there were two things i was certain of when i got engaged
the guy i was going to marry
and that there would be mason jars at my wedding
lots of them
everything else seemed to fall into place
around all the mason jars of course
...and then came baby...

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

to tip or not to tip, that is the question: tipping your wedding vendors

after you've shelled out boatloads of money to all the various wedding vendors, the last thing on your mind (especially ON your wedding day) is most likely tipping.

there isn't a cut & dry protocol for who you should tip & how much, but i included a few guidelines that might help out when setting aside gratuity. disclaimer: i'm no emily post, so take all of this with a grain of salt : )

be sure to start by reading through your contracts to determine whether or not a tip is already included. some vendors might include a line about gratuity in very tiny print in the middle of a random paragraph. hey, can you blame them? who wouldn't want to get tipped twice?

in instances when tip is not included, the amount you may or may not give should be at your discretion. below is a quick list of vendors & some tips on tips:

*caterers ~ if tip is not already included, 15-20% of the total can be given to the catering manager to divide up among their employees. a more affordable option is to pay each employee a set amount (say $25/waiter, $50/chef, $100/manager)

*musicians ~ if your band or deejay is independent, a tip is not as necessary rather than if they were booked through an agency. all the money you're paying your band goes directly to the band members if they are independent. a tip is customary if your musicians were booked through an agency (say $25/band member). and if your independent band or deejay put on a amazing show, why not hook them up with a little extra to say thanks?

*hair & makeup stylists ~ this to me is the most obvious. it's like any ol' hair appointment. 15-20% tip on the total. you might want to lean towards the 20% if they made the trip out to your home. i know, i know, they probably charged you a fortune to come to your home, but it's still a professional service that traditionally requires a tip.

*officiant ~ tipping is not required in this instance, but if your officiant had to travel far or you're looking for a way to thank them, why not say it with cash?

*florists & photographers ~ in most cases florists & photographers are independent owners & have negotiated the rates for their services. tipping is not required, but again, if your florist or photographer did a stellar job, it never hurts to award a job well done.

don't let tipping put you into panic mode. it's a good idea to plan ahead & set the money aside before you say i do. just remember, all this tipping nonsense will be as a result of great service and a small thank you for them helping you pull off your day.

if you don't have hundreds to dole out, keep in mind that a great recommendation to future brides & grooms can be just as helpful, if not more, to your vendors! a $40 tip is nice, but your vendor will be extremely grateful if you can help them book another $3,000 photography session.

1 comment: