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  • Writer's pictureCourtney Justice

Additional Hotel Fees to Be Aware Of As a Wedding Planner

Updated: 4 days ago

Working with hotels can be very different from any other type of venue. An added perk of beautiful hotels all over the world are their onsite event spaces and the convenience it offers our couples and their guests! 


Whether you’re planning a rehearsal dinner, farewell brunch, wedding ceremony and/or reception, a corporate retreat, or you simply have a guest room block agreement in place, here are some fees and service charges you should know and understand well.:


Something to note, every hotel and how they charge will be different! The more you know, the better you will be able to serve and educate your couples throughout their planning journey.  




  1. Service Fees: A service fee is a blanket term used for a fee that typically covers in-house overhead, such as administrative support, cleaning, wear and tear/maintenance, servers and bartenders, your event services team, etc. Service fees can range on average anywhere between 10%-35% of the pre-taxed total.

  2. Gratuity:  A gratuity fee is used to pay staff, such as servers, bartenders, banquet captains, etc., that will work the event. Gratuities are usually percentage based, and can run on average between 15%-30% of the pre-taxed total.

  3. Administrative (Admin) Fee: An administrative (or admin) fee is a percentage based fee applied to help the hotel cover their fixed, overhead costs, such as vendor imposed credit card fees, programs and softwares used, as well as supplies (ie. paper and ink, etc.) 

  4. Porterage Fee:  A porterage fee is a fee attached to a group's master contract or account, for valet/bellman to deliver guest luggage directly to their rooms upon arrival (and take it out of the room at checkout). For example, whenever hotel staff handles personal items for a group

  5. Resort Fee: A resort fee is a fee added to the nightly room rate (usually as a percentage) to help fund amenities and activities offered at the resort. Such activities can include water rentals, bikes, special events, happy hours, shuttle services, etc. 

  6. Occupancy Tax/Fee: An occupancy tax/fee is a percentage tax/fee added to the nightly room rate, which goes to the county the hotel is located in. *Fun fact, all but two states within the United States (Alaska & California) charge an Occupancy Tax/Fee. 

  7. Tourism Fee:  A tourism fee is a small percentage fee, similar to an occupancy tax/fee, which goes to the county where the property is located to support further tourism efforts and essential services. Such services can include increased law enforcement presence during high travel seasons, public services and upkeep (like beach bathrooms, lifeguards, traffic monitors, etc.), local events and festivals that drive tourism, management, and upkeep of state/government run tourism attractions, etc. 


Understanding each of these fees will not only help you best guide and educate your clients, but will also help your favorite hotel staff by answering questions on their behalf a.k.a taking emails and phone calls off their very busy plates). 


Happy planning!



Content provided by Courtney Justice owner of Just Us Weddings & Events and Certified Educator for the CWP Society. She holds the following certifications: Certified Wedding Planner, Certified Wedding Design Consultant, Master Certified Wedding Planner.

Awards: 2022 Wedding Planner of the Year

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