What Is Corkage Fee Wedding: Is It Worth It

The answer to what is corkage fee wedding is that it’s the charge for the wine by your selected wedding venue. We will talk more about the expectations for this fee and help you decide if the corkage is worth it. 

But what if you don’t want to pay for alcohol or you prefer a sober wedding? Read what is a dry wedding to know more about this type of reception. 

what is corkage fee wedding


What Is A Wedding Corkage Fee?

The corkage fee is the cost you’ll pay when they serve the wine at the wedding venue. So even if you’re the one who purchased and brought the wine, the venue will still charge you for their service. 

Remember that the venue will store and chill the wine bottles, and you’ll also be using their glassware. The staff serving the wine in the wedding reception and the disposal of the wine bottles afterward constitute the wedding corkage fee as well. 

Furthermore, you will find that VAT is included in the corkage fee breakdown. As for the costs, the corkage fee will depend on the wedding venue, so make sure to clarify this beforehand to avoid expectations. 


How Does Corkage Work At A Wedding?

The corkage is the charge by the wedding venue for the service they provide with the drinks you brought at your wedding. While at first glance it seems unreasonable, you may save more money doing so.

However, please clarify if they allow their guests to bring their alcohol from the wedding venue. Some wedding venues encourage to buy drinks from them, so it’s best to know what practice is allowed. 

Once you’ve ensured that you can bring the wedding alcoholic drinks yourself, remember that you will select and buy the specific types and drinks needed at the reception yourself. Afterward, plan how you’ll transport the beverages to the reception safely. 


Why Do Wedding Venues Charge Corkage?

Wedding venues charge corkage because of the services involved when serving the drinks, even if you brought the alcoholic beverages yourself. In particular, wine is meticulous in how it should be stored and served, so the fees from the corkage should cover the costs from these practices. 

However, note that a corkage fee will also apply if you choose an alcohol-based consumption setup. This means you’ll only pay for what is consumed by the guests. 

One vendor will supply the alcohol, and another vendor will serve it. The latter has no profit since they don’t provide the alcohol. 

Therefore, they will charge a corkage fee to get the money they’ve lost. Overall, don’t feel like you’ve been taken advantage of because you also enjoy the services from the corkage fee. 


What Is A Typical Corkage Fee?

The corkage fee varies from every wedding reception. However, you can assume that you will pay as much as $3 per opened wine bottle, regardless of whether it’s finished or not. 

The corkage fee can also be charged per person at up to $10 per wedding guest. That being said, a quick computation for a typical reception that lasts for four hours with more than a hundred guests can cost $300. 

This is assuming that about 95 bottles are opened where each one costs $3. To ensure that you’ll have enough budget, you can also consider $10 for every guest so that a 150-person wedding will have a corkage fee of $1,500 maximum. 


Are Corkage Fees Worth It?

Corkage fees are worth it if you consider several factors. For example, compare the corkage cost to what you’ll spend if you buy the drinks at the venue. 

You may also want a particular type of wine that’s not included in the venue’s wine list. Some couples prefer to select what they’ll serve for their guests carefully. 


Bring your own wine or buy it at the venue?

If you bring your wine to your wedding, you will pay a corkage fee for the storage and chilling of the bottles, the staff who’ll serve them, the venue’s glassware, and the disposal of the bottles after. The advantage of bringing your wine is you can select the specific drinks you want, and they may cost less than the prices set by the venue if you bought them at the reception. 

However, a potential disadvantage is not knowing how many drinks and wine bottles to order. In addition, you might be unsure what specific wine types your guests will enjoy, or you may spend on something that will be unopened. 

On the other hand, buying the venue’s wine mean that you will only be charged with what is consumed. You can set a budget beforehand, and the wine types offered usually complement their food if they’ll also cater to your wedding. 

Are you also curious if you need a bartender? Here is how to serve alcohol at a wedding without a bartender if you’re considering not having one. 



And that’s it! We just found out what is corkage fee wedding, which is charged by the venue for the services involved in serving the wine you brought. 

It is reasonable to help the venue earn from using their glassware, the storage and serving of wine, staff, and disposal of the bottles. However, the choice is yours if you want to bring your drinks or buy them at the venue directly.  


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