Beware of These 5 Hidden Wedding Costs

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Hidden wedding costsAs I’ve mentioned many times before, the average cost of a wedding continues to rise.  As if the skyrocketing costs aren’t bad enough, if you’re soon-to-be-married you now have to deal with a plethora of hidden costs as well.  I’m not saying these are fabricated costs derived by the modern day equivalent of a snake oil salesman, but the costs on this list tend to be subtle and often are not itemized.  Thus, the only way to manage these expenses is to be aware that they exist so you can discuss them with your prospective wedding vendors.

One hidden cost is the provision of cleanup fees at the reception venue.  Most all-inclusive venue packages will include the post-reception cleanup, but if you are paying to rent the space only then you might be on the hook for it.  For example, garbage removal might cost an additional $100-$200, and cleaning fees could approach the $500 range!  So definitely ask the questions necessary to know what you are getting for your venue-rental dollar.

Another cost you might not plan for is overtime.  Generally speaking, your service vendors (DJ, videographer, etc.) will be scheduled for a set number of hours and anything beyond this threshold will result in hourly overtime fees of up to $250.  Avoid this by carefully planning the logistics of the day so you do not run into any unanticipated delays.

The third hidden wedding cost is cake cutting fees.  Yes you heard that right – cake cutting could actually result in additional fees!  This happens if you self-source your wedding cake and have the venue staff do the cutting.  The additional work involved with cutting the cake, serving it, and collecting and washing the cake dishes could add $2 or more per guest to your tab.  The best way to avoid this is to go with a reception venue that will also include the provision of the wedding cake as part of its package.

Another surprise cost relates to extra musical equipment.  If your venue is very large, it’s possible that your DJ or wedding band will need to bring in extra equipment – like additional speakers, microphones, extension cords, etc.  And of course, with this comes yet another extra cost that generally encompasses several hundred dollars.  So always discuss the layout of the venue with your potential music providers before making the hiring decision.

The final hidden cost is postage for your wedding invitations and thank you cards.  Postage is generally not an emphasized aspect of the total price when you’re shopping for wedding stationary, because the bigger and more elegant styles – which provide more profit for the vendor – usually require additional postage beyond a single stamp.  This could equate to $2 or more per invitation.  Avoid this by following the KISS principle when it comes to your stationary (keep it simple, stupid!).

Now that you understand the 5 most common hidden wedding costs, you can make better financial decisions when planning a wedding.  The bottom line is that as you are shopping around for service providers, always ask lots of questions around the cost inclusions, and when possible get the itemized costs in writing.  Good luck!

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