So you are recently engaged and looking to start planning for your wedding? Congratulations! This is a very exciting time for you, but it is also a very overwhelming time. The first thing you need to do besides setting a date is setting a budget. Sit down with your fiancé and figure out how much you want to spend on your wedding, this is an incredibly important day and one that you want to celebrate but it should not be a day to put you in to debt or further in to debt. If a venue or caterer is out of your price range, that is fine, you will find someone who is in your price range. Here are some fees that you may not be aware of:

Gratuity fees. Many venues and caterers will charge gratuity fees or service fees. These usually range from 18-20%. When you are meeting with potential vendors ask them if they charge these fees and what the fees cover. For example, with catering the service/gratuity charges cover paying the servers and that is considered the tip so you don’t have to tip on top of that gratuity fee. Here at The Leadership Center we don’t charge gratuity, but if guests feel inclined to provide gratuity those funds go towards our staff—fun activities and trainings for our staff.

Setup/Venue fees. There sometimes are fees at venues that brides and grooms don’t know about. Some venues charge for each table and chair used. Maybe it is $1 a chair and $5 a table. If you have a reception of 300 people that adds up to be an additional fee of $490. Other times venues charge you for setup, teardown and clean up. Fortunately, here at The Leadership Center the setup, chairs, tables, teardown and clean up are included in your room rental. Always be sure to ask if there are fee for tables, chairs among other things when looking at a venue.

Postage. One thing many brides and grooms don’t think about when it comes to fees are postage fees. Fees for postage very on what size the item is you are mailing. More elaborate invitations or save the dates can be very expensive to mail out. Note that postcards are a different cost as opposed to envelopes and so forth. There are many options when choosing invitations or save the dates that are cost effective and there are many options for postage. When we are mailing out the invitations for our fundraisers we choose to use Forever stamps because no matter what postage changes to they are still good.

Delivery fees. Something else that many couples don’t think about is delivery fees. When you decide to rent chairs for your outdoor ceremony or you have ordered a delicious cake for your reception, there is always a delivery fee. These delivery fees help cover mileage for your vendor. When you are looking at rentals, cakes or anything that you are having delivered, be sure to ask what the delivery fee will be that way you can prepare yourself for that cost and aren’t surprised when you see the bill.

These are just a few of the hidden fees that couples don’t think about when they are planning their wedding. When you are establishing your budget, please keep these things in mind and do research. Never be afraid to ask questions when you are meeting with vendors because you are the ones that are spending your hard earned money and it is incredibly important that you know what is going on at all times. Remember that if you can’t afford something, it is totally ok to let your vendor know that because they may have some suggestions on other vendors for you or tips in general. Planning a wedding is an incredibly daunting task and very overwhelming so take advantage of all tools that are presented to you.

Happy planning!!


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