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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Happy Vendors Are Happy Workers Part 2

Lesson 2: Tips are not just words of advice

Though you may think you've accounted for every imaginable wedding expense, there is one fee that might elude you: the tip. Rewarding vendors with a tip is expected, and it will serve as a thank-you for a job well done. But figuring out whom to tip, how much to pay, and when to offer it can be tricky.

While some vendors include gratuities in their fees, many will leave the amount up to you -- and the level of service they provide can influence what you give them. Tips can add up quickly, costing you a few thousand dollars. Most tips should be handed out the day of the wedding, so it's wise to assign the job to a friend or family member.

According to Emily Post, you should plan a gratuity budget for the following:
  • Valet parking
  • Coat check
  • Powder room attendants
  • Delivery truck drivers
  • Limousine drivers
  • Waitstaff
  • Bartenders
  • Table captains
However, you may want to also consider the following:

Officiants - While it isn't necessary to tip priests, ministers, rabbis, or other religious officiants (many of them, in fact, won't accept cash tips), if you want to thank them for their services, consider making a donation to their organization or house of worship.

Catering Staff - Many caterers include a gratuity in their contract to be divided up among the workers, but be sure to ask. If the gratuity isn't included, plan on tipping all staff members, including the catering or banquet manager, waiters, bartenders, chefs, and other essential workers who help serve guests.

Musicians/DJs - Tipping customs vary, depending on whether you hire an independent band or deejay or book through an agency. For independent bands that book their own gigs, tipping is not customary. If you employ your band or deejay through an entertainment agency, the company will usually either include a gratuity in the contract or suggest that you give each band member or deejay a little extra in cash. Musicians and vocalists should be tipped about $20 to $25 apiece; deejays get at least $25. 

Stylists/Makeup Artists - Even though it's a particularly special day, you can still tip stylists and makeup artists as you would for a regular appointment -- 15 to 20 percent. 

Photographers, Videographers, Florists and Wedding Planners - For people who own their own businesses, as many of these vendors do, tipping isn't necessary. However, if you feel that the service you received from one of these vendors was extraordinary, an additional 10 percent tip would be a nice gesture.

Keep in mind that tips may be adjusted for services that are performed either exceptionally well, or very poorly. It is important to keep in mind that these dedicated professionals helped to provide you with a very special day, and deserve the proper appreciation.

Until Next Time, Stay Fabulous!


Deborah Hunter said...

Great list and advice. Tipping is tricky for everyone...if a florist or planner has a staff with them to do the heavy lifting you can always specify that your tip go to them. That's a really nice gesture.

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