For every venue type, from a luxury hotel to a rustic barn, there are a number of associated rental costs—and some of them, you’ll never see coming. Check out this guide to the hidden costs behind four popular wedding locales to keep in mind before you sign the dotted line.
Venue: A Barn or Summer Home
Barns and summer homes are the perfect backdrops for a beautiful, simple wedding. But getting them into good-enough shape for your guests can require lots of work—and lots of money.
If the venue doesn’t have a restroom nearby, you’ll have to bring them in—and you probably want something a little nicer than a basic portable toilet.
- A Generator
Sometimes electricity is limited or nonexistent. That means supplying it falls on your shoulders.
Spiders, dust and dirt are the last things you want to deal with on your wedding day. You may have to hire a commercial cleaning company or wrangle up your best friends and family to help make the venue wedding ready.
Unless your barn has a lot of windows and your wedding’s not an evening one, it could get awfully dark in there come nighttime.
- Table/Chair/Place Setting Rentals
Unless your barn is a full-service venue then you will have to take care of everything from tables, chairs, napkins, plates, etc.
Venue: The Great Outdoors
We love the romantic vibe of outdoor weddings, whether they’re in public gardens or backyards. Nevertheless, being exposed to the elements requires some extra precautions.
- A Tent
Rain or shine, the wedding must go on, so having a plan B is crucial. Did we mention that tents need lighting? And you’ll probably want to decorate those plain white walls too.
Getting married in a public place, like a public garden or beach, often requires buying a permit, paying a location fee and/or getting insurance. You will need a liquor license as well if you want to serve alcohol.
- Dance Floor
You don’t want your friends’ heels getting stuck in the mud or slipping on the grass. Speaking of which: Dance floors on grass need subflooring, for an extra fee.
- A High-Powered Sound System
It’s much harder to hear at an outdoor wedding than an indoor one so you will need to make sure you have an adequate sound system.
Venue: Destination Weddings
It doesn’t get more exotic or fun than traveling to a faraway location for your wedding day. But beware: Tying the knot out of town doesn’t come cheap.
- Multiple Planning Trips
You’ll probably be making at least one visit to your wedding location before the actual event, so factor transportation, hotel and food expenses into your budget. And, of course, you’ll also have to pay for the costs of the actual wedding trip.
If you are bringing decorations from another location you will have to get them there somehow and you may need to pay extra to get them there. You may decide to bring in your makeup artist, hairstylist or photographer too which can add up to HUGE costs.
- Regional Marriage Requirements
Research and budget for these in advance. Most countries require you to be in the country for at least two to five days before the wedding.
- Exchange Rates and Taxes
These could make every single expense pricier than you expect (especially with our sinking Loonie!) although depending on where you go, you could save money.
- A Second Reception
It’s inevitable that not everyone will be able to travel to your destination of choice. Are you planning a celebration at home for those who missed out? Add that to your cost list.
Venue: A Hotel
Hotels offer a serious convenience factor with onsite wedding coordinators, hotel accommodations, and public restrooms but they still have additional costs that may not be included in your package deal.
- Corkage Fee
Bringing in outside alcohol? Not going with the hotel’s set liquor selection will almost certainly cost you extra.
- Cake Cutting Fees
Most hotels are fine with you supplying your own wedding cake but they will most certainly charge you for cake cutting and serving.
You might have so much fun that you just keep begging to hear one more song at the end of the night. That’s great, but know that most hotels will charge you by the hour for running over your allotted time.
Wedding venues have a slew of hidden costs that you may not have thought of. What other hidden costs are missing from this list? Please leave your comments below!