Today we're talking about the yucky stuff...money. Usually our blogs are about the funsies and picking out the pretty stuff or yummy cakes, but today is all about the moolah. Most of our clients are usually pretty in the dark about who to tip at the wedding and thus end up asking us. So we figured it was about time to get a blog up on that subject! Keep in mind tips are always optional but several vendors will expect them. Make sure you give the envelopes to the planner or the best man before the event to be given out at the end of the night and/or service performed.
Firstly let's talk about your planner, and no, this is NOT a plug for us to get more money out of you! Sure a tip is great, but something a bit more personal for the gal (or gent) you've spent tons of time planning this special day with is probably in order. I'd suggest getting her a generous gift card for a restaurant you know she loves or a gift card for a pair of Tieks (anyone who spends hours on their feet should totally own a pair...or four!) or a gift basket filled with her favorite wines and cheeses would be divine! Whatever you do get her, make sure it's personal and well thought out and you'll certainly make her feel loved! Side note, I would suggest tipping her staff individually. $50-100 per person is perfect.
Photographers don't expect to be tipped if they own the company, but if they only work for the company we suggest tipping them anywhere from $50-200 per person. Same rule applies to their second shooters, we suggest tipping them as well.
Hair and makeup artists are definitely expecting to be tipped. We usually suggest 15-25% of the total at the end of the appointment.
Officiants usually expect to be tipped as well but it's a bit of a gray area as to how much. Some people feel that if they're charging you to officiate then that's good enough, but we usually suggest tipping them 10-15% of the total if you're paying them and about $150-200 if you're only asked to give a donation.
We always suggest tipping the rental delivery/set up staff. Usually about $15-20 per person is perfect for them. They don't usually expect it so it's a very nice touch.
The same amount is perfect for ceremony musicians. If you've used a larger choir for the service, we'd recommend making a donation to their church for a small amount (around $100 is good) and giving them some cupcakes or cookies when the ceremony ends.
Check your contract when it comes to tipping the catering staff. They typically have their gratuity built in to the contract so it would be unnecessary to double tip them. However, if gratuity is not included, it's expected. We suggest 2-5% of the total bill to be given to the banquet captain or catering manager at the end of the night.
Another person that will expect a tip is the transportation company/driver. We suggest 15-20% of the total.
Lastly your band or DJ is another optional tip, but usually recommended. If they've done an especially good job and really kept the party on its feet, we suggest $25-30 per musician and/or about $100 for the DJ.
We hope this helped clear up the great tipping questions we're sure you all have!