6 Hidden Wedding Venue Costs That Can Break Your Budget

By Jim CampbellJim CampbellJim CampbellJim is the owner of Honeymoons.com. A lifelong traveler, Jim's wanderlust has led him to spend months living on the Mayan Rivera, instruct SCUBA diving in Croatia, sail from San Diego to Hawaii, and cruise the Caribbean on a catamaran. Jim launched his honeymoon business while planning his own honeymoon in 2019. Since then, he has helped thousands of honeymooners plan their trips through his honeymoon travel agency.Meet Our Team | Updated on February 1, 2024 | Posted In: Weddings

When planning a wedding, the very first and most important thing you MUST do is to come up with a budget to work with. Without a budget, it would be easy to go crazy on the most expensive venue, dress, food, and anything else you can find. Your wedding is going to be one of the most important days of your life, and you want it to be excellent, but by sticking with a budget, you can still create the most fantastic event within a reasonable amount of money that has been agreed upon.

Your wedding venue will most likely be one of your most significant expenses so today, we wanted to tell you about a few hidden wedding venue costs that can seriously break your budget. We hope that if you know about these hidden costs before you book your venue and put down a deposit, it could save you a whole lot of stress and money!

Here are the hidden wedding costs you want to be sure to watch out for:

1. Arriving early to get ready

You may have the time booked for your event, but if you are having both your ceremony and reception at the same venue, you will most likely need to get there early to get ready. Many venues have a room for the bridesmaids to relax, do their makeup, and hair spend time together, so you do not have to rush around.

Some locations allow this extra time to be included in their venue cost, but some may not. Be sure you find this out ahead of time, so you are not surprised later on!

2. A sound system for your ceremony

A DJ or band will provide the sound equipment at the reception, but do not forget about the ceremony if you will be saying “I do” at the same location as your party afterward. You will most likely be playing music or have someone sing while the bridal party walks in and bride is making her grand entrance.

If you do not have too large of a space and your having a small, intimate wedding, you can most likely get away without a sound system, but if you are at large venue with hundreds of guests, you will want to have a microphone and speakers so that everyone can hear what is being said.

Sometimes, the DJ or band can include their equipment to use during the ceremony, but if not and you will need to use equipment from the venue, check with them first to see if it is an additional charge.

3. Going over your time allowed

Everyone is having a blast and you want the party to continue a little while longer. That is awesome! Your wedding is a success!

That is all wonderful and fun until you get your final bill from the venue who has ended up charging you for an additional hour or more. Find out ahead of time what time you have the space for and what (if any) charges you will incur if you stay past your allotted time.

Also, keep in mind the time it takes for you to pack up everything after the event – check with the venue to make sure that time does not count!

4. Using the venue’s chairs and tables

With many places, including most hotels have their table and chairs included, but if you are having your reception at a unique venue, sometimes they will charge you for using their chairs.

Using the ones they have will most likely make things easier for you, so you do not have to worry about another vendor, plus they will do the setup and breakdown of them, but knowing ahead of time if you will be charged for using their chairs is important because this hidden wedding venue cost could really bring up your final total.

5. Do they charge wine-corking or cake-cutting fees?

Some venues require you to purchase your alcohol and cake through them but if you are using a separate bakery or brining your own wine or alcohol, some venues may charge a fee for wine corking or cake cutting.

They do this to help pay back a little of the cost of what they are losing on you bringing in your own items from elsewhere.

Some may not charge anything at all for this, but if they do, you want to know ahead of time so you are aware. This should be something stated on the contract that you get before you sign and provide a deposit.

6. Find out what the service charges and tax will be

You always want to get a contract when you are booking a wedding venue that states everything that you will be purchasing including the hours you have access, how many times you can come ahead of time to see the venue for planning purposes and all the other items here we have discussed. At the end of the contract, make sure the total price you have to pay includes any service charges and taxes. Just those 2 things can bring up your cost decently, so it is important that is factored in early of your budgeting.

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We hope this post about hidden wedding venue costs has been helpful for you. Do not hesitate to ask about any of these items when you are meeting with a venue… it is best to ask beforehand than to not and be surprised when you get your final bill.

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