Wedding Etiquette Forum
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Tips?

My wedding is this Saturday (!!!).  I'm so sorry, I know this has been asked ad nauseum, but I'm a bundle of nerves and excitement, and I can't remember the proper etiquette.  I have several questions about tipping vendors.

1.  My venue already has gratuity built into the price of the food as well as the bar package.  So does that mean we do not have to tip the waitstaff, bartender, and coordinator/site manager?

2.  Same goes for the limo company and my makeup artist.  They both built gratuity into their prices.  So that means I don't tip them?

3.  What do you think is an appropriate dollar amount to tip the people who deliver the cake and the people who deliver our flowers?

4.  Am I supposed to tip the photographer, the videographer, and the DJ?  What do people typically do?  If I am supposed to tip any of these people, what is a good amount?

Thank you so much, I truly appreciate any responses I get.  Sorry if this has been asked so many times.  I have about a million things on my mind!
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Re: Tips?

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    Also, I just wanted to add, I am providing dinner for the photographer and his assistant, the videographer and her assistant, and the DJ and his assistant.  So all vendors who are working the wedding are being properly fed :-)  (We invited the officiant and his wife to stay for the reception, but they declined)
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    For the vendors where the tip is built into the price, you don't have to to tip additional. However if you are very pleased with their service there is nothing that says you can't give them something additional. Think of it this way, if you go to a resturant with a large group, the resturant will sometimes automatically add a 18% tip to the bill, but there is nothing that says if the waitress did an amazing job you can't bump it up to a higher amount.

    I can't help you with the cake, it done by my venue so no seperate vendor involved. For the flowers, I may have made a mistake, but i figured the delivery charge covered that (we only had bouquets & flowers at church). To be honest, I didn't really see flower people, my flowers were in place when I got there & while I got dressed they were going around pinning the men and parents & then were gone.

    I did tip my photographer and provided them with dinner. I figured the dinner portion was their chance to sit down & eat. I had my photgrapher for almost 10 hours, there was no chance for her to stop off and grab a bite to eat along the way without missing parts of my wedding. Again I started off with the standard 15% like I do in resturants and adjusted based on how happy I was with her.

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    harper0813harper0813 member
    First Anniversary First Answer 5 Love Its First Comment
    edited June 2013
    This is how I'm handling it:

    1. For the waitstaff and bartenders, I will have some extra money on hand for tips if they go above and beyond, but the tip is already built into the service fee. No tip jars will be set out.

    2. For vendors who own their own business, like my photographer, florist (who is also delivering) and cakemaker, I will be giving them gifts - gift cards or nice bottles of wine, maybe. I am doing the same for my DOC's assistant. I don't want to tip the owner or give the owner a gift, because she recently sprung on me that she's sending her assistant instead of attending herself, which goes against our contract. She did not drop the price Rather than fire her, I'm paying the normal rate but I will not tip - I don't want to punish her assistant though, so if I'm happy with her work I'll give her a gift as well.

    3. For vendors who do not own the business, I will be tipping them, like the band members (7 of them, $20 each) and the photobooth assistant ($30).

    4. After golden's post, I wanted to add: I will be tipping my makeup artist and hair stylist approximately 20%.
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    rule of thumb is if the person prodiving the service is the business owner/works for themselves you don't *need* to tip them. My photographer was an associate with a photograpgy company, so I tipped her (think I did $70 for 3 hours of shooting), but our florist and baker were sole business owners so I didn't tip them (the delivery fee was already paid). I also tipped my hair and make up girl, since she worked for a company- for her I tipped the standard 18% that I would at a salon.

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    rule of thumb is if the person prodiving the service is the business owner/works for themselves you don't *need* to tip them. My photographer was an associate with a photograpgy company, so I tipped her (think I did $70 for 3 hours of shooting), but our florist and baker were sole business owners so I didn't tip them (the delivery fee was already paid). I also tipped my hair and make up girl, since she worked for a company- for her I tipped the standard 18% that I would at a salon.

    This "rule of thumb" is based on businesses where you go to THEM and owners make money off of their employees (i.e. hair salons and tattoo parlors).  I hate hate hate that this rule is now being applied to weddings, since independent photogs and videogs often make far LESS per wedding than associates of large companies.  If you like their work, you should tip them.  If you don't, then don't.  But the idea of not tipping the struggling photographer just out of school who charged you a third of the price just because she "owns" her business is idiotic.

    The photographer should not lower their prices so much that they are giving away their work at a price that is not beneficial to them in the event they are not tipped. Charging super cheap and operating as your own boss are decisions the photographer makes and shouldn't impact the brides tipping. Also, you don't see the photographers work on the day of, so you have no way of knowing what to tip if all you follow is the "if you like their work or not" line of thinking.   

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    I am not saying you can't tip them, but you don't *need* to by etiquette rules. I am actually a photographer myself; when clients tip me, awesome. when they don't, no biggie as I never expect it to begin with.

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    so the deciding factor is them traveling to you? if you went to them at a studio for newborn photos, you would say they don't need to be tipped?

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    Ditto @StageManager14. Think of it this way @golden1215, if you went to a restaurant and the owner served you would you leave w/o tipping because he's the owner? I think about this the same way. If someone provides me with a service for which I would normally tip, I don't consider who owns the company.
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    Ditto @StageManager14. Think of it this way @golden1215, if you went to a restaurant and the owner served you would you leave w/o tipping because he's the owner? I think about this the same way. If someone provides me with a service for which I would normally tip, I don't consider who owns the company.
    right, but, photography is not a commonly consumed service like going to a restaurant. people don't know the rules on tipping a photographer because people have professional photos taken so infrequently. again, I am a photographer myself, I am all for tipping the bejeebus out of your photographer (!!) I just don't feel slighted in anyway in terms of etiquette when I am not tipped as I work for myself and already set my prices at a point that is beneficial to me, regardless of gratuity (where a lot of industries dont; e.g. waitresses make less than minimum wage, assuming that people will tip them. any photographer operating like that is in for a world o' hurt...)
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