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Photo/Video Overtime

Why it's hidden Your wedding photographer and videographer are booked for just a certain amount of time, so if your wedding runs a little longer than you expected, they'll charge per hour.
The cost Starting at $250 per hour

How to avoid it

When planning the day, factor in extra time for getting dressed and taking photos. You'll get a realistic sense of how long everything should take. Refer to this itinerary when booking your photo/video vendors.

 Welcome-Bag Delivery

Why it's hidden Most hotels don't factor in a welcome-bag delivery fee when you block rooms. And they may fail to mention the rate unless you ask -- they'll just add it to your final bill. Inquire within; they may even charge you a fee for holding the welcome bags if you drop them off before the guests arrive!

The cost Up to $7 per bag

How to avoid it

 During the booking process, ask about the hotel's policy on receiving and delivering welcome bags to guests' rooms. It may be free or cheaper if they hand the bags out at the counter as guests check in. If you don't want the extra charge, you can distribute them at the rehearsal dinner.

Rental Transport

Why it's hidden You'd assume that the rental companies would include these extra fees in the per-item costs (do they honestly think you're going to fit 150 chiavari chairs in your own car?), but surprisingly, they don't.

The cost From $50 up to more than $500

How to avoid it

 Ask the rental company what their shipping and packaging fees are up front -- if the cost is too high for your budget, shop around a bit. You just might find that you'll actually save some money by renting items from a more expensive company that includes delivery costs at no extra charge.


Why it's hidden Even though these aren't exactly hidden -- we all know that there are taxes on almost everything -- most couples don't think about how much they'll end up owing during the planning process.
The cost

 This will depend on the total amount of money you're spending as well as the location of the event (taxes vary in different areas).
How to avoid it

There's no getting around paying taxes, but paying the entire bill in one lump sum can help lower the overall price, especially in the winter when vendors have fewer weddings to cover their bills.

Coat Check

Why it's hidden When you book your venue in the summer, it's easy to forget just how cold it'll be in winter months like December.
The cost

The damage starts at around $200.
How to avoid it

 Union rules may dictate the number of people who are required to work the coat check (and the amount they get paid). Have a good approximation of your total guest count when you book the coat checkers.


Why it's hidden Many couples often think that the "service charge" is a tip for the event staff when it's actually an additional fee that the catering halls charge. For what? To cover their own cost for hiring servers.
The cost

 Typically 15 to 20 percent of the event's total food and drink fee

How to avoid it

Once you get the proposed fee, add the service charge percentage so it's already accounted for before the event. The last thing you want is to get hit with an unexpectedly huge bill that just about breaks the bank.

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