Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Ask Morgan: To Tip or Not to Tip-That is the Question!!!???

Q: I was told that I should tip my vendors that I have hired for my wedding, but gratuity is already included in some of their bills. Do I tip on top of the amount already added or is it OK not to?-Melissa

A. Melissa, tipping is YOUR expression of gratitude for service given. However, in some cases gratuity may be included or required with some vendors such as your caterer and transportation services. This is the norm for the wedding industry in terms of a required tip, but this would be the same concept outside of a wedding in the world of living! If a tip is included you will see on your contract the percentage for that gratuity. In Savannah, a normal gratuity for catering is about 20% and 15-20% for your limo/car driver. You will also want to tip your bartenders 10-15% and never allow for a tip jar on the bar. It is just tacky and it is not your guests responsibility to tip your bartenders.

Normally, your coordinator will be able to give you more insight into whom might be included in your tipping, the amounts, and can hand out these tips on the day of in envelopes that are addressed to each vendor you would like to tip. Additional tipping at your discretion for other vendors may include:

Baker and Florist: Nothing, unless they truly go above and beyond

Ceremony Musicians: $5-10 an hour per musician

Officiate: To tip them is to trivialize their profession and extremely bad etiquette. Generally you pay your fee and that's it. If you wish to make a financial contribution to the church, you can do that separately.

DJ/Band: $50 per DJ

Wedding Coordinators: They were with you from start to finish and you could tip up to %10 of the total commissioned or $50 for other services rendered.  (day of)

Photographers: $50  and will be split if the principle photographer brings an assistant.

Parking Attendants: $.50-1.00 per car

PLEASE KEEP THIS IN MIND: A tip should not be expected by any of these vendors and you should not feel guilty if your budget doesn't allow or you choose not to tip.

Additional Tips:

  • Tips should always be in cash.
  • Tips should be given right before the vendor leaves. This way you can gage the tip according to the job they did for you.
  • If you don't have the ability to tip, a thank you card is always appreciated and a very personal form of gratitude from you. This could also help the vendor get hired again in the future.