Surprise Costs with Weddings and How a Planner Can Save You Money


 Weddings are an investment and can come with a pretty hefty price tag depending on your style and location of choice. I want to make sure you are prepared on what to expect when it comes to budgeting and how you can use those precious dollars the most effective way possible. As a Pensacola Wedding Planner and Month of coordinator we get to see it all. We review all contracts and invoices, so we know all the ins, outs and in-betweens of our client’s events. Over the last four years we have spotted a few areas that almost sound hidden and our clients were surprised when they went back over their invoices.

Labor fees: Typically, most rental companies, florists, some bar services and some wedding venues will charge a labor fee. Your labor costs will go up if you are having a beach wedding or ceremony, because sand is involved. Beach weddings require more hands-on deck and further carrying distance of the rented items.

Additional Meetings/ Cancelled Meetings: Have you thoroughly read through your contract? In many local wedding venue contracts, you will find fee clauses for extra meetings or meetings that have been canceled last minute. I don’t necessarily think to many vendors follow through with these clauses, but they are not items to ignore.

Vendor Meals: You have finally gotten your final RSVP and now you can relax and get that number to your catering company…. But did you remember the extra meals you promised your vendors… in their contracts? Most wedding vendors ask that they are provided with a meal on the wedding day typically these vendors include the (DJ or Band, Photographer, Videographer, Bartender, Wedding Planner, Photobooth and any assistants they might have) This could be adding an additional 5-15 meals depending on your vendors. A way to save money would be to ask your catering company if they specifically offer a vendor meal option; most of the time they do, and they are at lower rate than a typical guest.

Taxes and Gratuities: In the state of Florida, specifically Escambia county there is currently only a sales tax on tangible items like rentals or flowers or printed photo etc. Services are exempt from taxes which is why it is great to double check all of your invoices. For example, your DJ will not charge you tax on their service of playing at your wedding, but if you rented their up lighting package you would be charged for the rental of the lights; which are tangible.

   Another area that can surprise my clients might be when I mention that their catering bill or bar bill contains a gratuity. Most of the time you will find this with wedding venues who provide catering or bar service and it is to help compensate their servers or cover the venue manager’s salary. On average we have seen this number range from (18-25 %). This should be a major factor to review before you book your venue, because the food and beverage is one of the highest line items for weddings. If your adding an additional 25% to your total food bill… that affordable $1000.00 venue just got a lot pricier.

These are just a few areas we see overlooked on the final line items in the wedding budget. We want to make sure our clients fully understand the contracts they are signing and are aware of all the charges and fees listed in the clauses. As a Pensacola Wedding Planner and Month of Coordinator we strive to educate our couples and give them the most enjoyable wedding planning experience. Our services go beyond just planning a wedding, we create relationships, remove the stress of the unknown by educating on today’s wedding industry, and empower our clients to fully embrace their wedding to the fullest.