Etiquette

Gratuity Help! So Confusing...

So I was hoping some of you could provide some insight on what I should tip for my wedding (in just 12 days!). Here's some info...

I don't have a wedding planner, however, I do have a day-of coordinator, but she's my caterer. She's handling all the decoration setup and she's created and will execute the timeline for the day (i.e. telling us it's time to do x, y, and z).

There will be 5 servers, 2 bartenders, 1 chef, 1 venue manager, and some delivery guys. In addition to them, I have our DJ and our photographer that I'd like to tip as well.

Where I'm confused most is the coordinator/caterer; what should I tip her? Secondly, do the servers, bartenders, chef, and venue manager get tipped the same? What should that be? 

Thank you so much in advance!

Re: Gratuity Help! So Confusing...

  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado
    Moderator Tenth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its
    mod
    A lot of caterers have a built in service charge, does yours? 

    If not, you tip the servers and bartenders.  Bar tenders should get more then the servers as they generally work a lot harder.     It's hard to say the amount since I do not know much about your receptions (plated, buffet, amount of guests, etc).

     You do not have to tip the chef (although we did tip our chef and cooks. we were off-site for them, in a strong tropical storm, they earned the tip)      

     I would not tip the venue manager.        Coordinator I would tip a few hundred.






    What differentiates an average host and a great host is anticipating unexpressed needs and wants of their guests.  Just because the want/need is not expressed, doesn't mean it wouldn't be appreciated. 
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston
    10000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    member

    Find out if there is a gratuity built into your contract with your venue.  That should cover everyone at the venue.  If there isn't, I'd add about 18 to 20% as a tip. If anyone does an exceptionally good job, you can tip on top of that.

    While the DJ and the photographer don't need to be tipped if they're working for themselves, you can do so if they do an exceptionally good job.

    The amounts are up to you.

  • Thanks for the response! The venue is offsite and they're building a whole kitchen in the parking lot, so I sort of figured tipping the chef would be nice.

    I'm not seeing any service charge. Just food, beverage, labor, delivery, tax. Do you suggest a certain percentage of the food and drink charges for the bartenders, servers, chef, and coordinator?

    I'm so horrible at gratuity! I always hand the bill to someone else and say "figure it out!". Ha.
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston
    10000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    member
    Thanks for the response! The venue is offsite and they're building a whole kitchen in the parking lot, so I sort of figured tipping the chef would be nice. I'm not seeing any service charge. Just food, beverage, labor, delivery, tax. Do you suggest a certain percentage of the food and drink charges for the bartenders, servers, chef, and coordinator? I'm so horrible at gratuity! I always hand the bill to someone else and say "figure it out!". Ha.
    That's up to you, but whatever you do, let the bartenders et al know not to put out tip jars, because you are including a gratuity in your contract fee.
  • julieanne912julieanne912
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary First Answer
    member
    edited August 2015
    You can probably figure out how much the servers are getting paid based on the labor fee.  For example, our servers/bartenders (for a buffet) are being billed out at $28 and change/hour.  My MOH, who is a former catering manager, said they'll probably make $15-18 an hour out of that, so a gratuity to them is just a bonus.  She said to bring anywhere from $10-20 per server/bartender and then decide at the end of the night how much to give them based on their performance.  Unless they royally screw something up, I plan on tipping them $20 each since they're going to help do the tear down as well.  She also said you can just bring a flat amount and give to the head server/captain, and let them figure out how to divide it up.

    I'm also paying a service fee, but the contract says specifically that it's not a gratuity.  
    Married 9.12.15
    image
This discussion has been closed.
Choose Another Board
Search Boards