Post # 1
Who do I tip, and what’s a good amount?
Is it ok to tip in gift cards if know the person will use it?
Does my photographer, reverand (his fee is included in price for the church…) and wedding contact at the reception hall get tipped?
DJ’s, waiters at reception?
Anyone else that I might be forgetting?
What’s MANDATORY and what can be skipped (for budget reasons if need be?)
I am not cheap by any means, so I want to make sure we make plans for all these people.
Post # 3
it’s not necessary to tip, especially the photographer and dj if they work for themselves. we ended up tipping them at the spur of the moment because people did such a great job. we also tipped the event manager that ran our reception.
i’ve read that it’s appropriate to give a small "thank you" tip, like a bottle of wine, instead of money, if they are their own vendor. it’s not necessary to tip the waitstaff, but you might find your guests will (but don’t expect it). we made a donation to the wedding guild, but not the pastor, because the pastor was paid directly.
in my opinion, it means even more to give them a written thank you that they can later use as a reference.
Post # 4
I would disagree that the waitstaff doesn’t need to be tipped. I think the amount depends on the arrangements the caterer has the waitstaff – but in most cases there should be something budgeted (if service was poor it could be reduced – but you should at least have planned for it).
If the waitstaff are being paid an hourly wage (higher than a waiter would make) than I would still tip – but less than the 15%. If I knew the staff was being paid like a waiter I’d do 15%. I have a separate labor charge with my caterer (so I know they’re getting an hourly wage) and I was going to do 8-10% on food and beverages. I hope that’s fair – they say tips are not required but appreciated. Which usually means they expect something.
I think I would tip the wedding contact at the reception hall if she was present the day of and helped out that day (logistics etc.)
I wasn’t planning on tipping my DJ and photographer who both work for themself. I’d reserve gift cards and presents for people you’ve either worked with extensively through the planning process or "friends" that are providing services. Like an officiant that is also a friend – a gift would be more appropriate than money.
Post # 5
Tipping is a topic discussed often on these boards:
Try that link and see if it helps. I agree with Gaudoir, the wait staff should always be tipped if gratuity is not included in the contract.
For vendors who own their own company, sometimes the best tips are just a thank you card and an honest review and being available for future references.
Post # 6
i should add that our caterer charged a 20% service fee which included gratuity for the waitstaff. so i don’t necessarily disagree with the people above, but since it was included for mine, there was no need to add it.
Post # 7
I checked with my venue and they add a 20% service charge for the reception so the waitstaff is taken care of 🙂