Advice : : tipping your vendors – part I

Right about now you are saying “Is this woman mad?!?! Now we have to include tips on top of everything else???”. Perhaps if you look at it from another point of view, you might see things differently. When you go to a fancy and expensive restaurant you expect nothing shy of perfection when it comes to the wait staff right? And unless you get absolute horrible service, you still leave a tip as a courtesy for that service even though you just paid a heap load for the meal itself. The same goes for your vendors.

Here is some general advice on which vendors should be tipped and how much. One of the first steps would be to find out from your vendors if tipping is allowed. There are several vendors that include the wages of their staff in their price. Also, some vendors add gratuities to their final price so ensure to double check the contract and not to tip twice.

{image via Kate Spade New York}

If you have hired a wedding planner or coordinator, this person should be the task owner for delivering the tips and payments to these vendors. Someone should be assigned such as the best man or one of the fathers in the event that you do not have a planner or coordinator. All tips must be calculated and prepared in separate envelopes ahead of time, making it easier for the person responsible to deliver the tips. Also, the gratuity should either be handed out at the time of service (hair and makeup), at the end of the wedding (this allows you to adjust based on the service provided) or at the beginning of the wedding. Chances are if you hand out your gratuity envelopes before, the vendors will be more likely to go above and beyond for you.

Here is a tipping cheat sheet:

Limousine or Bus Drivers:  10-15 percent of the limousine bill, given at the end of the evening

Valet Parking Attendants: $1 to $2 per car and a sign should be posted to guests that the gratuity is taken care of

Wait staff: 15 percent of the total catering bill, if the tip is not stipulated in the contract already

Maître d’hôtel or headwaiter: 1 to 3 percent of food and beverage fees

Bartenders – 10 percent of the total liquor bill (split among them). Make sure that a tip hasn’t been added to your contract already

Bathroom attendants: $1 to $2 per guest Coat check attendants: $1 to $2 per guest

Makeup artist: or Hair Stylists:  15 to 20 percent Makeup artist: 15 to 20 percent

DJ: If the DJ owns the company then the tip is optional but if the DJ is an employee, $50 to $100. If you have 2 DJs (DJ & MC), give each person $50 in separate envelopes. When your guests rave about your reception later, it’s the DJ that had everything to do with the fun

Musicians:15 percent of fee for ceremony musicians; $25 to $50 per musician for reception, with the sum given to the person in charge.

Please note, these are examples and are an average based on region. Prices will vary from major cities to suburban towns.

Stay tuned for Part Deux soon!

Max xoxo

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One thought on “Advice : : tipping your vendors – part I

  1. Pingback: Advice : : tipping your vendors – part II | Reserve the Date :: the Blog

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