Post # 1
I was at a wedding this weekend at the same venue that mine is going to be at. It gave me a chance to see a live reception at the actual venue and I was able to spot things I liked as well as things I didn’t like. I was pleased with mostly everything, and the only things I didn’t like were things out of the venue’s control (small things, like songs and centerpieces, etc). Except there was one thing that the venue does that I’m not a fan of. It’s not a huge deal but for some reason it just strikes me as tacky and money-grabbing. It was the tip jar at the bar. I just don’t think money crammed into a jar looks nice, and I want my venue to look great to the best of its ability.
I spoke with one of the planners at the venue and they say that they always have that there, since that’s how the bartenders make extra cash. I get it, I’m all about tipping, but must there be a jar? I tip regardless if there’s anything to hold the money, and I’m sure my guests will also. It’s just as easy to put a few ones down on the bar or hand it to the bartender.
She could tell it really bothered me and said that, to make it look nicer, I could always bring my own decorated jar that would go with the theme of the wedding, but there’s just something so “GIVE ME YOUR MONEY!!” about a tip jar. We didn’t even want to register anywhere (but we did to keep the in-laws happy), and everything we registered for was on the cheap side. We’re not ones to ask for anything, so I don’t want guests to get that “give me money” feeling at our wedding.
I guess if it comes down to it I’ll design a nice tip jar since they don’t seem to be budging about not having one, but I’m so afraid it’s going to look tacky and I’ve worked so hard to ensure everything’s (hopefully) going to look great.
Did anyone else happen to design their own tip jar or get away with not having them put one out?
Post # 2
Most of the places I have talked to there is an option to do a tip jar or not and many of them forego your tip to the bartenders if you allow them to have a tip jar. If there is a cash bar I think there should be a tip jar, but if not, I don’t know why they would tell you, you must have it out.
Edit: I don’t think it will look tacky, especially if you make a cute one. Maybe make one with a cute little poll about you as a couple? Like, first baby boy or girl? And your guests can put their money in the one they think. Then it’s more cute and less “money-grabby.” If I were a guest I wouldn’t notice though.
Post # 3
I feel like the word tacky is getting thrown around a lot on the boards lately.
A tip jar for a bartender is not tacky. No one will even think twice about that.
Post # 4
This may not be the answer your looking for but maybe ask how much the bar staff usually makes a night and tip that before hand and ask if they would be alright with that instead of asking your guests?
Post # 5
Buzzy-little-bee: I would tell the venue that I did not want a tip jar and I would pay the bartenders’ gratuity myself.
A tip jar gives your guests the message that someone expects them to dig into their wallet and tip for their drinks. Just as paying for the drinks is the responsibility of the host, so is tipping.
Post # 6
Buzzy-little-bee: This should absolutely not be a necessity. We did not want a tip jar, so we tipped the bartenders for the whole night, and we put in their contract that that was what we were doing and that they weren’t allowed a tip jar. Unfortunately in my case, the bartenders put one out anyway and I didn’t find out and do something about it until hours into the wedding, but yes, you should be able to stipulate in the contract that you will be giving them a tip in lieu of a jar.
Post # 7
I do not feel there should be a tip jar at the bar because the couple hosting the wedding should be covering the gratuity for the vendors they have hired.
Post # 8
If tip is included in your charges already, then I would absolutely ask for the tip jar to be removed. There is no reason for you guest to have to tip them on top of what you paid if you have already tipped them for all your guest.
If you are not payng their tip, then I think there is no choice but to leave a tip jar, especially if it’s an open bar since people would assume you paid for the tip as well and they would then get nothing.
And if it is a cash bar, then obviously you have not paid the tip, and I think it’s ok to have a jar.
Tacky or ugly or whatever is irrlevant. It comes down to if you have tipped them yet or not imo.
Post # 9
I saw a small “tip tray” on a bar, a few years ago, but other than that, I haven’t seen a tip container in decades. I’ve never added to one, as I will drink one soda, in the course of the reception. Most venues do not use them/discourage them, but allow bartenders to collect cash behind the bar. I talked with and visited a number of venues , over the past few years, through planning weddings for both daughters. Either they included gratuities in their rates or added them on at the end. I.E. our 8/14 wedding, the fee for 4 hours of open bar was $44. Sales tax was included in that rate, but a 20% gratuity was added-on. Therefore, the bartenders already were receiving $8.8 per guest from us.
Post # 10
Are you doing an open or cash bar?
Can you pay a gratuity fee instead?
Post # 11
even with an open bar, bartendars work in part for the tips. you can ask if you can pay a larger lump sum or % for the tip, but typically people will tip if there is a live bartendar. even at open bars, i tip
Post # 12
I have never been to a wedding without a tip jar so it wouldn’t seem tacky to me.
If it bothers you, tell them you will pay the gratuity with your final bill.
Post # 13
Where I live, people do not allow tip jars. This is something that should be addressed when you sign contract. Why should bartenders get tips and not wait staff?
Post # 14
Thanks everyone! We double checked with the venue and unfortunately, the gratuities are not included in what we’re paying for the venue, which is why they don’t want to take down the tup jar. It will be an open bar, and we are planning on tipping everyone (bar & waitstaff, etc) and we asked if it would be okay to tip beforehand rather than afterwards and they said that would be fine. They agreed to take the tip jar down (reluctantly), and I still don’t understand what the big deal is, since some of the guests will probably tip anyway and we will be tipping them beforehand (generously). Oh well, at least the problem is taken care of.
MissComicBook: I love that idea of having 2 different jars, one for boy and the other for girl. If I absolutely had to go with a tip jar I would definitely do something like that! Thanks!