I will never understand why this even a question. The question SHOULD be, “who should I tip, and how much?” not “am I supposed tip these people?” Think about it… Tipping is a token of appreciation and gratitude for a job well done… Perhaps it isn’t as obvious to those of you not in “the industry”, but to put it into perspective… Would you leave an incredible dinner at your favorite restaurant without tipping? Well, consider this the dinner of your life. So, express your sincere gratitude to those lovely people that had a hand in the most important day of your life with some cash. Put this as a line item in your budget from the get-go. Please note, it’s important for me to state that if you don’t feel as though you received extraordinary service from any of these professionals, then skip it. But for now, allow me to take you back to grade school... Who? What? When? Where? Why?
Who Should I Tip and Why?
Tip anybody who had a hand in your wedding. I don't care if the woman who did your duchess ‘do owns her own shop. Do you love your hair? Well then tip her! I own my own shop too, and you know what? After a year of working with you, I shoulda charged more... A tip makes it all feel better.
Tip the wedding manager in charge of your wedding at that fancy venue of yours. Why? Well, first of all, I can assure you that they don't make nearly as much money as you think they do. And, secondly you probably have no idea how many hoops they had to jump through to get the job done, and done well. Don’t forget the banquet manager.... This person(s) literally made the floor plan come to life for your wedding. And while we are at it… remember the head server (or captain as they are sometimes called), bartenders, servers, etc. Basically, the whole crew. And, don’t forget the chef! Especially if your food rocked!
Photographers, florists, DJs oh my!!! Yes, tip them too. All of them… The same rule goes for the photographers as with the hair peeps. Most own their own shop, and all of the verbiage online says to tip their assistant and not the owner. I completely disagree with this thought process. If you have a great photographer, it will show in pictures and can truly change the story of your album. Throw them a few bucks.
A few more peeps to consider: officiant, limousine driver, and caterer…
What should I tip?
Listen, I know that your wedding probably costs a lot more than you anticipated when you initially started planning the details, and I am certainly not about to assume anybody’s finances. So my best advice to you is to use your best judgment. If you’ve chosen wisely, then the wedding professionals you’ve hired aren’t cheap, and the last thing you want to do is throw more $$$$ at them. However, if you feel like they’ve done an exceptional job, then show them. A tip is never expected, just appreciated. If you are uncomfortable giving them cash, go for an AMEX gift card or a gift certificate to a fabulous restaurant.
When and where should I give them their tip?
Most vendors receive their tip at the end of the night. Designate somebody you trust (like one of your parents) to handle this for you. Obviously tip your hair and make-up people before they leave wherever you are getting ready. And finally, I’d tip the chef (or caterer), wedding manager and banquet manager a day or two prior to the wedding. By giving them their tip ahead of time, odds are they will want to “earn” it by providing even more exceptional service.
There you go my bubbling brides… I hope this helps clear the air. Remember, every professional you’ve hired to be a part of your wedding day is in the service industry. In this country we reward good service, so quit being a cheap bitch and take care of the people that helped you set the tone for the rest of your lives!