Let’s be honest… you may have considered your wedding budget, but with various unanticipated expenses-- it’s hard to consider ALL of what your wedding will cost you. These sneaky costs can put any wedding budget in danger. We’re here to fill you in on exactly what those costs are, so you’ll be prepared to handle your wedding budget like a BOSS.
Venues can be a HUGE area where couples make big mistakes, but you don't have to. Here’s what to consider when budgeting for your wedding venue.
Service Charges, Sales Tax, and Gratuity
Most venues have a service charge, sales tax, and an automatic gratuity that aren’t included in the advertisted price. What you don't know can easily take you from a comfortable venue budget to an additional $2,000 to over $6,000 at your venue in no time. Make sure to ask what these charges look like at your prospective wedding venue to avoid any hiccups in your budget.
Food & Beverage Minimums
Some venues may have a food and beverage (F&B) minimum. This F&B minimum allows you to utilize their space as long as you guarantee that you will spend at least X amount of dollars on the food and beverage associated with the wedding. This can get tricky if you don’t truly understand what you’re guaranteeing.
Let's say the F&B minimum requirement for the venue is $5,000. This amount is not the total that food and beverage will cost you. This means that you have to spend AT LEAST that $5000 on food and beverage alone. So if you have 60 guests and the menu item you want to go with is $45.00/person, you’d be at $2,700. This means you’d have to add food or beverage until you get to the minimum, even if it’s not necessarily needed. On the other hand, say you have 100 guests and the lowest menu item is $58.00/person, the total would be $5,800 and would not be reduced to the F&B minimum.
In other words, the F&B minimum is just the start of the cost.
The formula looks more like this:
+ Service Charge (F&B minimum * 20-25%)
+ Taxes (F&B minimum * 8.25%)
= TOTAL VENUE COST
A practical real wedding example:
F&B Minimum = $5,000.00
+ Service charge = 24%
+ Tax = 8.25%
$5,000.00 + ($5,000.00 * 24%) + ($5,000.00*8.25%)=
$5,000.00 + ($1,200) + ($412.50) = $6,612.00
PRO TIP: Always remeber that your food and beverage minimum is the least amount you have to spend, NOT what your actual wedding will cost.
Bonus Venue Fees to Consider:
1. Bartender - Some venues require you to use their bartending services if alcohol is being served and these fees can range from $75 to $175 depending on the venue.
2. Parking/Valet - Is there self-parking for your guests? Valet might be a requirement.
3. Food Station - Ask about any hidden fees associated with food stations.
4. Cake Cutting- Some venues charge an extra fee for staff to assist with cake cutting.
The more you know about hidden or unexpected fees, the easier it will be to plan, stick to, and crush your wedding budget goals.
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