Bride’s Guide: Finding a Wedding Venue 101-Part 3

So it is time to get down to business. You’ve done your research and thoughtfully selected a reasonable number of venues to view. On paper, all of these locations could potentially be crowned “the venue”, but it’s imperative that you get all the facts. We have talked a lot about asking the right questions but the questions below, are getting down to the nitty gritty; the budget.

Budgets come in all different sizes, and every bride has her own opinion of where a majority of her money should be spent. Some brides will make long term investments with a pricy but talented photographer while the foodie bride will pour a bulk of her funds into amazing cuisine and to die for dessert. With all the budgeting you do for your big day, you have to the question “how much is this really going to cost me?” With so many hidden fees to consider, make sure you are looking for the items that might not be spelled out in your price breakdown.

Service Charge and Sales Tax


Image courtesy of Fairy Tale Photography

Most venues don’t include this information on their pricing since these fees are usually implied. Uncle Sam always gets his piece of the pie. Unfortunately, his slice could total over 10% of your budget so make sure you do that math. Also remember that service charges could range from 18% to 25% so getting that cost is equally important.

Clean Up and Break Down

Unless your venue is all inclusive and includes set up and break down in their cost, this rate could be an expensive one too. Some locations charge a flat amount to take care of everything before and after the wedding, while other will charge for everything from setting up favors to throwing away trash.

Cake Cutting

Image courtesy of Fairy Tale Photography

Expect a cake cutting fee if your venue offers cakes in their packages, but you decide to use a baker that is more in tune with your style and vision. Usually charged to take care of the servers to cute and serve the cake to your guests, anticipate this particular price to range anywhere from a whopping $1 to $5 a slice.

Non Approved Vendors

All venues have different opinions on outside vendors. If using businesses that showcase your style and fit in your price point is important to you, make this one of the first questions you ask. If you aren’t careful, you may be restricted to your venues list of pricey suggestions that don’t exactly fit your mold.

I hope everyone enjoyed our 3 part series! Check back next week when we reveal our first Real Wedding.