Planning a wedding is a little like accepting and batting away hands that are asking for money. It feels like you’re making bank transfers from a couple of years before the magical date to…who knows when? One of the additional expenses that couples aren’t aware of until it comes to the wedding planning process is corkage.

What is Corkage?

Corkage: the fee venues charge for serving and opening alcohol you bring. So, if you plan on being your own bartender, get ready to pay up/ Summer weddings and Pimm’s go hand in hand, but watch out for those sneaky venues trying to squeeze you for every drop. The amount may vary, but be prepared for it to take a sip out of your wedding budget.

Why Do Venues Charge Corkage?

Venues often implement corkage fees to “wine” about the costs of serving and storing alcohol. It’s like a sneaky sip of extra income, since they can purchase it at wholesale prices and pour it out at a higher price to clients. Plus, they have strict liquor licensing rules that make them “bottle” up their excitement and charge corkage for any outside alcohol. Corkage or no corkage stress wedding venues, you’ll find them both.

The Pros and Cons of Looking for a Venue with No Corkage

Corkage is a source of much confusion for many couples when they just want to be happy and enjoy the engagement. Allow us to break down the info you need to know.

Benefits:

  1. Cost Savings – Who doesn’t want to save some pennies when planning a wedding? Looking for a wedding venue with no corkage? Prepare for the ultimate cost-cutting hack. By bringing your own booze, you’ll save a fortune and give your wedding budget a major boost.
  2. Personalized Selection – Here’s the deal: with full control over drink selection, you get to customize it to match your unique tastes and preferences. Plus, you can bring in those special and rare drinks that aren’t found at the venue. Perhaps you have a taste for a drink only found in Poland – if this is the case, bring it with you for no extra cost. Hooray.
  3. Flexibility – No corkage fees mean you can bring the booze you choose, in any amount, without the sting of extra charges. Perfect for boisterous weddings with thirsty guests. Cheers to that.

Drawbacks:

  1. Extra Work – Bringing your own alcohol? Get ready to go from party planner to liquor runner. Not only will you have to handle the purchasing, delivering, and setting up of drinks, but also the added stress of an already busy planning process. Cheers to being a multi-tasking maestro. Choose the right catering company and they will set up the drinks and handle this for you (it’s always good to have something taken from your to-do list!).
  2. Restrictions – Some venues can be quite strict about their alcohol policies. They may limit the types or amount you can bring in, and even demand that you compensate for their lost profits by purchasing from their own bar. Looks like they’re raising the bar on corkage fees.
  3. Risk of Overbuying – If you’re not a pro at gauging how much booze to get for a big bash, you might accidentally splurge on surplus spirits and pour your money down the drain. What do you do with 30 extra bottles of Pimm’s? Especially when you’re about to head off on your romantic honeymoon.
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