Your vendors' quoted prices may sound all round and final during your informal discussions, but that's before tips and overtime enter the equation. Couples can do themselves a big favor by giving contracts with bartenders, hair stylists, valet parking attendants and other vendors a second read before assuming gratuity is or isn't included.
"If you don't see that there's already a 22% gratuity in your limousine contract, you could make the error of tipping them again on the wedding day -- since you're proper and always tip," Naylor says. "Review that fine print in each of your contracts to be sure you know who already has their tips in their fees and who gets tip envelopes on the big day."
That goes for your venue's contract, too. If couples are trying to save a little cash by buying their own alcohol, for example, they may want to check the fine print to see if their venue includes a per-bottle corkage fee for that off-premise booze."Same goes for a cake-cutting fee: If your venue did not provide your wedding cake, they may charge several dollars per guest to cut and serve your cake," Forrest says. "One way to get around cake-cutting fees: cupcakes! If you have a self-serve cupcake station, most venues won't charge the extra fee." It also pays for couples to have a wedding coordinator or designated point person watch the clock. Overtime fees can be very hefty, so knowing the overtime clause in a vendor's contract can get them out the door on time and save the couple money. Naylor advises cutting the cake a half-hour earlier in the night so you can release your photographer/videographer after getting the important footage. "For on-the-clock experts and services, like your limousines, classic cars, entertainers, photographer and videographer and wedding coordinator, brides and grooms have to know what's in the fine print of their contracts when it comes to potential overtime charges," Naylor says. "Does the clock start when the expert arrives at your site, or does the clock start when the cars/vendors leave their parking lots? That's a very important factor to know, especially if you booked experts whose home bases are a half-hour away."
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