Wedding Etiquette Forum

Tipping for owner/operator vendors

I am beginning to get quotes and selecting vendors, DJ and Caterer etc, I am a pretty consistent tipper so I have been adding my standard tip percentage into the final cost to get a better budget idea. My FMIL said that if the vendor owns/operates their own business you do not tip, like the DJ, who is a one man show. However, if they are an employee of the vendor (like a bartender employed by the catering company) you dotip them. This makes sense as I would assume that the employee would just get their hourly wage (or whatever) and the owner/operator would get the entire payment. BUT, is it good etiquette or appropriate, I hate to think that I was stiffing someone or that the vendor thought I didn’t appreciate their hard work.
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Re: Tipping for owner/operator vendors

  • What your FMIL said is my understanding. Basically all my vendors own their businesses, although we're going to tip our DOC. She's amazing
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  • Thanks for the advise! @leah, I agree, even if its overkill, I would rather do it than not!
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  • Here's a guide from the knot... and I agree, you should probably tip vendors even when they're owner operated.  There is an 18% charge built in with my reception site/catering and I called them and that is the tip. So sometimes the tip is already built in.

    <a href=";&gt;Wedding Vendors: Tipping Cheat Sheet</a>
    Anniversary DS was born 11/30/12... so in love :)
  • (sorry for the second post... I don't know if the link works, but search "tipping" on the very top of TheKnot homepage and you'll get it.)
    Anniversary DS was born 11/30/12... so in love :)
  • I've worked in the service industry and I think tipping has come to be overkill. My photographer is charging $4000 for 8 hrs the day of the wedding and then however long it takes to put the pictures on a CD. She will only edit the ones we purchase.

    That being said, that's as much $ as I make in a month. Sorry but not tip here. I have to do some more research on the norms in my area (alberta, canada) but from what I understand the reception venue (wait staff, bartenders) are usually the only people recieving a tip
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