Wedding Etiquette Forum

Tips for Drinks

Hello all -- first post here.  I am a bride to be living in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and marrying in my homestate of Iowa in June of 2014.  I am sure this question has been asked before but all of the posts I have found on tipping have been related to tipping vendors.  My question is whether it is acceptable to have a tip jar for drink servers that our guests pay into when they are served a hosted drink.  I have read enough posts around here to know that many posters feel that it is never acceptable to ask guests to open their wallets, but I am curious if this is true even to tip for drinks that one receives for free. 

My venue is an old barn and I plan on paying college students who are fundraising for an international service trip to serve keg beer and wine to our guests.  I work in international education and so for me this is perfect, but I had only anticipated paying them minimum wage and then allowing them to keep all of the tips they made.  I know I have tipped at other hosted bars and not thought anything of it, but I am curious what all of you have to say.

Thanks for your input!

Jeannie

Re: Tips for Drinks

  • It is never ok to have a tip jar out at a hosted event.  You should tip the staff at the end of the night, not your guests.
  • ViczaesarViczaesar Central Coast, CA member
    Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_tips-for-drinks?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:dde94186-c678-4220-a538-b3c1e122e036Post:04397c19-2c6d-46fc-8ce4-723837fdff8b">Tips for Drinks</a>:
    [QUOTE]Hello all -- first post here.  I am a bride to be living in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and marrying in my homestate of Iowa in June of 2014.  I am sure this question has been asked before but all of the posts I have found on tipping have been related to tipping vendors.  My question is whether it is acceptable to have a tip jar for drink servers that our guests pay into when they are served a hosted drink.  I have read enough posts around here to know that many posters feel that it is never acceptable to ask guests to open their wallets, but I am curious if this is true even to tip for drinks that one receives for free.  My venue is an old barn and I plan on paying college students who are fundraising for an international service trip to serve keg beer and wine to our guests.  I work in international education and so for me this is perfect, but I had only anticipated paying them minimum wage and then allowing them to keep all of the tips they made.  I know I have tipped at other hosted bars and not thought anything of it, but I am curious what all of you have to say. Thanks for your input! Jeannie
    Posted by jmburnzie[/QUOTE]
    You are responsible for tipping those whom you employ.  Not your guests.



  • Agreed, you need to tip them, not your guests.  I find it in very poor taste when I see a tip jar at an open bar at weddings.
  • edited December 2012
    My venue requires 18% grat, so no, there will be no tip jar. 

    ETA: people who really want to tip will just leave it on the bar. No jar needed. 

  • We had tip jars at our wedding.  This was not something that was approved by my H or I.  It was also something that I literally did not notice until 11:00 pm.  However, when I did notice it, the tip jars were full.  As in overflowing. And they were pretty large.  I had numerous people tell me after the wedding that they absolutely loved the bartenders; they were friendly and prompt with the drinks, and overall provided excellent service.  So, in my case, my guests tipped extremely well and did not mind doing so.  I know that tip jars are considered an etiquette no-no, and I can't speak for anyone else's experience, but at my wedding guests were not off-put by tip jars and tipped generously. 
  • Libby - guests will NEVER tell you they are put off by something because it is extremely rude to do so.  If I see a tip jar at a wedding, my first thought is that the couple didn't take care of this and expect me to.  I would find it offensive, but the couple would never know it because I would say nothing.  I would also tip but I wouldn't be happy about it.
  • It's not polite to put out a tip jar at a hosted event. Imagine how awkward and uncomfortable someone would feel if they showed up without cash and they had to worry that the bartenders wouldn't be tipped properly because the hosts weren't going to tip them?   I've worked in service for a long time and I would be mortified to think that the bartender was going to get stiffed.  It's the hosts' responsibility to tip. 

    That said, some people (I know my husband and I) do enjoy tipping on top of the host's tip to ensure faster service or reward exceptional service.  Those people will put a tip directly on the bar and it's not rude because it was truly optional. Putting out the tip jar implies that the bartenders won't be tipped without a guest contribution.




  • In Response to Re:Tips for Drinks:[QUOTE]Libby guests will NEVER tell you they are put off by something because it is extremely rude to do so. nbsp;If I see a tip jar at a wedding, my first thought is that the couple didn't take care of this and expect me to. nbsp;I would find it offensive, but the couple would never know it because I would say nothing. nbsp;I would also tip but I wouldn't be happy about it. Posted by kmmssg[/QUOTE]

    I see your point, but the fact that the tip jars were literally overflowing and multiple people told me how excellent the bartenders were indicates to me most of my guests were not off put. In addition, cash bars are the norm in my area and circle so no one is offended at having to open their wallets at a wedding. Again, I know that tip jars are against etiquette, and if I had known the venue had put one out at my wedding, I would have asked for it to be removed. I was just trying to make the point to the OP that not everyone is so mortally offended by tip jars.
  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its
    I think tip jars are tacky. However I still tip the bar tender on my one. I do not know any bar tenders who work for minimum wage before tips. Servers yes, bar tenders no. I would be paying them a $100 each and if they get more from my guest even minus the tip jar so be it.






    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 member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    No tip jars.  At hosted events, they are rude.  And guests don't like to be made to feel that they *have* to tip.  They may never say anything about it, because that's also rude, but expecting guests to pay for anything is just not polite.  You pay for the drinks, you pay the tips.
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