Post # 1
I am very blessed that my parents have decided to foot the bill for my entire wedding. They’ve given me a very generous budget. So I went full steam ahead with spending that budget. I fell in LOVE with The Park Hyatt Washington and couldn’t be more pleased with my choice.
BUT…as you all know, DC has a 10% food tax. That, on top of the 20% service charge at the Park Hyatt means I am paying 30% fees. That makes my $200/head dinner for 100 people jumped from $20k to $26k. That’s not including flowers, entertainment, etc.
I love DC, and love dining in DC–i’m a total foodie. But never before have I truly understood what 10% tax on food really means for our wallets until I started planning this shindig. Grr.
Any other DC brides feeling the pinch?
Post # 3
I’m sorry you’re feeling frustrated. That really bites – about the taxes and fees!
I actually opened this post b/c I say that “you’re killin me smalls!” ALL THE DANG TIME and I realized i hould have put it on my catch phrase post.
Take a breath! Just be sure to thank your parents often 🙂
Post # 4
I lived in DC< and while I didnt plan a wedding there, their food taxes always baffled me. My venur requires an 8% tax on top of a 21% gratuity, so I totally feel your pain. It raises the price considerably!
Post # 5
@querida- i do 🙂
@kellyv- isn’t it awful? they get us to fall in love with the place and then WHAM! they hit you with the fees/taxes. i wish they would be upfront or give you an estimate including the fees at least, not in the fine print.
Post # 7
Argh, I know! It all sounds so promising at first until you get the ‘real deal’. Not to mention, most places have very high ‘minimum fees’ for food and drink on weekends.
My theory is that it’s caused by DC being home to every lobbying group in, well, the country. You have tons of huge corporations trying to woo various groups in this area, and they have tons of ‘events’. Money is no issue for them, so it drives up the price for everyone else.
Post # 8
Hey my venue has a 15% food tax and my caterer charges an 18% service charge. And I live in freaking Rochester, MN, a town that is 90,000 people big and surrounded by corn fields. Definitely not any place that is exciting to live.
My venue also has a 35% alcohol tax. All of these taxes and service charges are in addition to the taxes that the state of MN charges too.
So jeez, I would say for living in a big city you don’t have it so bad.
Post # 9
taxes i understand but i dont get the service charge to be honest. why not just have this inc in the prices so you have a total per head without having to resort to all your fingers and toes to add up how much its really going to cost
Post # 10
I did a quick Wikipedia search and Washington DC, Vermont, and Washington state have the highest tax on catered food. Blah! Not including individual county/city taxes in other locales, of course:
@Amariem – I feel your pain, a 35% alcohol tax is unbelievable! Is it a religious thing? Maybe you will get a bit of a break with it being in a smaller town, though. I think the rough thing with DC is that you are already starting with a much higher fee scale for all vendors (since it’s a big city,) and then they pile more charges on top of that.
Post # 11
no, not a religious thing. Our venue is an art center that is non-profit. I think they just need extra money so they charge a hefty alcohol tax. Either that, or they don’t want tons of alcohol served at the museum (perhaps they think it will ruin the artwork if people get too rowdy)?
Post # 12
@amariem- 35%?! that’s ridiculous!
those fees always put a bad taste in my mouth. you know, you’re all excited to sign the venue, but you leave feeling jilted. i don’t get it.
@eloping- right? i hope that 20% service charge takes the place of tipping! they really should just work the numbers in to the contract for you so you don’t have to have a calculator with you when you sign for that “supposed” food/beverage minimum.
@circus peanut-go figure! haha.
Post # 13
Holy wow!!! 10% food tax?!?!?!
Post # 14
Oooh yeah, this is actually the reason why we got married in MD and not DC. We were absolutely ready to book Old Ebbitt Grill until we too noticed the 30 percent “add on” with taxes and service fees. No thanks!
Post # 15
We’re in NY and our tax is 8 3/4%, plus 20% service charge – it adds up! Our reception alone will cost $36k. I feel you!
Post # 16
- Wedding: August 2009 - Eastside Catholic Chapel and Lake Union Cafe
That sucks. I remeber the tax being so high because DC collects very little income tax since so many people who work in DC live in Maryland or Virginia. They need to collect tax revenue somewhere. I remember being shocked at tax too. Sales tax in Seattle is almost 10% and you feel it once you start buying a lot of wedding stuff.
p.s. I love the Sandlot reference!