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    Thursday
    Aug022012

    Show Me the MONEY!!

    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on their very own website that they were founded in 1996 to “offer a much-needed alternative to the white-gloved, outdated* advice of the available etiquette experts.”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 Maybe YOU’RE now outdated?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!

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    Reader Comments (24)

    I may have just peed my pants a little. That was hilarious and so on-point.

    August 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLiz Fields

    Hey Liz,

    Totally! But, SO true... and we all know who The Tipping Fairy is referring to circa advice from fucking 1996... Just sayin'...

    XO,
    BB

    August 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBitchless Bride

    Yes, BB, you are right. We all know who I am referring to. And that is the main point of this vent. I am not trying to call out couples for being cheap. They are being ridiculously misled by "they who shall not be named." It is they who are really to blame. The MOB who sent me the link to the very article I referenced, is a very sweet, generous, and caring woman. She is just getting the WRONG information from a bridal "authority" (who happens to employ a slew of interns and fresh-faced college graduates that don't know shit about the industry since they are not really even in it).

    August 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterThe Tipping Fairy

    Amen!

    August 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAddie

    Great article. My advice to brides who contact me about this (as IF I'm some kind of authority - weird) is always: tip what you can, if it's deserved. Simple as that!

    I'm pretty sure I know the entity to which y'all are referring and I am NOT a fan (see what I did there????).

    August 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMindy @ BudgetFairyTale

    I also don't think this just goes for the wedding day. If somebody provides me with a service, whether it is washing and styling my hair, manicuring my nails and toes, serving me food or drinks, they are usually depending on my tips! The service industry, especially in the US, is structured in a way that costs/minimums are covered and tips are earned by the level of service provided. This keeps businesses competitive in their pricing and service level. Most people can't understand that concept in their daily lives, so how do you expect them to understand it when they are up on a pedestal as "Queen" of the day and feel that everybody owes them one?? But if you have a TV show, don't worry, people will pay any amount of money because you MUST be the best at what you do, right?

    August 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLiz Fields

    HA!

    I am dying over these comments!!!! I have nothing to add that hasn't been addressed!!! I agree with all of you, and Addie... AMEN is right!

    XO,
    BB

    August 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBitchless Bride

    This is GREEEEEAAAATTTTT!!!!! I wrote something totally realistic about tipping on my blog a while ago. Brides need to the know the TRUTH! So fed up with all of the crap going around- I'm sick of it!!!

    Hey Lauren,

    Right? Thanks for weighing in! I wrote a post, "Am I Supposed to Tip These People" back in November, but it's always nice to have a refresher course in "who am I supposed to tip?"

    I don't still don't get why it's a QUESTION! It should be HOW MUCH am I supposed to tip, not SHOULD I tip...

    And that archaic "resource" needs to update her site... I mean, when's the last time she's DONE a wedding?

    XO,
    BB

    August 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBitchless Bride

    As a representative of the unconventional wedding community, I find it hilarious that the reigning authority on weddings and Lord Voldemort are now going by the same moniker.

    The truths that Tipping Fairy pointed out here inspired me to post on the topic on my site as well (linked back, of course). Hope that's cool w/ you BB!

    Oooh, my assumption was incorrect, but I'm back on track now! lol

    (PS Laura, I hope my tip was sufficient - haha!)

    August 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMindy @ BudgetFairyTale

    Hey Laura,

    Yahoo! Of course! And I agree... about said moniker!

    I'll got check out your post!

    PS- Mindy, we are here to teach and guide my friend! No worries!

    XO,
    BB

    August 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBitchless Bride

    Oh! So glad y'all got the Harry Potter reference! And the "Lord Voldemort" I am referring to is not Martha. I love her. Just FYI.

    August 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterThe Tipping Fairy

    Mindy - more than enough. And, just so you know, I know have to "fight" my daughter over which one of us gets to wear the "Believe" necklace you gave me. We honestly take turns! Thank you, honey!!

    @Laura - *Whew* and Yay! and Awww

    August 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMindy @ BudgetFairyTale

    Damn, what a bunch of whiney greedy piglets at the trough. Price your fees according to what you feel you are worth. You say you are a professional, act like it. You dont tip the desk clerk that gives you a room to your hotel, you dont tip the Chef that makes your meal, you dont tip the manufacturer of your linens and chairs. Get a life "professionals' If you want to be looked at as professionals, act like it...

    August 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJon

    So say your photographer is a friend, you're paying her the fee for traveling, he standard fee, hotel room, and you are paying for all of her meals while she photographs your wedding, what and/or how much is ideal? We have a lot of family friends helping who are in the business free of charge, what is an appropriate tip for these folks? A little bit lost myself when it comes to how much? I agree, when the vendor/planner are amazing and bust their bootays to make your day come together without a hitch they definitely deserve a token of gratitude! They take a lot of stress and pressure off the bride and groom, along with their families, they deserve to be acknowledged and respected in some way for their hard work!

    August 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPattie

    Hi Pattie,

    If your photographer is a close friend and you are already paying his/her fee and other expenses, I think a monetary gift can be a bit odd. Perhaps a gift certificate to a restaurant they like? Or send a lovely floral arrangement after?

    If the others are donating their time/products/services completely for free, then some money would be in order (in my opinion). This really depends on the value of what they are giving, so it is hard for me to give you an exact dollar amount. You can also go the route of a non-monetary gift (like the ones I mentioned above), but it should be a bit "grander" than the one for the photographer whom you are already paying.

    Also, please be sure to have signed contracts with all of your vendors, friends or not. It just helps to keep things on a professional level so there are no questions later.

    Hope this helps!

    August 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterThe Tipping Fairy

    Hi Jon,

    Sorry if you feel that we are being whiny (check your spelling before posting, by the way; ever hear of an apostrophe? It's "don't" not "dont.").

    But guess what? I tip the bell hop who carries my luggage to my room, the doorman who hails me a cab, and others who provide a SERVICE. Of course I don't tip the manufacturer of the linens I order. But I do tip the delivery and set-up crew.

    Again, I would like to remind you and other readers that the purpose of this vent was really to call out the outdated information online provided by supposed "wedding authorities," not calling out couples for being cheap.

    Next time, read more carefully so you can actually understand something before you comment on it.

    August 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterThe Tipping Fairy

    If you cannot afford the tip, then don't purchase the service. Seriously.

    I understand about feeling freaked out about the amount of $ you've put into your wedding. You didn't think it was going to add up to all that did you? And now they want a TIP on top of it all? Bastards! But, think about those who are actually working the front line at your event. The ones you fully expect to smile, take your bags and treat you and your guests like royalty - and they do? They really are the ones who are most deserving of the rolled up $5 emergency latte money in your back jeans pocket.

    Consider the minimum wage for the folks in the service industry. I hope they make more, but it's unlikely and they depend on the tips to subsidize their wage. http://www.minimumwages.org/

    At the very least don't be a cheap ass bastard to those on the front lines.

    Shalom.

    August 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTipsyTipper

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