Thanks for posting. I think I may have inadvertently added to this firestorm and controversy with my questions so I apologize if I offended anyone but given the breakdown below where the "US standard of 15-20%" clearly doesn't apply across the board (some state specific dollar ranges versus an actual percentage of total cost) I think this is a legitimate question. If I am paying over $4000+ for my wedding and I give everyone a 20% tip, then that adds up pretty quickly. I want to be fair but also not break the bank. I think that it is appropriate to tip and show that you appreciate the service and also recognize that these people don't get paid a huge salary, however, my fiance and I are paying for this ourselves and don't have huge incomes to pay dozens of people 20% across the board. People are on this forum to ask questions and receive polite responses in kind - not have judgment passed on them. That is my two cents.
Originally Posted by ska2m
Wow, i know i posted on the DPC Brides page and no one had a response on tipping (except one was that their parents did the tipping, so i wonder how much that was),
But this whole tipping situation quite frankly worries me that brides do not tip. I find that pretty ofensive and i also think it's so wrong that people recommend not tipping certain vendors. I feel that if a service was performed, then a tip should definitely be rewarded. I am going to go by what the standard tipping procedure is for a wedding in the USA. It should not matter if you are getting married in a different country to base your tip on this. So below i pasted what "The Knot" recommends as i believe they would be very close to accurate. They state that all vendors should get some sort of tip. I think that even though the wedding planners below are optional, i am tipping mine a minimum of $100. I have had nothing but amazing experiences thus far with my wedding planning. I have spoken to all of my vendors directly (DJ Mannia, Tronco Florist, Photographer Michael Weiler and Deyanira WC of DPC) all of them have always responded to me within 2-3 days of all of my emails. I have been planning my wedding since March 2010 and have always had back and forth communications. Within the past 5 months, i have had frequent communications with the vendors and WC to finalize all the details and am extremely happy with the outcome thus far. I already set up all my meetings with my vendors for when i arrive to DR in two weeks to review everything one final time. They are all meeting me at the hotel to go over details.
To sum it all up, i have had a successful relationship with everyone who is taking part in my wedding and they will all get tipped. Even my florist as she has just been so sweet via emails and phone calls that i feel bad not giving her anything. I think unless the vendor doesn't show up or something, then maybe reconsider the tip, otherwise, they will definitely appreciate an extra thank you for their hard work and making your day great! And if apparently vendors aren't getting tipped, they will just love you more for it as it will be a complete shock to them! Anyway, just my two sense. I just couldn't stay quiet after seeing all the back and forth on tipping when all along i thought it was just common courtesy to tip everyone.
FROM THE KNOT:
When you're already dipping deep into your (or your parents') savings for so many wedding expenses, shelling out gratuities on top of that can be hard to handle. Well, rest easy: unless a service charge is spelled out in your contract, you're never obligated to tip anyone.
However you can't ignore the fact that some vendors will expect a gratuity, which forces tipping to be considered on a case-by-case scenario. Some general rules: Don't tip business owners, only tip their employees (however, you can/should tip an owner when the service exceeds expectations); tip vendors who offer exceptional service; thank-you notes are always appreciated; and assign the responsibility to a trusted deputy such as your wedding planner, a parent, or the best man. For a breakdown of what's customary for each vendor, read on.
Wedding planners won't likely expect anything; however, if yours did a great job you can always offer a token of your appreciation. (Note: Non-monetary thank-yous like professional photos of the wedding for the planner's portfolio can go a long way too.) Approximately 50 percent of couples do tip their planners -- typically those with more opulent weddings.Protocol: OptionalThe $tandard: Up to $500, or a nice giftWhen to Tip: The bride should hand off the envelope at the end of the reception, or, she should send a thank-you note with photos or a check after the honeymoon.
Wedding Hair Stylist and Makeup Artist
This is one area where a gratuity is definitely expected. Tip between 15 - 20 percent just as you would in a hair salon, and consider giving a little extra if there's a crisis, like one of your bridesmaids has a meltdown over her updo and it requires a redo at the last minute.Protocol: ExpectedThe $tandard: 15 - 25 percent, depending upon the quality of serviceWhen to Tip: At the end of your service
Wedding Delivery and Set-up Staff
Slip a few dollars to anyone delivering important items to the site (wedding cake, flowers, or sound system). And if a lot of gear needs to be brought in and set up (tents, chairs, or port-a-potties), the workers deserve a tip too.Protocol: ExpectedThe $tandard: $5 - $10 per personWhen to Tip: Drop off cash envelopes the day before the wedding to the catering manager so the person accepting deliveries can turn the tip.
Wedding Ceremony Officiant
If your officiant is affiliated with a church or synagogue, you're often expected to make a donation to that institution. If you're a member you'll probably want to give a larger amount than if you're not. However, if you're getting married there and they're charging you to use the space, feel free to give a smaller amount. If you're using a nondenominational officiant, no tip is required because they will charge you for their time.Protocol: Expected (depending on officiant)The $tandard: Donate $500+ to the church or synagogue, or, for a nondenominational officiant, an optional tip of $50 - $100 When to Tip: Most ceremony fees are required prior to the wedding. Otherwise, have the best man pass the cash envelope at the rehearsal dinner if the officiant is in attendance.
Wedding Ceremony Musicians
If you worked with a mini orchestra to come up with the perfect score for your service (and they pulled it off flawlessly), consider showing some monetary thanks for their talent. However, you probably don't have to tip the solo church organist who was required to play.Protocol: OptionalThe $tandard: $15 - $20 per musicianWhen to Tip: At the end of the ceremony.
You're not expected to give your shutterbugs any dough beyond their normal fees. Yet if the wedding photographer or videographer doesn't own the studio, consider tipping each person (or give a certain amount with a thank-you note to disperse to staff).Protocol: Unnecessary, unless the photographer is not the studio owner.The $tandard: $50 - $200 per vendorWhen to Tip: At the end of the reception.
Wedding Reception Staff
This type of staff includes the on-site coordinator, maitre d', and banquet manager. A service charge (typically 2 percent) is almost always built in to the food and drink fee, so check your contract. If the gratuity is not included, tip as follows.Protocol: ExpectedThe $tandard: 15 - 20 percent of the food and drink fee (based on labor, not the cost), or $200 - $300 for the maitre d'.When to Tip: If it's covered in the contract, the final bill is typically due before the reception. Otherwise, have the father of the bride or best man hand the envelope to the maitre d' at the end of the reception since you will need to know the final tab to calculate the percentage.
Wedding Reception Attendants
When it comes to bartenders, waitstaff, parking, bathroom, and coat-room attendants the rules of tipping are dictated by your contract. If the service fee is included, consider doling out extra only if the service was exceptional. If it's not included, ask ahead of time how many attendants will be working your wedding and calculate on a per person basis.Protocol: Optional, based on contractThe $tandard: $20 - $25 per bartender or waiter; $1 per guest for coat room and parking attendants; $1 per carWhen to Tip: Although tips are traditionally passed out at the end of the event, you could alternately distribute them at the beginning of the evening, to encourage all the workers to give you great service.
Wedding Reception Band or DJ
Whether you hire 12-piece swing band or grooving to a DJ, tipping musicians is completely optional. (Depending on the quality of the job and how willing they were to follow your ideal playlist!) And don't forget about any sound technicians they bring with them.Protocol: Optional, yet preferredThe $tandard: $20 - $25 per musician; $50 - $150 for DJs When to Tip: At the end of the reception, by the best man.