7 Forgotten Wedding Costs that Can Add Up

You think you’ve done it – Completed your wedding budget. You and your partner have spent hours pouring over every last detail to make sure you have dotted your I’s and crossed your T’s so you know what you can expect to spend. Everything’s there: the clothing, the favors, the food…. Or is it? Here are 7 easily forgotten wedding costs that can quickly add up!

Catering for Weddings Frederick MD

1. Postage stamps

Sending out all those gorgeous invitations (that cost you about three months’ rent!) can add up quickly. If your invitations are oddly shaped, heavy, or oversized, you could be looking at up to $2 per invitation for postage. And don’t forget return postage for all the RSVP cards! You don’t want to stick your guests with having to pay to return their RSVP, as it can put a sour taste in their mouths.

How to avoid overspending:

If you’re not set on the oversized invitations with multiple layers, think about ways you can trim down the invitations to get postage costs closer to that of a standard stamp. If you have time, try buying postage a little at a time to spread the cost out a bit. If you absolutely have to have the hefty craft paper, take a full invitation with you to the post office to be weighed so you have an accurate idea of what it will cost, and build that into your overall budget.


2. Rental shipping

Many rental companies do not include delivery and pickup costs in their pricing. Do they think you’re going to fit 200 cafe chairs into the back of your car? No, but they do expect that you’ll pony up the delivery fee at the last minute if you forget to ask about the delivery charge. Every item you rent from an outside company – linens, furniture, decor, dinnerware – may be subject to a per item or flat delivery fee, which can easily cost you up to $500 or more, depending on how far away your venue is from the rental business.

How to avoid overspending:

Ask up-front about any delivery fees or costs. Get their fees in writing, and make sure they are clearly noted on any contracts you sign. If you can, shop around to find better deals on delivery. It’s nearly impossible to avoid any delivery charges at all, so you may have to be selective about which things you’re willing to pay more for to have at your wedding, and which things you can let slide to keep costs down.


3. Overtime fees

Every person you hire for your wedding is hired for a block of time – the DJ, photographer, and videographer – and they start charging you as soon as you use their services outside that block. All these professionals should list their overtime hourly charges in their contracts, and if they don’t, get these fees in writing. Depending on your location and the fees charged by each person, this can get expensive.

How to avoid overspending:

Be realistic about how much time you need for certain services. If you are on a tight budget, consider skipping some of the getting-ready photos and video, or cut shooting time off the end of your
reception. Build an hour or two of all your necessary professionals’ overtime fees into your wedding budget so you won’t be surprised by the bill if you want to keep the party going.


4. Tips & taxes

Though all couples know you pay taxes on nearly everything you buy, and tips are an expectation for services rendered, many don’t know exactly how much to budget for these items. Because taxes and gratuity expectations vary based on your location and your vendors, it’s difficult to predict how much to expect.

How to avoid overspending:

When possible, ask about taxes and gratuity expectations. Spreading out payments for all your big-ticket items and services can help these costs feel like less of a hit all at once. If you want to be conservative in building your budget, add on about one-third of your total ticket price for taxes and tips. When selecting a Caterer gratuity expectations should be spelled out in any contract, be sure to review contracts before engaging vendors.


5. Cake-cutting & corkage fees

Utilizing the cake vendors and liquor at your venue usually means you don’t have to pay cake-cutting or corkage fees. However, when you decide you absolutely can’t do without that specialty baker or that wine from a winery you and your partner visited on a trip, you will likely have to pay per-person cake-cutting and corkage fees. These fees are charged because the staff at your venue will be cutting your cake or opening your wine, using their dishes and silverware, and cleaning up these items, the costs for which are usually built into an in-house cake or liquor purchase. Cake-cutting fees can be between $2 and $5 per person, while corkage fees tend to run $1.50 to $3 per bottle.

How to avoid overspending:

If you are more committed to keeping to a budget than to your special cake, consider working with the in-house services offered. However, if these are must-haves (and, if they are, that’s OK!), ask your venue up front about their cake- cutting and corkage fees. Get these fees in writing, and work them into your budget so you don’t have an extra fee that you weren’t anticipating.


6. Using non-approved vendors

Most venues have specific lists of florists, caterers, bakers, and DJs with whom they prefer to work. Often, especially with food vendors, this is because the venue has already obtained their insurance and other licensing, helping the venue if there’s a problem at your event.

How to avoid overspending:

If you’re on a really tight budget, stick with the site-approved vendors, or choose a venue that doesn’t charge fees for outside vendors. If you’re really committed to getting your flowers from the flower shop two towns over that’s not on the list, ask your venue about their nonapproved fees, and get the fees in writing. Build them into your final budget and, if necessary, cut back on something else to make up for the extra spend.


7. Food before the reception

Most weddings still are held in mid- to late-afternoon, with receptions taking place around the dinner hour or later. That means you and your wedding party will spend hours getting ready before anyone sits down to eat a meal as part of your special day. You and all your best pals still need to eat before the reception, so make sure you build in some extra cash for food, coffee, and champagne before the ceremony. Prices of this item will vary depending on several factors, including your individual choices, the size of your wedding party, and the area where you live.

How to avoid overspending:

Save the fancy spreads for your reception! Think simple, easy-to-eat foods such as bagels and schmear, sandwich platters, and fruit salad. Task your mother, future mother-in-law, or another family member with coordinating this so it’s one less thing you have to worry about for the day!


Weddings are expensive events. Don’t let your wedded bliss get soured by the memory of all sorts of extra fees and costs for which you didn’t budget. Factor the above-forgotten costs into your budget and plan away! If you’re looking for a quality caterer that can fit your event’s needs and budget, providing delicious food every time, contact Celebrations Catering today!

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All I can say is WOW. This catering company–Chip and his team–are nothing short of fabulous. Food and service were well beyond our expectations. Worth the drive to Thurmont–they are so professional and clearly have expertise in this business. As a hospitality professional, this catering company just blows any hotel catering I’ve experienced out of the water!