Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The Who, Whats, and Whens of Tipping

Tipping can be such a tricking subject, but it's one we are asked about often. Who should you tip? How much should you tip them? And when? Some will tell you only those who don't own their business deserve gratuity. Others say there are certain people who should automatically get tipped. Some believe in tipping everyone. Others believe in tipping no one. There are many differing opinions on the subject.

I think the easiest way to answer the who portion is this: You should tip anyone you felt went above and beyond your expectations.

As for how much: Tip them an amount you feel is appropriate and with which you are comfortable. If asked, I typically suggest the below dollar amounts (again, only if they exceeded your expectations)...

Hair / Makeup person - 15 - 20%
Officiant - $200 - $300, if the officiant was not hired through an officiating company.

Photographer / Videographer - $50 - $200
Ceremony Musicians - $15 - $20 per member
Band - $20 per member
DJ - $50 - $100
Waitstaff - Check your contract. If it is not already included, 18 - 20% of the total food costs (Not the total bill - which could include rentals, labor, etc.). If it has been included, I would still give a little something extra to the server who personally waits on you that evening.
Transportation - Check your contract. If it is not already included, 10 - 15%.

And now for the when: You should always tip after the service is complete. (Or, you can give the tips to your coordinator, and she will gladly take care of distributing them for you.)

And probably the most important thing of all: Don't forget to give online praise and to write thank you notes. Most wedding industry vendors like to display their thank yous for other potential clients to see. Sending a little praise goes a long way. It is appreciated perhaps more than anything else.

Happy planning,

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