list of preferred vendors, or choose a venue without one.
Act as a host throughout the day. Does Aunt Jane need help with directions to the reception? Does it look like the cake baker and caterer are having a disagreement? Did Uncle Mike ask for a vegetarian dinner and not get one? Does the bride`s grandfather look like he wants to dance but doesn`t have a partner? Did the groom`s father get stuck in an elevator right before his big speech? (Trust us, it happens.) Take it as a cue for you to step in and help where it`s needed, acting on behalf of the couple and their families—especially for things that the newlyweds definitely don`t need to be bothered with or know about. Tie up loose ends at the end of the wedding. Create a list with the couple or their parents ahead of time of any vendors that need to be paid when the night is over, so you can be the point person to hand out checks. Also, keep an eye on the gift table and card box, and delegate help bringing gifts and cards into a secure room or someone`s car after the party`s over. Take care of the bride`s wedding dress after the reception.
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