It can take months – even years – of planning to create the perfect wedding. The last thing the happy couple wants to deal with is additional expenses for which they did not budget. At Mundo Catering, we’ve been on both sides of the aisle – as bride and groom and as wedding caterers. That’s why we make a point of connecting directly with the couple – and providing them an itemized quote which includes every last cent necessary to make the catering absolutely perfect.

However, not every company is as fastidious as us. If you and your partner are hoping to get hitched in the next few years, it’s important to understand what additional changes to look for in a bid – and what to ask about if it’s not listed.

Add These To Your Budget

While we are probably not going to cover every single hidden fee you may encounter throughout your wedding planning and budgeting, we have provided four of the most common budgetary mishaps we’ve come across in our years of catering weddings.

1. Gratuity

Most wedding vendors expect a tip as part of their services. There are a couple of ways this can get tricky:

  • Establishing who to tip and how much.
  • Remembering who has gratuity included in their services and who does not.

Let’s take these one at a time.

Who to tip?

The service industry professionals who are most likely to expect a tip include your hairdresser, makeup artist, wedding band, caterer, bartender, and wedding transportation. If you have a wedding planner or encounter wedding delivery/setup staff, setting aside some additional funds to acknowledge their hard work can be a kind gesture. Finally, you can also tip your officiant or make a donation to their church or synagogue.

The main people or businesses who will likely expect a tip are those you would normally tip in a non-wedding scenario, so if you tip your hairdresser normally, you would tip him or her at your wedding.

How much to tip?

The standard tip nowadays is between 15-25%. However, you may also consider the involvement of more ancillary staff such as the venue setup crew and provide them with $5-$10 as a “thank you.”

A wedding planner may be tipped from 10%-20%, up to $500. You can also provide him or her with a thoughtful gift.

Often the band is tipped about $15-$25 per band member, or you can tip the DJ 10% of his or her fee. This tipping policy usually only applies to people you explicitly hire for the job, so if your buddy or a volunteer church member is providing music, you likely don’t need to tip them.

Is gratuity included?

Tipping can feel extremely overwhelming, so many vendors just include it in the overall fee to relieve pressure on both parties. This is something we do at Mundo Catering, and the gratuity is explicitly stated so that you and your significant other have one less thing to think about on the big day.

If you have any question as to whether gratuity is included in an overall bid, you should ask. It can feel a little embarrassing to ask about this part of a bill, but your vendor will appreciate that you are thinking of him or her – and that you appreciate all of the hard work they are doing. So, if a quote or invoice is unclear, simply ask about gratuity.

2. Bridal Party Expenses

It is important to establish what you can and cannot cover for your bridal party before your friend or family member fully commits to being a significant part of your wedding. Being in the bridal party often comes with a lot of expenses, including clothing rentals or purchases, hair & makeup, mani/pedis, travel expenses, corsages/boutonnieres, special jewelry, and more.

Budget what you can assist with for your bridal party and what you cannot and let your loved ones know this information in advance. It’s also kind to provide them with an estimate of how much things like tux rentals or the hairdresser will cost in advance, so they are able to create their own budget. And, don’t forget to get your friends and family a “thank you” gift for being part of your special day.

3. Open Bar

An open bar sounds like a ton of fun, but it can add up – fast. One of the best ways we have seen couples defray the costs of thirsty friends is to have only beer and wine available, plus a signature cocktail like sangria. If you think your guests will want more options, you can provide a small menu and pay for a specific amount of the alcohol included. This means that when your bar runs out of tequila, there will be no more margaritas served.

4. Last Minute Rentals

Unfortunately, changes happen and occasionally last minute rentals are needed to make your dream wedding go off without a hitch. For example, if you are having an outdoor wedding here in the Pacific Northwest, you may want to budget for a last minute tent rental. If your cousin’s friend’s boyfriend’s mike that you borrowed doesn’t work, you may need to spring for a rented PA system. If you can leave $500-$2000 in your budget for last-minute emergencies, you can breathe more easily on your big day.

Finally, consider where you want any bought items to go after your big day. For example, you may want to donate your flowers to a local hospital or preserve your dress for future generations. Understanding where these items will go and having the logistics set up before the big day will put your mind at ease after the reception is over and you and your spouse want to head off into the sunset.

Are you interested in hiring a wedding caterer who provides you with the details you need to keep your wedding budget-friendly? Contact Mundo Catering today!