Etiquette for a destination wedding is still a new and relatively unfamiliar topic. For a traditional wedding it’s pretty well understood that certain vendors should be tipped, as well as what is considered an acceptable amount. A destination wedding, on the other hand, can be more confusing and not as well known for brides. In the following post I lay out a tipping guide for your destination wedding that’s easy to understand and gives you peace of mind for your big day.
First, I want to lay out a few aspects of tipping to consider when you start to plan for yourself. Every resort is different, so the following information is a broad overview of how most all-inclusive resorts will be.
Check if your wedding package has gratuity included
If you haven’t already received your full statement of charges from the resort, ask your travel agent if gratuity is included in your bill. If so, you don’t need to worry about tipping the people that will be included in that statement. For example, if you’re getting your hair and/or makeup done as a part of your wedding package then they have added gratuity for them in the statement.
With that being said, if anyone that will be included in that statement goes above and beyond for you then you have the choice to tip them anyway. Some brides don’t like the idea of gratuity on the final bill. You really don’t know exactly who is getting that tip, so tipping extra is totally up to you.
A good example of this is your on-site wedding coordinator. They’re included as part of your wedding package, but some brides feel that they’ve gone above and beyond from start to finish to make sure they’re wedding day is perfect. If you can relate to this then you may also want to consider tipping your wedding coordinator or someone similar.
Check if there’s a service fee for certain services
Some resorts will add an extra service fee for amenities or services you’re adding. For example, if you’re choosing to have a violinist during your ceremony an extra service fee may be added for them, therefore you may not feel the need to tip as well.
Again, this is a general tipping guide for your destination wedding, so feel free to tip for certain services as you see fit.
A general rule of thumb on who to tip
Below I’ll list all the vendors and employees you should consider tipping, but if you’re ever wondering in general if you should tip just remember the following:
Vendor/employee working for themselves – no tip
Vendor/employee working for the resort – tip
Most brides follow this guideline for their wedding and it works out pretty well. If the vendor or employee is working alone (any outside vendors like a photographer, DJ, florist, etc.) they generally don’t expect a tip. If the vendor/employee works for the resort (resort photographer, service employees, bartenders, wedding coordinator, etc.) you may want to consider tipping them.
Above I stated that if gratuity is added in the statement then you shouldn’t have to worry about tipping the On Resort staff, but if it hasn’t been added then you should tip those employees. Again, even if gratuity is added, you may want to tip if anyone has gone above and beyond what you expected.
How much to tip?
Of course the inevitable question is then how much you should be tipping all these staff members and vendors. There are two ways to do this – a flat fee or a percentage.
For vendors/employees like hair and makeup artists, DJ, or photographer a percentage might be an easier way to go. The reason for that is because you know exactly what they’re charging you, so you can choose a 10% or 15% gratuity to tip them. For example, if the extra service fee for your DJ was $500.00 then you’ll know what’s appropriate if you’d like to tip them at the end of the night.
For employees like bartenders, servers, and housekeeping it will be easier to tip a flat fee. A few dollars goes a long way for these employees. Typically, you’ll hear that if you’re tipping bartenders a few dollars throughout the day they remember you, appreciate you, and make sure to get your drinks faster. They will happily accept the US dollar as well, so you shouldn’t have to worry about a currency exchange.
Now that we’ve gotten the debate of tipping out of the way, the question now remains regarding who you should tip. Below is a list of all vendors and employees to consider. Of course this is a broad list so you may already know you won’t be tipping some that don’t apply.
List of all vendors and employees to consider tipping:
Wedding planning staff:
Wedding day staff:
Hair and makeup artist
Tipping can be a large and unexpected part of your budget, so knowing ahead of time who and how much to tip certain people will better prepare you for the amount of money you’ll need on hand before you leave for your trip. Make sure to keep this money in the safe in your room and only pull it out as needed to avoid it getting stolen. Also remember to only tip vendors and employees at the end of service. You want to ensure they’re doing a great job and don’t cut corners because they’ve already received your money.
I hope you enjoyed this tipping guide for your destination wedding. Am I missing anyone regarding tipping? Any other helpful tips you’d like to share? Comment below or contact me here, I’d love to hear from you!
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