Wedding Etiquette Forum

Do You Tip Vendor Who Owns Their Own Business?

Hey y'all- quick question about tipping etiquette.  In the case of vendors who own their own businesses (in my case, the florist, photographer, and cake baker all own their own business and are the sole employees), is it usual to tip them?  

Re: Do You Tip Vendor Who Owns Their Own Business?

  • Others can correct me if I'm wrong, but I think the general consensus is that you don't tip vendors who own their businesses.  Now, if there's a delivery person for the flowers or the cake, you would tip them.  You can also tip those who go above and beyond (example: I think @lolo883 tipped her photographer because she took care of some vomit?)


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  • edited November 2014
    levioosa said:
    Others can correct me if I'm wrong, but I think the general consensus is that you don't tip vendors who own their businesses.  Now, if there's a delivery person for the flowers or the cake, you would tip them.  You can also tip those who go above and beyond (example: I think @lolo883 tipped her photographer because she took care of some vomit?)
    I haven't yet because I'm waiting until I get all my digital files back, but yes I'll be mailing her a tip then! I'll probably add it on to what I pay for prints/album. There's a LOT of debate on the subject, but I feel that as a business owner who sets their own prices, you should be charging what you expect to be paid/a proper value for your service, and not rely on tips the way a restaurant server does. In this case though, she truly went above and beyond and I'm thrilled with the quality of the photos so I'm happy to send a little more her way. (Like a hundred bucks or so, not 20%!)

    Florist and bakery I wouldn't tip, any more than I tip my car dealer or wedding dress boutique owner. You're buying a physical product which is priced at a markup. That markup covers the employees' salaries. I'd tip the delivery person though, just like I would for a pizza delivery. When you think of things in terms of non-wedding related expenses, I think it makes it more clear.

    I don't believe in tipping until after services are delivered, or as a blanket "you always have to tip everyone" rule.

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    levioosa
  • @lolo883 ‌ I apologize if you've shared this before on here. But I haven't seen it and I must hear it.
  • @teddy917my nephew was having trouble with his allergies, and sometimes between the congestion and coughing he gets so worked up that he pukes. Sister and I didn't know this, and were dancing with him at the reception - dancing with a 3-year old mostly involves a lot of picking him up and jumping around. He asked me to put him down, so I did, but sis didn't see/hear that happen so she picked him right back up and started jumping again. Bouncing + coughing + milk with dinner = he threw up all over her. And when she put him down, all over the dance floor. Waitress came running up out of nowhere with a glass of club soda and whisked her away to the nearest bathroom to help her clean up, photographer jumped in with a handful of napkins, said "look out! I'm the only one wearing pants, I got this!" and had it cleaned up in 2 seconds. (She also had a baby earlier this year so I'm sure she's used to stuff like that.) It was like they planned it. Poor nephew though; BIL took him back to the hotel as he was screaming "no Daddy, I wanna dance!"

    Note: Alfred Sung peau de soie cleans up and dries excellently. I didn't even realize until the next day that she had gotten puked on, I thought it was just on the floor.

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  • That definitely deserves a tip. Thanks for sharing the story.
  • So, a bit of a threadjack - my contract with my photographer includes a second shooter, who is usually one of the photographer's photojournalist friends. The photographer owns his business, but do I tip the second shooter?
    themosthappy91
  • So, a bit of a threadjack - my contract with my photographer includes a second shooter, who is usually one of the photographer's photojournalist friends. The photographer owns his business, but do I tip the second shooter?
    If you're happy with her work, I would.

    Same reason I tip my hair stylist and the girl who washes my hair, but not their boss. As long as I don't leave looking like a cocker spaniel, anyway.

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  • I tend to tip them if their business is one which customarily receives a tip, whether or not they own the business.  So because I believe it's customary to tip a photographer, I will tip mine, even though he owns his own business.
  • I always wonder about this with my hair dresser. She works at a salon, but the salon only has hairdressers that do "booth rent", in other words, they pay rent for their area and the general use of the space. As a result, she owns her own business. (And she's a genius, she takes hair appointments up through 6:15 pm on two weekdays every week, perfect for those of us who work and don't want to spend hours and hours at the hair salon on a busy Saturday). 

    To be clear, I tip her. If I do cut and color my total is $115 and I generally tip her anywhere from $15 - $25. Just for a color last night it was $75 and I tipped her $15. 

    But I do wonder to myself, hmm, she hopefully takes into account all of her expenses when setting her prices, do I really need to be tipping her? Obviously I can't easily stop now but I'm not clear on if this is really necessary. 
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  • I tip across the board - business owner or not, assistant, employee, whatever.  If you perform a service for me and I'm happy with it, I give a tip.

    However, I think my POV is a little different from other peoples' because I used to be a small business owner in a customer service-oriented field.  I had to keep my prices low because of competition, which was great for clients and got me a lot of business, but I certainly wasn't getting rich by any means.  I received tips about 40% of the time, and I was always super pumped about it.

    My general advice is that for the people you're on the fence about, even a small tip is better than none, and is always appreciated by those who receive it.  I've gotten $20 on a $700 bill - always thankful :)
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