Welcome! We are so excited to help with any part of your planning/ coordinating process. We know how it can be an exciting but also stressful time for you. We hope to serve you in a way that feels relaxed and fun!
Let’s talk about tips!
We have been to weddings where there have been very generous gifts after the the fact. We have also been to weddings where we were paid our allotted fee and that’s it. We are okay with either of these options, but maybe you want to know more. How do I tip? What do I tip? Is the Service charge a tip? Do any vendors include gratuity? What is the general expectation when it comes to tipping my vendors?
Have no fear and read on. We’re going to answer all of these questions today and, hopefully, leave you feeling at ease about how to proceed.
1. The General Expectation
Unfortunately, depending on who you ask, the golden rule is always different. So we advise this- look at your budget. Not everyone has the same availability to tip so if it’s very important to you then plan for it. Plan according to what funds you have available. You may want to leave a higher tip for the officiant if they’re a close friend, or this may be the reason that you don’t tip them at all. Here’s the good news. Tipping isn’t mandatory, it’s a choice and you get to make it.
2. Read All Contracts Thoroughly
If you haven’t watched Judge Judy clips on social media lately, then you probably don’t know that most issues can be solved by reading all contracts up front, before signing. Some venues/vendors may add gratuity in their contract and you won’t have to give it a second thought after signing so make sure to read through each line completely or simply ask the vendor if it’s included. Here’s the great news, most wedding and event vendors do what they do because they absolutely love it. It’s their choice of work because they found something they enjoy doing and made it their job. So if you think every single vendor is expecting something from you, worry not, we’re just happy to be a part of your day.
3. You’ve Decided to Tip, What now?
First of all, whatever you choose to tip prep it in advance. If you wait until the last minute there is a good chance it will be forgotten, or at least someone will be. Reminder- you can give tip envelopes to your day-of coordinator to hand out so you don’t have to remember.
For those you plan to tip standardly this is what we suggest:
Hair and Makeup can be tipped like you would for a regular appointment~ 15-20% at the time of service payment.
Set-up/tear-down crew~ smaller crew: $10-$20 per person, larger crew: $5-$10 per person given upon delivery.
The Officiant can be tipped $20-$50 dollars or you could make a larger donation to their church or synagogue. This tip is best given at the rehearsal dinner.
Catering and bartender tips are standard 10-20% of the bill after service is completed.
Special Transportation can be tipped 10-20% at the time of service completion.
Music standard is 15% of the total fee or $25-$50 a person. Djs tend to make a little more in tips due to being a one-person show at $50-$100.
Your Coordinator(s), Floral shop, and Baker are all typically 10-20% of their fee or based on your preference after your experience with them. A cash gift or special gift is also acceptable.
4. Special Tips
Maybe you don’t like the cash gift idea. We get it. You like to add a personal feel to your tips. Maybe you are friends with a vendor or you’ve gotten to know your planner/coordinator pretty well throughout the planning process and you want them to know how much you appreciate them in a way that is special to them. Here are a couple ideas:
~Restaurant or Massage gift cards.
~A gift card to a store they mentioned specifically (Barnes and Nobles, Kohls, etc.)
~ Flowers with a hand-written note
~A stellar online review and/or personal referral
These are all personal things that are feel good gifts for the giver and the receiver.
Hopefully this gave you an idea of how to tip your hard-working vendors. In any and all cases, make sure to offer them food and when all else fails- everyone uses Amazon.
Let us know what vendors we missed or if you need some more unique ideas!