Planning a wedding may seem straight forward, but couples may fail to notice that there are hidden wedding costs in nearly all the contracts you sign. Not to worry, we have listed 6 common hidden charges that accompany most weddings to avoid any last-minute surprises.
It’s time to post your lovely invitations to your guests. It may seem simple but most stationers don’t advertise shipping costs, the cost varies depending on the size, design, and weight of your card. If you are sending out a vast amount of cards the total postage cost can add up, consuming a large chunk in your wedding budget. We advise to keep your card simple, avoid large awkwardly shaped invitations.
Wedding Dress Alterations
You have found your dream wedding dress, but there are a few minor alterations that need to be carried out. Most bridal stores do not include the cost of alterations, and steaming (Trust me you will want your gown steamed before the wedding). When you are about to commit to a purchase, have all your questions ready.
Nearly all weddings these days include entertainment, in fact most wedding planners recommend that the couple hire some sort of entertainment so that they can drift away for a few minutes (weddings can become overwhelming). Entertainment can mean anything from DJ’s to live performers. The hidden costs you may endure with musicians for example can be the cost of extra equipment, musicians or live performers charge clients by the hour for their presence only, this does not automatically guarantee the equipment or costumes. If you are hosting a wedding outdoors, or in a large area extra equipment may be required, performers may require to hire these equipment, leaving you with a costly final bill. To avoid these hefty prices, when you meet with your suppliers (before signing a contract) explain to them the layout (have them check it out if they can) as well as the number of guests attending. If they want to add in extra equipment, have them explain why it’s necessary before signing a contract or agreeing to pay for anything else.
When booking photographers, videographers, and DJ’s they usually present you with hourly packages. If your wedding runs a little longer than you expected, or for whatever reason your entrance gets delayed they will either leave early, or charge you extra per hour. Before agreeing on a package, plan your wedding day schedule, leaving an extra hour in for any uncalled for interruptions. It’s always best to discuss the overtime charges incase they should occur (remember not to agree anything verbally). You will then know what to expect if you decide to continue the party.
Some suppliers may require extra fee’s for delivery of the goods (i.e. Chiavari chairs, Cakes etc.). We recommend shopping around before you seal the deal. Check if you can acquire a third-party transportation company, as they may offer you a competitive rate. However don’t be surprised if your supplier doesn’t agree, or asks for an extra deposit to insure the goods are not damaged during transportation. You may also find that renting supplies from a slightly more expensive company will work out cheaper as it would include delivery costs and no extra hidden charges.
Venues are the biggest masterminds behind hidden charges, they are not technically hidden because if you read the 15 pages they supply you with (which no body does) you will find that these costs are not particularly visible to the eye.
- Cake: If your venue suggest that they can supply you with a wedding cake, this does not mean it is complimentary, you will most probably have to pay extra for it. Therefore it is often more cost-effective to choose a third-party baker.
- Corkage fee’s: It may seem like a cheaper option at the time, but bringing your own bottles include extra charges, such as corkage. Also the bottles you provide must be locally purchased (tax and duties paid) unlike those purchased from the airport duty-free.
- Clean up/Breakdown costs: So much time is utilised planning the actual day, that the aftermath is complete forgotten about. Don’t forget to budget for the extra cost of cleaning, and damaged goods (if applicable). On most occasions full serviced venues do not charge guests for cleaning up, however some do, if you’re using confetti for example provided by a supplier, the hotel may charge extra for sweeping. If your party goes into the wee hours of the morning, you may face extra charges for late-night pickup and cleanup. To avoid these charges you must again read your contract thoroughly, to ensure the clean up and even set up costs are included in your overall package.
- Taxes and Gratuities: There are taxes on almost everything these days, depending on our venue and location these taxes are usually calculated around your total spend. Unfortunately there is no way of getting around paying taxes, but paying the entire bill in one lump sum can help lower the overall price.
- Supplier Restrictions: Some venues may refuse couples using third-party suppliers such as florists etc. in this case they should provide you with a list of suppliers they deal with. If you are uncomfortable with their suppliers, we suggest choosing a venue that don’t have these restrictions.
Last but not least, remember that certain venues may charge you a serving fee for cakes or alcoholic beverages that have not supplied by them. Why you ask? because your venue’s workers are responsible for slicing, and serving your guests.