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Hidden Costs of Entertaining

Rachel Moore

Most people are aware of the major expenses involved in hosting an event — venue, music, food and beverage, decor, etc. Just as important, however, is budgeting for the hidden costs and recognizing which ones are negotiable.

Service Fees. Many venues add a service fee to their prices. These are not necessarily gratuities distributed to employees you would tip but rather an administration fee for overseeing your event. Services fees are often subject to negotiation.

Tents. Many people think that renting a tent will reduce their venue costs, but that is simply not the case. Think about it; you have to start from scratch and literally custom build a venue. Not only can the physical canopy be pricey, but flooring may cost thousands of dollars — and that’s not even taking into account sidewalls, fabric liners, generators, lighting, staging, tables, chairs, tableware, restrooms, catering equipment, permits or heating/air conditioning. The total cost for a tent and accessories can easily be more than the amount for renting an already existing venue.

Taxes. Don’t forget tax! Every vendor will charge you tax, which can really add up. Make sure you prepare for this in your master budget.

Tips. Tips are always appreciated for vendors who go the extra mile to make your function special. Consider tipping your banquet team, musicians, photographer and valet, to name a few.

Miscellaneous. Make sure you read your vendor contracts carefully. Venues have a tendency to charge corkage fees, AV fees, champagne toast fees and more. Be aware of this, and feel free to negotiate to have these fees waived, if possible.

For more information on this subject, click here for an article by Yahoo News.