(Closed) Vendor Tipping

posted 10 years ago in Long Island, New York
Post # 3
Member
132 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: November 2008

I actually am not tipping my photographer and videographer.  They have their own small businesses with no overhead (work out of their homes) so they pocket pretty much what they are charging and their prices are quite inflated.  If I like the outcomes I might tip them then.  I am going to see my florist that day so I will tip her when she drops off our bouquets and as for the wait staff I was going to have my dad find the planner earlier that day but its really all preference.  When you are dealing with cash though I get a bit nervous.  Not everyone is probably as honest as you and I.  Can you have the best man or your dad be around when deliveries are coming in so they can tip them?  If not maybe the matre’d is your best bet.

Oh and I am getting married in NJ just so you know its probably pretty comparable.  I do think tips are all a preference.  I asked my friends that had most recently gotten married for their suggestions as a guideline.

Post # 4
Member
60 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: December 1969

pinklau,

Please do not make the mistake of thinking that photographers and videographers do not have overhead. It’s incredibly expensive to run a reputable business, even out of your home. Equipment, taxes, and insurance make up a few of the biggies.

MrsB,

Many vendors do not even expect tips, so I’d say that the $50-$200 range should be fine. I think $200 might be excessive for some. 

Post # 5
Member
90 posts
Worker bee

Wait….so you’re telling me that I’m already paying my photographer 1800 dollars plus mileage and I’m supposed to tip him too?  Seriously? I’m not trying to be mean here, but come on! 

Post # 6
Member
107 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: November 2008

I think it is important to tip your photographers, espcially if they do a really good job.  That being said, you should not tip more than you can afford, so if it is only $100 each, and $50 for the assistant, that should be enough, and of course you can tip more if you like!  Also remember, the photographer is taking the photos on your wedding day, but they have not processed them, photoshopped, or delivered the final product to you yet, so tipping may help ensure they give you the best service after the wedding. (Although i like to think the photographers are professional enough to not treat you poorly if you don’t tip).  If the photographer is for some reason really awful or rude, then I might consider not tipping.

Here is a question on tipping, we are paying for the cake delivery already (even though the bakery is like 1 mile away), so do I need to tip the people who deliver the cake?  Keep in mind, they are not setting up the cake, just driving it over. My thoughts are no tip, or maybe just like $5 to the driver, like it’s a pizza?

 

 

 

Post # 7
Member
90 posts
Worker bee

I really am bothered by all of this (as you can tell from my previous post)…..I think all of this tipping is just so out of hand.  NO, you shouldn’t have to tip when you are paying a delivery charge.  NO you shouldn’t have to tip when you’re paying someone 1800 dollars to photograph your wedding and that does not include ANY prints.  No no no.  WHen is the last time YOU all made 1800 dollars in 8 hours?  I don’t even make that in a month!  Seriously……..arent’ we being a bit overgenerous here.  If they wanted the extra money, they should put it in the cost.  TIPPING SHOULD NEVER BE EXPECTED.  By the time I’m done "mandatory tipping" all of my vendors, I’ll be an extra grand in the hole!  Anyone else frustrated with this concept?  I hate tipping just because it’s expected of me.  It’s one thing to do it because someone was done excellently, but a whole other thing if you get bad service later because you have already shelled out a ton of money for a service and then they expect a tip on top of that.  Please, someone tell me you feel the same way. 

Post # 8
Member
90 posts
Worker bee

Oh yeah…."Only a hundred dolllars each"…….I shouldn’t have to get a second job to pay for all these tips.

Post # 9
Member
9 posts
Newbee

I agree with you Gracielou.

Post # 10
Member
10 posts
Newbee

As a videographer, with a home-based business, I hear all of your concerns…and it’s like this:

Yes, it’s expensive, but videographers should set their rates based on their professionalism, quality of their product and industry standards. The cameras we use cost anywhere between $2000 and $6000…stripped, accessories can add another few thousand to that. You spend 6-12 hours shooting the wedding day, whatever you agree on, PLUS another 10-20 hours editing it! There are also smaller costs that add up, tape stock, printer ink, DVDs, music selected from couples, etc. Not to mention wear and tear, not just on your camera or your body, but also on your accessories and editing equipment, which can cost upwards of $10,000. And most of those items have to be replaced/upgraded every 5 years or so. That is all taken into consideration.

We probably charge in the average range for the better videos locally. That being said, part of the "professionalism" includes not expecting a tip!

Never have we awkwardly lingered, waiting around for a tip. No one should expect one. Servers in restaurants should expect a tip, but never vendors, unless you’re completely pompous.

We never secretly seethe on the car ride home "I can’t believe that bridezilla didn’t tip us!" Isn’t the whole point of a tip to be surplus? Not something you should feel entitled to? Something extra you earn for going above and beyond? We have been tipped, I’d say about 10-25% of our clients tip us and we are seriously astounded by the gesture, because we do realize that weddings are incredibly pricy and there is a long list of expenses. So when we do get a tip, we are incredibly honored to know that the couple felt that we did such a good job, that they felt compelled to spend more than they’d budgeted on us! It’s a nice reward for hard work and should be appreciated, not expected!

If you want a professional wedding video, expect to pay for one…but don’t expect to tip! 🙂 

Post # 11
Member
40 posts
Newbee

I am in complete agreement with gracielou on this one. Tipping should never be mandatory – it is almost seen as something you HAVE to do. It is something that you can do if someone gives you exemplary service above and beyond what you expected if costs are typically included. For waitstaff – most major caterers already charge 18 percent gratuity on top of the final food bill – so tipping the waitstaff seems silly and obnoxious. I could see tipping the band for playing a few of your extra songs requested, or perhaps learning the song you had to have played. But after you tip a 5 piece band, photogs, video, etc, you end up with an extra 1-2k tacked on! I say just say no if it is in your bill for waitstaff – and use your best judgement in other areas.

 

Post # 12
Member
122 posts
Blushing bee

I am interested in this topic as well.  I am in an area of NJ where vendors’ prices are on the higher end of the spectrum. I am the first of my friends to get married so I have no one to ask, but I always assumed (based on wedding magazines, wedding themed tip envelopes in shops, etc.) that tips were mandatory but when I mentioned it to my mom she practically had steam coming out of her ears! I admit when I added up the ‘suggested’ gratuities it amounted to a small fortune.  Do you tip a wedding planner who is the owner of her business? I was thinking a gift would be more appropriate…  I’ve seen that you should be tipping band members 10-20% individually but we are having a 10 person band… It could easily get out of control if you follow the ‘guidelines.’

Post # 13
Member
132 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: November 2008

I am in Northern NJ and feel the same way. I mean my photographer is costing me $5k without albums and I am supposed to tip him as well? I mean I might but I would rather see how his work is first so maybe he will get it after the fact and I do feel the same for the videographer. I am extra tipping the servers at the reception, bartenders, valet drivers, and coat check (we are getting married in 2 weeks and its getting cooler!). I am giving some money to my ceremony musicians who just went above and beyond. I am tipping the band. Soontobekgc I have 9 people and will tip the leader $50 and each member $25. I have heard friends giving lump sums though. I guess its all about what you feel and where you think they deserve that extra special treat. Believe me I know in the service industry the tips do help but I also think they should not expect them.

Post # 14
Member
51 posts
Worker bee

If you Google the terms "wedding tipping etiquette" you’ll get a good selection of opinions and suggestions for who to tip, and how much. That being said, there may be some variation from state to state, or region to region.

But from my experience, most photographers who are owners of their business do not expect tips. Of course, if you feel your photographer has gone above and beyond then it’s always appreciated, but tips are generally not expected. However, if the photographer is a freelancer working for a studio, or a staff photographer (not the owner) then it’s certainly appropriate to include a tip. I hope that helps!

Joe Milton

International Society of Professional Wedding Photographers

Post # 16
Member
10 posts
Newbee

Future Mrs. B,

I’ve worked with a photog who charges around what you’re paying for photos and he is elated to get a $100 tip…(even though he split it with me).

He will appreciate the gesture and your appreciation of all his hard work. I’d say $100 and up would be substantial enough.

Joe advised googling for answers. I’ve heard 10%, but I realize sometimes you may feel the need or desire to spread the wealth and it can get pricy. 10% should transcend the market variations throughout the country. So in NJ, I’m guessing it’d be closer to $200.

I’d say $100 is a good starting off point. Whatever he gets over that will most likely blow him away!

 Enjoy your wedding day! 

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