Wedding Etiquette Forum

Are tip jars acceptable?

I am currently looking for a caterer and I am wondering if it's acceptable to have a tip jar at the bar so guests can help contribute to the gratuity. Does anyone know? 
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Re: Are tip jars acceptable?

  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_tip-jars-acceptable?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:c3a47c6e-b56e-4a9d-8de2-fd9ae9bec1dcPost:ddec6ca8-4979-495d-9596-913a63417978">Are tip jars acceptable?</a>:
    [QUOTE]I am currently looking for a caterer and I am wondering if it's acceptable to have a tip jar at the bar so guests can help contribute to the gratuity. Does anyone know? 
    Posted by ercky007[/QUOTE]
    Nope, not ok. You're paying for the bar therefore you pay the tips
  • I know some bar packages do let the bartender put out a tip jar, but I wouldn't. I don't want my guests pulling out their wallets at all.
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  • I have seen them out at some weddings, but it makes me as a guest feel bad, when I am at a wedding with no cash, and therefore have to walk away with a drink in hand, but no tip to give.

    I wouldn't put them out. Its uncomfortable for guests, and your venue may still require you pay a certain set amount for gratuity.
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  • Ditto PP.  We are paying a mandatory 20% gratuity which includes the bartenders.
  • tenofcups4metenofcups4me member
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    Not acceptable to me. And it was one of the few things that my dad had STRONG feelings about.
  • I have strong feelings about this too, I find it completely unacceptable since I'm already paying tips and gratuities with the open bar.
  • The person who pays for the drinks should take care of the tip. I would try to avoid the tip jar if possible.

    Plus, at the end of the night, what are you going to do? Ask the bartender to count down his tips for you so you know if you only have to give him $20 vs. $100?
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  • Whether or not there is a jar, people either will or won't tip. A pretteh jar isn't going to change things.
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  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_tip-jars-acceptable?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:c3a47c6e-b56e-4a9d-8de2-fd9ae9bec1dcPost:87698584-7e64-4ea6-b415-d57fc8738704">Re: Are tip jars acceptable?</a>:
    [QUOTE]I have seen them out at some weddings, but it makes me as a guest feel bad, when I am at a wedding with no cash, and therefore have to walk away with a drink in hand, but no tip to give. I wouldn't put them out. Its uncomfortable for guests, and your venue may still require you pay a certain set amount for gratuity.
    Posted by mags0607[/QUOTE]

    The funny thing is, I always show up to weddings with singles and fives, but I agree with everyone else--I don't want my guests feeling obligated to pay for anything at my wedding, including tips. I personally think it's rude, and I think that you should hold whatever wedding you can afford. If you're on a budget and want your dream wedding, you cut the guest list, or you find a way to make it inexpensive enough to include everyone but still cover all expenses at the reception.

    This sounds like the "cash bar vs. full bar" question, with only the stipulation that your guests should leave tips. That's up to you. Personally, I'm choosing the less glamorous site so that I can provide decent food and an open bar (including tips) and invite all the family & friends I want to attend.
  • No.  If people want to tip, they will anyways.  But if there is a jar there and they don't want to or dont have any cash, they will feel awkward.  Not cool. 

    And the way I look at it, do you expect the guests to help tip the DJ?  The photographer?  No, right?  Well why should the bar be any different.  This isn't a nightclub, its a wedding.  Thats your job. 

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  • With our bartending service we get to choose between a tip jar or have it added to our bill. We are adding it to our bill. At my sisters wedding last March we had to pay for our own soda and bottled water. I didnt bring any cash for that let alone tipping them. We want our guest to come to our wedding and not have to spend any money while they are there. That is just silly.
  • I always tip the bartender at weddings, anyway. But I hate tip jars anywhere, even at regular bars. I'd rather it be a "thank you, I appreciate your hard work" than a "Oh, I guess you expect me to give you money" gesture. Of course I tip either way, but I just think its tacky. My venue includes gratuity in their total pricing package, so luckily we don't have to worry about it. If guests still want to tip, good for them. But as an answer to OP, the same goes for all aspects of your wedding. Don't expect guests to pay for anything at your wedding. 
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  • I wouldn't do it. It makes it look like you're expecting guests to help pay for the bar, when that cost should be entirely on you.
  • This is one thing I had on my list when we met with the catering manager.  I said, under no circumstances will there be a tip jar at the bar.  She said they don't allow them anyway.
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_tip-jars-acceptable?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:c3a47c6e-b56e-4a9d-8de2-fd9ae9bec1dcPost:d872bb18-e6fb-4c23-93ff-1469d1164d65">Re: Are tip jars acceptable?</a>:
    [QUOTE]This is one thing I had on my list when we met with the catering manager.  I said, under no circumstances will there be a tip jar at the bar.  She said they don't allow them anyway.
    Posted by [email protected][/QUOTE]

    I asked our event coordinator at our venue and her response was the same.
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_tip-jars-acceptable?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:c3a47c6e-b56e-4a9d-8de2-fd9ae9bec1dcPost:d872bb18-e6fb-4c23-93ff-1469d1164d65">Re: Are tip jars acceptable?</a>:
    [QUOTE]This is one thing I had on my list when we met with the catering manager.  I said, under no circumstances will there be a tip jar at the bar.  She said they don't allow them anyway.
    Posted by [email protected][/QUOTE]

    <div>My venue actually does allow them, if its okay with the client. So I actually had to tell them I'd rather not have one out.</div>
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  • Even if a tip jar is put out, that doesn't count towards the gratuity you owe. You can't count up the money from his tip jar and say it counts for gratuity you owe on your bill. 

    I dont mind tipping a bartender at a wedding if I have cash on me, and I think a lot of people feel the same. But if you're already paying him gratuity in the bill I would see if you could keep him from putting one out. If people want to tip him still they can hand him cash. No need for a jar, it makes tipping expected.

    We will be letting our bartenders put one out because gratuity is not included at our hall. 
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  • We are having a tip jar and I don't see the big deal with it.  It wont be some big obvious thing, but it will be there.  We are buying all of the alcohol and hired a private bartender who isn't charging us anything for his services as long as he is allowed to have a tip jar out.  No, we aren't being cheap and No, we are not having our guests pay for their alcohol.  But I do think it's incredibly rude for someone to get drink after drink and not tip a bartender.
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  • No their really not, but in our family we always have the dollar dance and that usually goes towards keeping the bar open an extra hour. You could use it towards gratuity.
  • I'm having one. It has nothing to do with being rude to your guests or not - it's a courtesy for the bartender. They have crappy jobs, don't get paid a lot, and usually the "gratuity" you're paying to the venue doesn't go directly to the servers.

    So yes, I'm paying him a gratuity as well, but allowing him to have a tip jar. What harm can it do? If people don't want to pay a tip, they don't have to. And frankly, I'm not friends with the kind of people who would give me the 'side eye' for something like that. My friends and family are nice :P
  • My caterer allows tip jars or allows the hosts to pay it. If you pay it instead of the jar, they recommend $1 per bartender per guest, which is really not bad. I agree with most people on here that it is tacky, so I will just suck up the tip.
  • You could put a tip jar out, but not so you don't have to give a tip.  I'm a bartender and will encourage my guests to tip the bar!!!   I'm paying for the wedding with tips I've made.  That being said, I still plan on tipping.  People who don't want to tip won't feel bad if there's a jar out or not.
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_tip-jars-acceptable?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:c3a47c6e-b56e-4a9d-8de2-fd9ae9bec1dcPost:fbfd0531-5bba-4c0c-a58a-03a5b88a4d44">Re: Are tip jars acceptable?</a>:
    [QUOTE]We are having a tip jar and I don't see the big deal with it.  It wont be some big obvious thing, but it will be there.  We are buying all of the alcohol and hired a private bartender who isn't charging us anything for his services as long as he is allowed to have a tip jar out.  No, we aren't being cheap and No, we are not having our guests pay for their alcohol.  <strong>But I do think it's incredibly rude for someone to get drink after drink and not tip a bartender.</strong>
    Posted by Xan921[/QUOTE]

    But usually the person who's paying for the drinks leaves the tip, right? You're paying for the drinks as the hosts of the event, you should take care of tip.
  • We'll also be tipping him at the end of the night.  It's not like we're trying to have our guests pay the tip for us.  But since he doesn't charge an hourly fee and only requests to put a tip jar out, I think that's too good of a deal to pass up.  The last wedding I went to there was a tip jar and I didn't give it a second thought or think the bride and groom were trying to have the guests pay the tip.  In fact, I don't think I've ever been to a wedding where there wasn't a tip jar. 
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  • I'm having one. It has nothing to do with being rude to your guests or not - it's a courtesy for the bartender. They have crappy jobs, don't get paid a lot, and usually the "gratuity" you're paying to the venue doesn't go directly to the servers.

    So yes, I'm paying him a gratuity as well, but allowing him to have a tip jar. What harm can it do? If people don't want to pay a tip, they don't have to. And frankly, I'm not friends with the kind of people who would give me the 'side eye' for something like that. My friends and family are nice :P

    I couldn't agree more :)
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  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_tip-jars-acceptable?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:9Discussion:c3a47c6e-b56e-4a9d-8de2-fd9ae9bec1dcPost:1d019e46-44e1-4cec-9352-9f3573443a95">Re: Are tip jars acceptable?</a>:
    [QUOTE]And frankly, I'm not friends with the kind of people who would give me the 'side eye' for something like that. My friends and family are nice :P I couldn't agree more :)
    Posted by Xan921[/QUOTE]

    There will be people at my wedding who would side-eye me if there was a tip jar out. It doesn't prove that they are not nice people, but instead that they have a certain standard of propriety that the presence of a tip jar doesn't fit into. If you're concerned with the bartender receiving the tip he deserves then the person paying for the wedding needs to add more money to the gratuity, not ask the guests to do so.
  • I am hiring a bartender for a party I am throwing and they had told my mom that they would put a tip jar out and I said no way.  I can't imagine that my guests will bring ones to a party in our club room.  I will tip him.  If other people want to tip him, then guess what, they can lay some $$$ on the bar. 

    As soon as I see the jar at an event, the first thing I think is, oh, sh!t, did I bring ones?  I don't have cash, what do I do?  I don't want my guests to think that AT ALL.  Hence, no tip jar, but if they want to slip dude a dollar, they can.


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  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_tip-jars-acceptable?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:c3a47c6e-b56e-4a9d-8de2-fd9ae9bec1dcPost:b699ca3d-9a6c-4b65-bdc2-eb35935939b7">Re: Are tip jars acceptable?</a>:
    [QUOTE]I'm having one. It has nothing to do with being rude to your guests or not - it's a courtesy for the bartender. They have crappy jobs, don't get paid a lot, and usually the "gratuity" you're paying to the venue doesn't go directly to the servers. So yes, I'm paying him a gratuity as well, but allowing him to have a tip jar. What harm can it do? <strong>If people don't want to pay a tip, they don't have to. And frankly, I'm not friends with the kind of people who would give me the 'side eye' for something like that. My friends and family are nice :P</strong>
    Posted by siorsolas[/QUOTE]


    Agreed!! We are hiring a bartender and paying all the alcohol and having an at home wedding (bc we want too) FI mom IS a bartender and I'm a part time waitress and she actually has always told her children 2 people in life you take care of 1 your mom 2 your BARTENDER!!
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