Which Vendors to Tip at Your Wedding | Ask a Wedding Planner | Charleston, Atlanta, Philly Nontraditional Wedding Planner

Which vendors should I tip at my wedding?

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 tipping your planner, and no, this is NOT a plug for us to get more money out of you! 

Sure, a tip is AMAZING and always very appreciated, 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.

Should I tip the wedding photographer?

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. As for a nice thank you for the photographer, try to send them something well thought out and personal. 

Should I tip the wedding hair and makeup artist?

Hair and makeup artists are definitely expecting to be tipped.  We usually suggest 15-25% of the total at the end of the appointment.

who to tip at your wedding | scarlet plan & design charleston wedding planners

Should I tip the officant?

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, and if you're only asked to make a donation it should be at least $200.

atlanta nontraditional wedding planner, scarlet plan & design

Which other vendors should we tip?

Ceremony musicians

If you've used a larger choir for the service and they haven't charged you a large fee, 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.

Definitely plan to tip anyone playing an instrument for the ceremony. Whether they're playing as a group or a soloist, we suggest between $50-100 per person.

Catering

Check directly with the caterer when it comes to tipping the catering staff. They typically have their gratuity and/or service fees built into the contract so ask them if that goes to the staff. If the gratuity isn't given right to the staff, we recommend tipping each of them. We suggest 2-5% of the total bill, and have your wedding planner give it to the banquet captain or catering manager at the end of the night.

Bartenders should be tipped if they didn't have a tip jar out for the guests to tip them. We suggest $150-200 each.

Transportation

Another person that will expect a tip is the transportation driver. We suggest 15-20% of the total.

Reception musicians and/or DJ

The band or DJ are technically optional tips, but usually recommended. If they've done an especially good job and really kept the party on its feet, we suggest $50-100 per musician and at least $200 for a great DJ.

Rental staff

We always suggest tipping the rental delivery/set up staff. Usually about $20-30+ per person is perfect for them. They don't expect it, but if they're delivering a ton of stuff, moving things multiple times or coming back for a super late pick-up it's a very nice touch.

Miscellaneous vendors

We suggest generously tipping anyone who falls into one of the more specialized categories below:

  • Cake or specialty dessert vendor
  • Photo booth operators
  • Live wedding painters
  • Henna artists
  • Performers

We hope this helped clear up the great tipping questions we're sure you all have!

The Scarlet Wedding Tour | Charleston Wedding Venue Tours | A Wedding Show Alternative | Charleston, Atlanta, New York Nontraditional Wedding Planning & Design

This past weekend was easily one of the hardest and most rewarding weekends of my career.  My team and I have spent just about the last full year talking about, planning, designing and pulling off essentially 4 events in one day.  We took engaged couples and their loved ones on tours of 4 of Charleston's most amazing wedding venues before ending with a super fun private after party.  Each venue featured a different design by a Scarlet planner complete with live models styled by a Scarlet stylist, full tablescapes, floral designs, tastings by award winning caterers, cocktails, epic wedding cakes (and even a cake made entirely out of cheese wheels!), and so much more!

More than anything I need to thank my incredible team and our amazing sponsors.  Without them this event never would've happened.  I love all of you!

My venue was Boone Hall Plantation.  Most people opt for the Cotton Dock, but that's not what we wanted.  We went for the Back Patio and it was perfect for my design!  It's funny how my design went from being super Tuscan inspired to ending up kind of a mash up of all things "Sara".  I basically created a wedding that was entirely 100% me without even realizing it!  We mixed some Italian/Tuscan pieces, a killer vintage airstream, farm tables topped with mismatched plates that could've been just as easily at home in my Nonna's cupboard as they were on our tables, fun travel themed pieces like vintage globes and suitcases (thanks, Whitney!), a little bit of my love for Wes Anderson flicks, and some very fun Boho touches to create this one of a kind theme!

Enjoy!

vendors

Planning/Styling: Sara Skinner assisted by Regis Byrd & Jordan Zarwel; Styling by Alden deHart & Brittany Lapin, Scarlet Plan & Design  | Photography: Catherine Ann Photography | Venue: Boone Hall Plantation back patio | Videography: Before Your Eyes Cinematography  | Linens & Furniture Rentals: Event Haus  | Invitations: By Brydon | Gown: Maddion Row | Tuxedo: Charleston Tuxedo | Catering: Crave  | Mixology: Flute | Cheese “Cake”: Sablee/Charleston Artisan Cheese | Florist: Wildflowers Inc. | Music: Ear For Music  | Airstream: I Roll With It  | Favors: Holy Smoke Olive Oils  | Table Settings: Polished!  | Makeup/Hair: Charleston Lash & Beauty Bar  | Cigar Roller: Cigar Row | Vintage Car & Bus: Lowcountry Valet

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Sweet Taylor Girl one of our favorite bloggers (Holy City in Heels) acted as our lovely bride model paired with Max owner of Holy Smoke Smoked Olive Oil as our handsome groom.  We put Taylor in a stunning lace Sareh Nouri gown (arguably one of my favorite designers EVER) with an illusion neckline and back.  I mean, what's more Italian than lace?  Niente!  Max was decked out in a classic black tux from Charleston Tuxedo.

I'd say this "cake" is probably my favorite piece of this entire design.  I mean, seriously?  A cake made entirely out of cheese-wheels is legit the coolest thing I've ever seen and perfect for the couple that loves savory more than sweet!  And with a cake like this, there's no need to wait until late in the evening to slice that bad boy and mangia!

Vintage globes throughout the tablescapes kept the vibe fresh and unexpected.

Individual baguettes wrapped in kitchen paper with a spring of rosemary tucked in atop vintage china plates with gold flatware completed our "Family Style" feel on the guest table.  If you're in the market for gorgeous vintage plates, gold flatware or any other unique table toppers, look no further than our friends at Polished!

Sweet Brydon at By Brydon Fine Paper Designs absolutely knocked our paper suite out of the park with the colors she chose and the design we collaborated on!  And how about that canary yellow diamond on Taylor's ring?  Amazing!

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With the bride getting so much attention and say so when it comes to the wedding plans, we KNEW we had to do something pretty epic for the fellas!  A vintage airstream inspired by Teddy Roosevelt and all his manly machismo decked out as a quirky cigar lounge and bourbon bar was perfect!

click on an image above to enlarge

click on an image above to enlarge

Wedding Backdrops | Having Fun With Your Ceremony Decor

When choosing your wedding decor, never think for a second that you're limited to only traditional options.  If you're getting hitched outside a church,  the only thing that you are limited by is your, or your planner's, imagination.  

Backdrops can be used for a variety of reasons.  Perhaps you'd like to add some extra color or a fun focal point for your guests.  Or perhaps you'd like to show off your wedding vows on a massive handpainted canvas.  No matter your reason, if you can dream it up, it can be done!  So be brave and go for something that really speaks to you.

This gorgeous floral backdrop would look just as at home in a lovely garden wedding as it would in a barn.  It would even look incredible in an art gallery!

If you're getting married in a garden and want something outside the traditional flower route but still want to add a bit of whimsy, check out these amazing hedges in the initials of the newlyweds!

Or this eco-friendly living backdrop!

Love books?  We do!

These wooden doors are just amazing too!

I'm especially smitten with the idea of writing your wedding vows or a favorite passage on a giant backdrop!

Or upcycle an old wooden pallet with a lovely garland.

So go have some fun with your ceremony decor!

xoxo,

sara