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10 Hidden Wedding Fees That Might Surprise You (And How to Avoid Them)

posted on November 29, 2022

You are finally engaged and planning your dream wedding and all of the sudden you realize there are little costs sneaking up on you. So what should you be looking for in your wedding planning journey? We have put together 10 hidden wedding fees so that you can know and prepare yourself better for your planning journey!

As you begin the planning process, it’s important to know what to expect before making any decisions. Read ahead to find out some of the most overlooked charges and what questions you’ll need to ask so you can avoid these pesky surprises. All of the hidden fees listed below are included in Walters Wedding Estate packages and pricing – which is why booking one of our venues is much more cost-effective, time-efficient, and stress-free!

1. Flatware and Glassware

No wedding reception is complete without beautiful tablescapes, and flatware is a big part of a perfectly set, well-dressed table. Not to mention, they go a long way in setting the mood and matching the ambiance and theme of your wedding. So does your glassware selection, which includes champagne flutes, wine glasses, water glass and even cocktail-specific glassware. If your wedding package doesn’t include these items already, you may have to shell out anywhere from $200 to $500 for flatware, and $200 to $1,000 for glasses, depending on what you select.

2. Bartenders and Bar Supplies

On top of a well-thought-out dinner, your guests will also be expecting one important detail: drinks. Some couples think the DIY route helps cut costs and that’s understandable however if your venue doesn’t provide a bartender, you’ll have to find and pay for that service on your own and you will also have to source all bar items including mixers, glassware, security, alcohol, etc. Walters Wedding Estates provides a full service bar experience with everything included with no additional hidden fees!

3. Additional Servers

Some couples who opt for outside catering do so in hopes of cutting down costs. However, sometimes, the opposite happens. If you’re in the same boat, you might not realize all of the extras that are tagged onto catering or the amount of details that go into planning. Outside catering requires additional labor fees including (but not limited to) servers, bussers, attendants, dishwashers, permits, etc. Walters Wedding Estates includes all things food, beverage, and labor in our packages for an easy, stress-free catering experience!

4. Cake-Cutting Fees

Some venues and caterers charge a cake-cutting fee. Also known as a cakeage fee, this cost is associated with using the venue’s staff to cut and serve your wedding cake to your guests. Depending on the venue or caterer, this can range from $2 to $5 per person. You avoid this cost entirely by selecting a venue like Walters Wedding Estates that includes this service as part of its packages!

5. Set-up, Teardown and Delivery Costs of Linens

Linens, napkins, and table runners all play into the color palette and theme of your wedding. Rental costs are a given, but what a lot of couples don’t realize is that a lot of rental companies charge for delivery, set-up and teardown of these items. Make sure to inquire about these hidden costs while you’re shopping around, and include this question on your list when interviewing venues. Walters Wedding Estates includes linens and napkins with all of its packages so you don’t have to stress about any additional costs.

6. Catering Travel Fees

Bringing an off-site caterer? You’ll have to make sure to factor in their travel fees in your budget. This is usually determined on a per-mile basis, depending on how far they have to travel to get to your venue. Your final bill might also include service fees, off-site catering fees and rental fees, so make sure to ask the right questions before you commit to a catering service. Alternatively, save yourself the headache, and opt for a wedding venue with an in-house catering team. At Walters Wedding Estates, we offer several different kinds of catering and beverage options to suit your needs.

7. Parking Fees

Some venues don’t have adequate parking spaces, and in those cases, you’ll have to spring for additional parking for your guests. This could be anywhere from $2 to $10 per car, and sometimes more, depending on the location of your venue and its proximity to the city. At Walters Wedding Estates, you don’t have to worry about covering parking fees for guests. All of Walters Wedding Estates venues boast ample space for everyone’s convenience.

8. Security Officers

You might think that hiring a security officer is an unnecessary cost, but safety should be a top priority when it comes to your wedding. Most venues require security when serving alcohol therefore it is something you need to keep in mind when selecting your space. Hiring security officers can range from $150 to $500, but at Walters Wedding Estates, this is included in all of our bar packages.

9. Trash Removal and Cleanup Fees

Just because your big day is over doesn’t mean the fees stop! After all, someone has to take care of the post-wedding cleanup. Decor will have to be put away, plates will need to be cleared, and trash will have to be tossed. Delegating this work to your friends and family is, without a doubt, a burden on everyone involved. That’s why vendors typically bring in a cleaning crew. However, unsurprisingly, this can lead to a charge on your final bill. Don’t let this take you by surprise; ask your vendors about their cleanup costs and stay ahead of any post-wedding charges before they sneak up on you. (Hint hint: You guessed correctly. Walters Wedding Estates includes cleanup and trash removal in our packages.)

10. Taxes, Service Charges and Gratuities

These charges may be last on the list (and that’s because they’re most likely to be forgotten), but they’re probably the most important. A lot of venues tag this on after prices are given or after the event. Walters Wedding Estates includes all taxes, fees, service charges, etc. up front and itemized at the time you tour one of our venues and before you decide to book with us. No hidden fees here!

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