You go out to lunch and you receive great service from your waiter or waitress, so you leave them a generous tip. But what should you do about your wedding vendors? There is no specific guide that states you must tip your wedding vendors, however, if they have worked hard to bring your big day together, it is something to consider. With that in mind, a personal thank you note after your wedding is very heartfelt and cherished as well. After all, as a wedding vendor myself, my goal is to ensure my clients have a memorable day for many years to come.
With all of this in mind you will find below a guide crafted by world renown wedding planner, Colin Cowie which I hope is helpful in your wedding planning:
Preparing The Tips
Regardless of how you decide to distribute them, tips should be placed in an envelope that has been labeled and sealed and paired with a thank you note.
Place someone trustworthy in charge of distributing the tips. You’ll be so busy the day of your wedding, so it’s important to ask a parent, maid of honor or the best man beforehand.
When you choose to tip creative partners is at your discretion. Here are a few different options and the reasons behind each.
Before: Colin suggests tipping creative partners before they perform their services. This can happen days before the event as incentive or even 30 minutes prior. Doing so serves as motivation to go the extra mile and do the best job possible. If you don’t feel comfortable giving the whole tip upfront, give half prior to your wedding day with the acknowledgment that there is more to follow depending on quality of service.
After: brides who choose to tip after are looking at how well services were performed. As a general rule of thumb, it’s recommended to tip entertainment and hair and makeup artists after services are performed. Donations to churches or synagogues are also made after the service.
Methods Of Distribution
One way of distributing gratuities is to decide on a lump sum that you can afford and divide the percentage. Another way is to get a comprehensive list of everyone working your wedding and divide portions based on performance. In this case, the lead bartender and maître d would receive larger percentages.
Another aspect to consider is the relationship you’ve developed with partners. If you have become very close with your photographer and had an amazing experience, you may want to tip them a higher percentage.
On Gifts and Letters
Sending your DJ or photographer a fabulous bottle of champagne a few days before the wedding in leu of a cash gift is entirely appropriate and thoughtful. Along those same lines, handwritten notes are invaluable to creative partners; there’s nothing like the words of a happy client that will serve as feedback and a testimonial to their excellence.
So Who’s Tipped?
Unless they’ve been a complete nightmare throughout the planning of your wedding, it’s courteous to present each of your creative partners with a gift. Don’t forget your florist, driver, baker, caterer, waitstaff, bartenders, lighting crew and maintenance.
When All Is Said and Done…
How you choose to tip creative partners is entirely up to you. Take time to decide what works best for you as a couple and for your budget and remember, thought and sincerity holds a lot of weight when it comes to saying thank you!
A Must-Read Guide To Tipping For Your Wedding
Mary Homer – Fairy Tale Weddings & Events