(Closed) Who do we tip?

posted 5 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
1696 posts
Bumble bee

@bananapancakes96:  Tip anyone who provides you with a personal service, who is not himself or herself directly in your employ. You do not tip the coordinator if she is the owner of the lodge: you find this out by saying something oblique about the owner … like “what a nice room — the owner has very good taste … ?” and waiting to see if the coordinator agrees with you, or just says “thank-you”. You do not tip the photographer, and you only tip his assistant if she helps arrange your veil, or offers you a comb for a quick touch-up, or provides some other personal service.

Tip the flower delivery driver 10% of the cost of the flowers. A  bridal bouquet is between one and two hundred dollars, a corsage runs about twenty dollars, centrepieces around fifty dollars. So tip $20  or so depending on whether he is polite and helpful and whether the flowers are more or less than you expected.

Tip 10% to 20% of the cost of the cake. A one-tier sheet-cake with cream-cheese icing should be about $50 so tip $10. If the delivery person also sets it up, double that. If it is a fancier cake with rolled-fondant icing and elegant icing-sugar decorations it may be worth as much as $200, so vary your tip upward when you see the cake.

Are you paying a service charge in the overall rental? Service charges are usually 15% to 20% of the base cost, but you have no way of knowing who it is going to. So if there is a stated and required service charge, tip your coordinator 20% of the service charge. If not, take 15% of the base cost, subtract the tips you have already paid to delivery drivers and photographic assistant and any tips you want to pay to wait staff at the dinner, and tip the coordinator the remainder.

If you are in the United States then the most important people to tip are the wait staff, because they are not protected by minimum wage laws and without tip could be paid obscenely below the poverty line. They may even be required to pay out tip percentages to other staff and be taxed — on “presumed” tips that they did not receive. If you are in Canada or Australia unjust wages are not tolerated simply because the job is serving tables, and other workers are covered by minimum wage laws, so you have more leeway in deciding how much and whether to tip. But for table servers in the US, failing to tip is immoral, not just bad etiquette.


Post # 4
1671 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2014 - Church

@aspasia475:  That is so helpful.

I do need to point out, however, that the server hourly wage is dependent on the employer in Canada. Some of them do the minimum wage for staff that serve alcohol (I think that is 8 something an hour, minimum wage here is 10.25/hour – other provinces have different rates) while some of them earn 14 an hour plus tip at nicer restaurants in hotels. In some countries it is considered rude to tip (thinking of Australia) but the minimum wage is more on par with cost of living. I’ve read that in some States waiters make as little as 2.5/hour (no way you can live on that) and it is the customer that is expected to fill in the rest of the wage by tipping.

I wondered about the photographer since I saw a few boards where people mentioned tippingphotographers …

Post # 5
1696 posts
Bumble bee

@laceydoilies:  Yes — it is important to realize that even in Canada four provincial governments apparently have the inconsistent expectation that customers who drink are somehow responsible to help cover wage costs that properly belong to the employer. In the maritimes, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavet, minimum wage is minimum wage. As it should be– ten dollars or more (except Nova Scotia who have this interesting wrinkle affecting workers with less than three months experience, but it has nothing to do with tipping.)

The four provinces who do not respect the right of ALL workers to minimum wage, and the right of customers to CHOOSE whether or not to tip, are Alberta (70 cents per hour below minimum wage for workers serving liquor), BC ($1.25 per hour below minimum wage for workers serving liquor), Ontario($1.35 per hour below minimum wage for workers serving liquor), and Quebec ($1.40 per hour below minimum wage for anyone who receives gratuities!!). It is better in Canada than in the states, since a single wage-earner earning even the lower minimum wage can (according to Stats Canada) support a family of four (at 42 hours per week, all year, no vacations), but the difference means they will be in “straightened circumstances” instead of at the “low income cut-off”.  In theory, this should mean you don’t have a social-justice obligation to tip in the other nine jurisdictions, and in those four provinces your social-justice obligation can be met with a smaller tip than in the States where servers may be paid, as you say, less than three dollars an hour. But the theory doesn’t comfort me when I look at the underlying values betrayed by this sort of unjust law. How does it benefit anyone: employers, the ecoomy, or the electorate, to discounting a working-person’s’s value by these picyune amounts — when those same small amounts add up to such a big  difference to the workers who are living so close to the margin? It is just meanness: throwing hard-working people onto the charity of strangers. It leaves a bad taste in my mouth every time I think about it.

I shall go now, and write another forceful letter on the subject to my MLA.

Post # 6
9952 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2012

Lol, one of the best posts I’ve ever read from dearest @aspasia475:

(Had me chuckling out loud)

Long story short…

If you live in North America.

You must tip the Serving Staff (be they Waiters or Bartenders)

Inquiries will have to be made of your Caterer if the Wait Staff come with the Catering…

For example, the Caterer I used told me that he’d be tacking 15% onto my Invoice to cover the tip (he’d be paying their salary).  And it did show up as a Line Item = Service Gratuity 15%

A nice convenience for me for sure… in that I didn’t have to somehow figure out the math / carry extra cash, and tip them on the day of.

Lol, still tho our Wait Staff (we only had a couple, due to it being an Evening affair with Hors d’ouevres vs sit down meal) went above and beyond the call of duty, so I did give them a bit extra before they departed for the evening (kind of made up the difference from the straight old 15% Tip to a 20% one)… and so I figured they were definitely owed it (in reality I am usually an 18% to 20% tipper on the BEFORE Tax Total)

Our Bartenders we tipped based on our Bar Tab… so that one was easy.

Hope this helps,

And oh ya for the record… I live in Ontario.  One of those dispicable Provinces with a two-tiered Minimum Wage. 

Like aspasia475: I long for the day when we’ll finally see a Living Minimum Wage across the boards for everyone (you make enough money to actually live on above the poverty line).  As the system we have now in NA that grew out of the Post Civil War Era (2 distinct classes of citizens) has long lost its charm in society… well for anyone who knows the actual history and reason why.  Everyone deserves enough money to live on for the work they perform… they truly shouldn’t be put in the spot of having to “wish” that you’ll pay them what they deserve for a job done at the end of a meal… by tossing a few extra coins their way.

Lol, rant over


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