Post # 1
I know there are probably posts surrounding this; I found one in a NY board, but would like the general opinion and appreciate any feedback you gals may have.
What is the general etiquette surrounding vendor tipping? Is it mandatory that you tip every vendor? For example, our cake was included with our catering quote, but is being delivered from a bakery where I already paid a delivery fee. Do I need to tip them? What about the DJ and Videographer who are included with the Photography package? How do you guage who to tip?
Also, how much is standard per vendor? Obviously in a restaurant you would tip 15%-20% as a minimum, but for our catering package that comes out to an extra $1000. I know this is supposed to be a token of gratitude for service, but between servers and chefs and bartender we are having 5-6 individuals solely for the food. I am in no way trying to short someone of hard-earned money, but am uncertain how to guage in this situation. Can you all offer some insight? Thanks!
Post # 4
I looked all around for information on this, and it really varied. A lot of places say to tip "whoever you feel goes above and beyond." However, since I don’t normall carry around suitcases of cash, I kinda already needed to know what the plan was.
In the end, I definitely tipped anyone working for someone else. This meant the catering staff and limo/shuttle driver, off the top of my head. I also tipped the band (we booked them through an agent, so they didn’t receive the full fee) and the solo guitarist, just because I felt like those were the types of vendors that should be tipped. I tipped my WC, although that one was tough, b/c she’d just bought the company (although I expect she shared it w/ the two assistants that worked on the day). I didn’t tip photog or florist, b/c both work for themselves. I also didn’t tip delivery people, although I saw that one mentioned a lot (my WC said she’d never seen people do it). I didn’t tip my site coordinator, since she did very little (a few emails back and forth, really). Tipped the make-up artist/hairstylist the standard 20%.
For amounts, I generally did 20%. Keep in mind that for the catering staff, they are generally paid very little. I tipped before that day, and they were actually awesome … maybe b/c the tip was generous? For the WC, I think I did a few hundred dollars. I think I did $25 per band member, and 20% for the soloist.
Post # 5
I didn’t tip any of my vendors.
The catering was part of our venue and gratuity was calculated into the fee (18% of the cost, which was distributed amongst all the staff- bar tenders, chefs, servers, etc).
The DJ was self-employed, thus the fee went directly to her- no need to tip. If she was working for a company as an employee I probably would have tipped her.
I paid a delivery fee for the cake- didn’t even think to tip (plus I wasn’t there when the cake was delivered, I was getting married).
We didn’t have a florist.
Similar to the DJ, the DoC was the owner of her own business, so I didn’t tip her.
Oh- MrsTye’s comment about ‘going above and beyond’ made me think-
I LOVED my DJ and DoC. While I didn’t tip them, I wrote positively glowing reviews of them here on Weddingbee and over on The Knot and Weddingwire.
Given that my DoC has already gotten a couple of jobs thanks to my reviews, I think that was a better ‘tip’ than cash!
Post # 6
The "related posts" under your post all have some great insights about who to tip and how much to tip them.
It is certainly not mandatory that you tip every vendor. There is some agreement that you do not need to tip someone who owns their own business (unless you want to). That’s probably true of your photographer, florist, bakery, DJ, videographer, etc. Similarly, there is some agreement that if you have already paid a delivery fee or a gratuity that you do not need to tip. So if there is an 18% gratuity charge in your catering contract (there probably is), you do not need to tip the caterers, bartenders, servers, etc. because they are all included therein (check on this though). For the bakery, if they’re charging you a cake delivery fee then I think you don’t need to tip them for bringing it—it’s not like they are doing a favor to you for bringing it.
At my wedding I did not tip anyone except for the hair and makeup people, which I think is customary, and they got a 15% to 20% tip. If someone is in business for themselves, then I trust that they have set their work at the price that it’s worth. If they are truly exceptional I would give them a tip, but it would have had to have been really something out of the ordinary. Like if there was a snowstorm and your bakery still delivered your cake in the middle of a blizzard when the power was out everywhere in town, then I would say a tip is in order. Bonus points if it happens on the beach in Florida 🙂
What do you all think? Who should you definitely tip?
My only votes so far go for hair and makeup people and limo drivers (lol, even though I didn’t tip my limo driver because he gave us a hassle about leaving on time, even though we had contracted him for 3 hours he wanted to cut us off halfway and go pick up another fare).
Post # 7
Related question – WHEN do you tip these people – beginning of reception, end of reception, the next day?? Am I supposed to prepare envelopes with money to distribute? I am having an open bar all night and know the drinkers will be tipping generously which means I don’t have to tip the bartenders, right?
Post # 8
I think you would tip them at the end of the night with money in an envelope. I would assign someone else to do it because you will be busy!
Tipping the bartenders is up to you. If they are getting a gratuity through the catering contract, and you think other drinkers will be tipping them, I don’t think it is necessary. It’s up to you though.
Post # 9
If your vendor owns the company, tip isn’t necessary – unless you feel the vendor went out-of-the-way to do everything for you. It is your discretion. I do agree with rosychicklet that vendor-owners would appreciate good reviews and referrals – maybe even more than monetary tip.
Tip only to those vendors who you think deserve it. Don’t feel oblige.