Bartender Fees- Do You Know What You Are Getting?

Many brides and grooms want their wedding reception to be at the perfect location- big enough for their guests, a display of their personal style, and available for their preferred date and time. Many reception sites often have different types of fees such as bartending or corking fees. Do you know what they really mean? Here are some standard definitions to help you in the planning process.

Bartending or Bar Set-Up fee

Extra fees for setting up the bar or bartending vary from site to site.

Corkage Fee

Some reception venues allow you to bring your own alcohol, but may include an additional fee for each bottle of wine or champagne brought and opened by their staff.

Having Coffee with Cake?

In addition to alcohol, some reception locations also charge extra to brew or pour coffee with the wedding cake or groom’s cake.

The average gratuity rate is 15-18% of the food and beverage bill.

Service Provider’s Plates
Depending on the time of day and length of reception, it is customary to offer meals to wedding service provider’s such as a photographer/videographer, wedding planner, or anyone else who is providing services during your wedding.

Here, at Catering by Design, we charge for bartending only, with no additional set up or corkage fee. While we appreciate the planning of meals for vendors, we do not expect you to feed our staff; we have that covered. Tipping staff members, are however, is acceptable.


Catering by Design is one of the top caterers in the Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill area of North Carolina. We’re a full service caterer, serving the full triangle and surrounding areas including Pinehurst and Rocky Mount, Pittsboro and Fuquay Varina, Wake Forest and Carrboro. We’ve even been known to cater a wedding on the coast every so often.

Are you planning your wedding reception event? Call us and find out how we can help you!
(919) 481-2366.

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