Avoiding Hidden Fees at Your Reception

Hidden FeesEverything about a wedding reception is expensive. From hiring a caterer to renting the venue, you can expect to shell out a pretty penny before the event is over. Like most purchases in life, and especially for your wedding, there are always going to be ways they try to trick you into adding additional costs to your wedding reception. Some of these hidden fees will be quite obvious and require only some simple adjustments to eliminate, while others will be a little trickier to spot. Nevertheless, avoiding hidden fees at your wedding reception is as easy as paying attention to every detail and we will cover some of the easiest ways to do just that.


One of the biggest expenses you will incur while hosting a wedding reception is the cost of alcohol. If you are planning to have an open bar, you can kiss goodbye to several hundred, if not several thousand, dollars. As alternative, if you’re trying to keep things a bit more affordable, you do have a couple of options that will allow your guests to enjoy alcohol but not have it affect your bottom line. The first method is to have everyone bring their own alcohol. This is by far the cheapest option, and it ensures everyone gets to drink what they like. The second is to have a cash bar where the guests pay for all their drinks themselves. Regardless of which you choose, they will be a lot cheaper than paying for all of your guests to drink out of pocket.

Extra Plates

While it is customary to feed your guests at the reception, etiquette tells us that your vendors such as the photographer will also need to be fed. By eliminating as many vendors as possible, you can eliminate the cost of extra plates as well as the cost of the vendor’s service.

Cake Cutting Fees

After you do the initial cake cutting as a couple, you likely don’t want to stand there cutting the whole cake up yourself. Many venues offer a cake cutting service as an option, but this is a hidden fee you don’t need. You can either recruit someone to cut the cake for you or have each guest cut their own piece to save a whole lot of money.

Free Parking

Though most people overlook the parking situation all together, you may regret that decision if you have your wedding reception in the city. Many places downtown won’t have any areas for free parking, so that can really add up fast if you’re not careful. Either you will be asked to repay all the parking fees by your guests, or they will have to go through the inconvenience of paying out of pocket for their own parking. Either way, the need to pay for parking can be a very bad experience for everyone and bleed into the mood of your celebration.