Written by The Tipping Fairy...
You want a vent? Well, here it is.
I am just appalled/disgusted/frustrated/driven-to-tears by the information on the Internet by supposed bridal “authorities” regarding the issue of tipping wedding vendors.
The common rule of thumb proclaimed by these wedding-wise leaders is usually along the lines of: “You’re already shelling out a ton of money for your wedding, the vendors probably charge you more for a wedding versus another event (i.e., we’re all out to screw young couples), and no, you really don’t have to do this.”
No, you don’t “have to” do anything. But unless you were raised in a barn (no, it doesn’t count if you’re having your rustic, Mason jar, vintage suitcase, so been-there-done-that wedding in one), you should show some appreciation and gratitude to the team of people who are bending over backwards, working more hours than a medical student, and give up spending time with their families just to make your day “perfect.”
Here are some gems from THE expert of all things wedding (“they who shall not be named”) who in fact proclaim on their very own website that they were founded in 1996 to “offer a much-needed alternative to the white-gloved, outdated* advice of the available etiquette experts.” The title of this article is “Tipping Cheat Sheet.” Note the word “CHEAT” in the title! That should tell you something right there.
* Guess what? 1996 was, like, more than 15 years ago. Maybe YOU’RE now outdated? Ever think of that?
1. “Don’t tip business owners, only tip their employees.”
I cannot even begin to tell you how much this makes my blood boil. 95% of the vendors you are working with are small business owners. We do not (contrary to popular belief) jack up our prices because it’s a wedding, or to pay ourselves more. Most of us are merely trying to cover our costs (including paying our employees, who often take home more money than we do) and make enough money to eat. We are not all David Tuterra who (talented though he may be) makes more money than God and probably does not get on his hands and knees to wipe up the wine that your drunk cousin spilled so no one slips and breaks their neck.
Listen up: The days of “You don’t need to tip business owners” are OVER. No, I am not telling you to tip Donald Trump if you happen to be having your wedding at one of his gorgeous properties. I am telling you that a small gesture (literally even $25 to $50) goes a long way with small business owners.
2. “Wedding planners won’t likely expect anything; however, if yours did a great job you can always offer a token of your appreciation. Non-monetary thank-yous like professional photos of the wedding for the planner’s portfolio can go a long way, too.”
They did get one thing right. We don’t “expect” anything (aside from respect), but we so very much appreciate when you appreciate what we do for you.
I have been tipped upwards of $1,000 before, but I have also received a basket of homemade cookies from one couple and a $20 Starbucks gift card from another. You know what? While I certainly can’t lie and tell you that I was more pleased with the cookies than the big bucks (though they were very tasty), I can tell you that I know that the couple who sent them to me are struggling to make ends meet and it took time and thought for them to send those cookies to me, and the handwritten note of gratitude that accompanied them melted my heart and literally made my eyes well up with tears of love.
Yes, these non-monetary gestures can go a long way. But the advice from the “expert” above mentioned giving professional photos for the planner’s portfolio. This made me laugh out loud. And then shudder because I think I know that one of my MOB’s is going to give me one. (Why do I know this? Because it was she who sent me the link to this article, albeit with the best of intentions.)
No. No. No. I do not want these prints. My portfolio is DIGITAL, and I certainly don’t want to hang a framed photo of you in my office. Which is in my house. Where I barely have time to hang pictures of my own kids.
3. Regarding photographers and videographers: “You’re not expected to give your shutterbugs any dough beyond their normal fees.”
“Shutterbugs?” Really?! The person who you hired and trusted to take photos of you on what you think is going to be your most special day (by the way, if your wedding is the best day of your life, you are not living life to the fullest) is being compared to an insect?
The photographer who is wearing a three-piece-suit in 98 degree heat and lying down in the middle of a cornfield to get the perfect shot of your $1,000 Jimmy Choo shoes isn’t worthy of anything more than what you contracted for? Please. I cannot even continue down this path without calling you a selfish bitch. (Oops! Did I really say that?!)
There are many, many more “tips” that I can go on and on about. But I think BB has a maximum word count, so I’ll just end this here.
Oh, and congratulations on your upcoming wedding! I'm sure it'll be fucking perfect!