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.”

Bindersgarden.wordpress.com

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.

brides.com

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

Realsimple.com

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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.

rd.com

 

Ice – How This Simple Household Staple Can Spice Up Your Wedding

A common kitchen staple can make your wedding sparkle!  Ice is something we take for granted. But it can add some pizzazz to your reception. Take a look at the frozen blocks below. They are designed to take the place of bags used for chilling beverages.  Interested?  Read one bride’s simple instructions below.

offbeat bride.com

“Months before the wedding my mother started collecting plastic bottles. She filled them with water and [fake] flowers and put them in the freezer. The morning of the wedding we cut off the plastic to reveal the blocks. They were both pretty and took the place of having to buy bags of ice for an outdoor summer wedding.”

marthastewart.com

Interested in pretty EDIBLE cubes?  Martha Stewart has the recipe for that!

  1. “To suspend flowers in cubes, work in layers: Fill an ice tray (one that makes large cubes so it will last longer) a quarter of the way with water, add flowers facing down, and freeze. Add more water to fill halfway, and freeze. Fill to the top, and freeze again.

  2. For ice that’s especially clear, use distilled water that has been boiled and then cooled. This limits impurities and air bubbles, which make ice cloudy.

  3. Use only edible flowers, such as orchids, nasturtiums, pansies, and snapdragons, that have been grown to be eaten (to ensure they haven’t been treated with chemicals).”

weddingomania.com

The rose above encased in it’s frozen world is a lovely and original centerpiece.

brideguide.com

Truly, could you find a more beautiful wine holder than the one above?  I love LOVE this!

eftphotography.com

I am not sure where the photo above was taken, but it is spectacular! The photo is unique, beautiful and is the perfect setting for a winter wedding photo opp. I think it was brilliant that that bride chose a mauve colored dress to offset the starkness of the frozen backdrop.

 

The Donut Wedding Cake

Love Donuts?…Consider the Donut Wedding Cake!  Looking for something a little different from the ultra traditional wedding cake, but something that your guests will love….that YOU will love?  Look no further than the “Donut Wedding Cake”.  When you think about it, it’s BRILLIANT!  Pretty, tasty and sure to be a crowd pleaser.

 

pinterest.com

Now the “cake” above is just a thing of beauty!  And a donut is the prefect size to feed your bride or groom their “first bite” of something sweet.  And this particular cake looks sturdy enough for guests to “help themselves” from anywhere in the cake. If not done correctly, this could be a precarious situation with other “donut cake” types.

himisspuff

Looking to combine your favorite donut dessert with a traditional wedding cake?  Then either the above or below photos could be for you!  The top pic has a darling “cutting cake” for the bride and groom to do the honors… then PERHAPS preserving the top layer for their first anniversary. Interested in saving the top layer of YOUR wedding cake?  Click on the following link Preserving the Top Layer of Your Wedding Cake for details from an earlier blog post.  I actually used this method for my two daughters’ cakes and it worked well.  And the cake below provides an actual wedding cake with donut embellishments!

ruffledblog

Love donuts, but desire something a little different?  These donut holes could be just the ticket.  Maybe they could serve as an end of evening snack.

thenewportbride

And the donut cake below…love the flowers interspersed.  I think even I could create this lovely confection.  I know, I know, it wouldn’t be as easy as it looks.  But if you have a professional, or a talented friend or relative assemble this, it would definitely be a money saver.  An average wedding cake ranges from $ 500.00 to $ 1,500; most, somewhere in between. Not so with this cute donut cake.  But come on!  That’s probably not why you’d choose this option.  Donuts are just plain good…

swooned magazine.com

And if I were doing it…I wouldn’t mess around!  I’d just create this delightful donut wall!  🙂

stylemepretty

 

Let’s Catch Up With Nova McLaren

It’s time to catch up with the brilliant wedding dress designer Nova McLaren.  Olivia, the artist behind the label, has been hard at work this wedding season.  I don’t know how she does it, and with such creative perfection too!

Olivia’s July weddings for this year, as always, are something special.  One in particular strikes me. The bride is from the mid-west; the groom’s roots are from India.  For the ceremony, as a surprise for her groom, the bride has commissioned a beautiful lace sari to drape over her wedding gown.  It will sport a gold belt, and traditional Indian gold jewelry she has had specially made.  This will be removed for the reception and then her groom and their guests will see her exquisite french lace ‘off the shoulder’ gown.   The look for this dress will focus on pearls, both on the gown, and as accessories.  Olivia confides they are two completely different looks, but beautiful none the less. (if you’d like to read a blog post about “Two in One Wedding Gowns”, clink on the link.)

While I can’t show you photos in progress, due to the “top secret” status, I can show you some lace samples — exquisite!

The photo below gives a brief glimpse of the time consuming bead work Olivia does.  I am in awe of her talent.

Wonder what’s in the photo below?  I did also at first!  They are lace covered buttons; covered by hand!  Olivia works with the precision of a surgeon.  A wedding dress designer is not just a seamstress, but an artist.  One must truly love this work, and it’s apparent that Olivia does.

Are these gowns out of most brides’ price range?  No.  While not inexpensive, when one takes into account that all alterations are included in the price of the dress, the value is exceptional.  I still have two daughters to marry off…I will definitely be knocking on Olivia’s door to at least see what our options would be…Kudos Nova McLaren. (Link to website below)  And don’t worry…there will be another installment about this brilliant designer soon…  🙂

Nova McLaren