Wedding Vendor Tipping Guide

Wedding Vendor Tipping Guide:  

This post will hopefully help clarify your role in the tipping process.  Our country, unlike most European countries, has a love/hate relationship with tipping.  But we do it, they don’t. The custom is a cause of wedding anxiety, and it is not inexpensive.  In fact, it is the number one “unexpected/unplanned expense of a wedding.”

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A big item to watch  for… do your catering, transportation, DJ, photography, contracts already include gratuities in your final price?  If so, you’ve already paid.

I know as a “Mother of the Bride” when I received my final bill for the photographer, and DJ, they included the gratuity in the bill. It was “optional”.  I had to have the bill reworked to reflect that I chose to tip on my own. But you may be of a mind to pay for your gratuity in your final bill.  That way, you have less cash to carry around the day of the wedding.  You may even be able to put it on your credit card.  Be forewarned, however… it takes away your option of tipping on performance. By pre-paying vendors’ tips, they have their gratuity before even showing up.

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Your catering contract almost ALWAYS doesn’t give you that option.  The gratuity is included and part of the bill, period!  The same is true for many, but not all, limo services.  Most include the “gratuity” in your bill. It is built in and you must pay it.

If you choose to pay tips in cash at the end of the wedding, have a responsible party hold and distribute the tips.  I suggest having cash ready, counted and placed in sealed envelopes with vendors’ names attached, at least one day before the wedding.

But how much to tip?  The chart below is one of the best I’ve found.  Hopefully, it will be helpful!

Bartenders: 10 percent of the total liquor bill  (to be split among them)
Bathroom attendants: $1 to $2 per guest
Catering manager: $200+ or a personal gift
Chef: $100+
Coat check attendants: $1 to $2 per guest
Hairstylist: 15 to 20 percent
Hotel chambermaids: $2 to $5 per room; $10 to $15 if you used a suite as your dressing room
Limo or bus drivers: 15 percent
Maitre d’hotel or headwaiter: 1 to 3 percent of food and beverage fees
Makeup artist: 15 to 20 percent
Musicians: 15 percent of fee for ceremony musicians; $25 to $50 per musician for reception
Photographer/videographer: If you’re paying a flat fee with no overtime, $100
Valet or parking attendants: $1 to $2 per car; 15 percent for valet parking
Waiters: $20 and up each (distributed by the catering manager or maitre d’)
Wedding planner: 15 percent of fee or a personal gift

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And remember…it is always appropriate to recognize someone’s excellent service.  Keep a little extra cash on hand in case you’ve forgotten someone, or a vendor has gone above and beyond and you wish to recognize him.

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Interesting Ways To Use Perishables At Your Wedding

Have you thought of this?  Interesting ways to use perishables at your wedding!  We all know “wristlets” are an iconic way to display flowers for you attendants or honored guests.  But have you ever seen something like the photo below?  Not only is it a very cool bracelet, but the “flowers” of choice are succulents.  I LOVE this.  Would I pick this option?  Probably not.  But I’d love to see it at a wedding.

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How about the bow tie below?  It could serve as the gentlemen’s tie AND their flowers!  No need for a boutonnière.  I find it surprising how few men AND women know how to attach a boutonnière.  Remember, use two pins, cross them, and go in through the BACK of the lapel.

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It’s quite common for couples to use their dogs as ring bearer/flower girl attendants.  The large wreath on the pup below is rather novel, however. What a cutie!

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weddingchicks

While using flowers as table decor is not new, the extravagance of the photo above is.  I love the opulence of this.

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In my opinion…mason jars can not be overused.  Unless you are having a formal affair, that is.  The above jars offer triple service: a lovely centerpiece, an aromatic device and a candle!  And I bet they weren’t cost prohibitive, either!

myweddingguides.com

We’ve all seen photos of brides with flowers in their hair, from Sarah, Duchess of York’s orange blossom wreath, to gentle halos.  But how about the full-blown roses in this bride’s hair?  One would need to have long and full hair to pull it off, but I think it’s spectacular.

Just think outside the box when considering perishable/natural products and you will amaze even yourself at your options!

A Special Post — In Honor of My Youngest

A Special Post… We all know…Life just ain’t fair.  As our youngest, Julia, often you missed out on things your older sisters enjoyed.  But sometimes…you were rewarded with a treat.  Such is the case with this post.  I wrote no such tribute when your sisters left for college, but as the last to leave the nest, you will be honored.

EB Taylor Photos

I remember when you were about two.  I had had a particularly trying day with my four children.  I had a daydream.  It was years in the future, and we had just dropped you off at college; your dad was on a business trip…and I was alone.  Blissfully, shockingly alone.  That day is quickly approaching, and as is often the case, it is not as I imagined. I don’t yearn for it, but dread it.  Do not get me wrong.  I am so thrilled about the woman you have become, the women all our daughters have become.  I know you are ready.  But is my heart breaking just a tad?  Yes, yes it is. Who am I now?  I am no longer the mom of four young girls who need me daily.  But always know, I’m here for you every hour of every day.

Above, the day you were born.  Our family was now complete.  My heart was at peace.  I yearned for no other children.

And with your sisters.  Julia, you are not just my baby…

 

Above with your new brothers…

Julia, please be true to yourself… as you always have been.  Let your spirit soar.

And don’t forget your dear old mom… I love you.

 

Photo #4 – Stephan Wang

Photo #5- Hannah Rachael Colt

Why Didn’t I Think of That? Innovative Wedding Ideas

I so often attend weddings and ask myself, “Why didn’t I think of that?”  I am constantly amazed at the creativity of others.  Frequently, an innovative wedding idea is born from using products in a way that is different from their original intent.  Take the “Cake Canopy” below.  It is an after market bed canopy.  I recognize it, as I purchased one many moons ago for one of my daughters. She felt like a “princess” in it.  🙂  But this product is also the perfect covering for a wedding cake.  It protects your cake from the elements, while still being able to be seen.

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While the two heel protector products below are not new, I couldn’t write a blog post about innovative ideas and not include them. I think the concept is brilliant, but according to brides who have used them, they are less then perfect.

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And below, behold…and old wash tub, a little water, candles and flowers and pow…you have a beautiful decorating item.

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How cute are these champagne flutes below?  I’m not positive how to create these delightful glasses, but I imagine a little black electrical tape, white ribbon, a hot glue gun, a gold pipe cleaner, and white tulle – done!  Adorable!

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If you’re planning an outdoor wedding, bug spray is a must. But I’ve noticed that guests get a wee bit impatient waiting for the spray bottles.  The option below, providing individual packets, is fabulous!  It’s always a good idea to purchase extras too.  If you have 100 guests in attendance, make sure you purchase at least 150 bug repellent packets.  Someone will want to reapply.

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