Corporate and Special Event Catering Blog

6 Hidden Costs Your Event Venue Maybe Charging You

Posted on Sun, Feb 6, 2011 @ 08:49 AM

Venue Shot Aspen Catering

What is the real cost of your venue? Are there hidden costs in your contract?

Some event and wedding venues offer you their pricing in a rental rate sheet which outlines the actual cost of the space. However, there can be some hidden costs worthy of exploring like:

Set up and Breakdown:

Seems that should be included in the rental price, but many venues charge this in addition to the actual room rental. Depending on the size of the venue, the man power it takes to set up and break down a room, this fee can be in excess of $500 for each of the activities. Let’s face it – you wouldn’t want a site that wasn’t set up for your event, not does the venue want to leave it set up for only your event, so the activity does have to happen, but, does it have to happen for an additional fee?


Do you have to have it?  Most venues will have staff members present during the time you’ve rented the space; however, some venues require this additional cost under certain circumstances.  Ask your rental agent if there are fees and what they are, prior to signing any contracts.

Some examples of when security services might be necessary:


It’s in the venue’s and the hosts’ best interest to have security present when alcohol is being served simply to control the crowd and to watch out for “over served” guests. The host can be liable for incidents and injuries resulting from the over served guests – at the venue and beyond. Check your state liquor laws to learn more about your potential liability.

Venues can also mandate who can do the bartending.  Again, it’s in your best interest to have a professional bartender manage any and all alcohol being served. They will either have their own bartenders who you will have to use, or, they should be able to refer you to local professional bartending sources.

Crowd Size

Depending on how many guests are expected, there may be a size at which the venue needs crowd control. For example, a group of 50 people, more than likely, can be managed by the venue staff.  Should things get out of control, or an emergency arises, the local authorities can be summoned to manage the group.

If the expected number of attendees reaches upwards of a hundred to thousands, then some sort of crowd control should be expected and may be required for an additional fee.

Venue Type

If your venue is a museum, government owned building or some other fascinating place, just because of what the venue is, can determine that security must be in place.

Tables, Chairs and Linens

Are there additional fees for these items as well? Some places include the tables and chairs and charge a nominal fee for any linen they might own while some places charge for every table, chair and linen needed for your event. Prices range dramatically, so ask the venue what they charge and then call a local rental company and see what they would charge including their delivery fee, to make an educated decision.  You also want to see a sample of all of these because they might be so worn or used, they might also look that way.

Rental Start Time

You may have decorations you want to put out, or your caterer needs time to set up and dress the tables, or your florist needs to make a delivery but what time is your actual rental start time?

Some venues will give you a set time prior to party time, say one and a half hours prior to the event’s actual start time. Others may charge you for any time you need prior the start of the actual event. Typically this is in hours, so, if your caterer needs 3 hours of set up time, then you’d need to “purchase” additional hours to be granted access to the space.

Rental End Time

Some venues will indicate when your event must be over when guests must leave, for example, all guest must vacate by midnight.  There are some venues that will charge you additional fees in increments of 15 minutes, per guest, for not abiding by their departure time. Needless to say, this is an easy fee to avoid, but certainly worth researching. 




Topics: HubSpot Tips, venue rental, party venue, rentals, wedding reception