Ask Andrea: who & how much should I tip on my wedding day?

Hey brides & grooms! I get this question from clients A LOT, so I figured it was about time for me to share my thoughts, and I hope I am able to make my fellow wedding vendors proud, and clear up a lot for all you planning couples out there. 

The first thing you should remember about tips is that they are never obligatory―they are supposed to be expressions of appreciation for a good quality service. That said though, unless the service was ridiculously terrible, would you walk away from a restaurant without leaving a tip? In my opinion, the same concept applies to weddings. It is customary to express your gratitude by tipping many of the people involved in making your big day an incredible one.

The second point to remember is to READ OVER your contracts. Sometimes gratuities are already included or added to the final bill. This is typically the case with vendors like the caterers or the company that provides the bar service. That being said though, if the wait staff was particularly awesome or the bartenders were doing a great job keeping guests happy, maybe the chef was able to honor a request for a food item they don’t normally offer, I think you are getting the point. If someone goes ABOVE and BEYOND wouldn’t a tip be a great way to show your appreciation?

This brings me to my third point. I’m sure that if you have done any sort of googling on this subject you have read “Don’t Tip the Owners” a few times. I’m not really sure what’s up with this statement…..I don’t know one small business owner who doesn’t appreciate being appreciated!!

FOR SURE tip anyone who is entertaining you and your guests for the evening like the band, your DJ, etc. As I mentioned earlier, when someone goes out of their way for you {like the baker makes those last-minute changes you requested, the dj takes the songs on your “no” list very serious, etc}―you should probably tip them. But remember, tips don’t have to only come in the form of cash, in fact, one of my favorite tips of all times was a spa certificate for a much needed after-wedding massage! A bottle of wine, gift card, or another tangible token of appreciation are just as nice.

I know I am a bit biased, but I certainly agree with this statement from REALSIMPLE.COM regarding tipping your wedding planner: “If you’ve sat with your wedding planner hour after hour and she’s knocked herself out to pull it all off flawlessly, you might want to add a personal thank-you note and small gift to her customary tip. If you’ve used her more sparingly, a nice personal gift alone should suffice.”

Please feel free to comment if you have any questions! Hope this helps!


This entry was posted in From The Desk and tagged , , by AGrayHarper. Bookmark the permalink.

About AGrayHarper

Andrea Gray Harper is an artist, designer, and maker who incorporates embroidery, screen-printing, and digital techniques into her handmade objects. A native of the Southeastern United Sates, Gray’s exposure to tropical plants and a lack of winter season garnished her love for the outdoors, plants, and bright colors. In 2007 Gray received a B.F.A degree from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design University in Textiles and Fashion. Since then she has attained an M.F.A in Fibers, participated in various solo and group exhibitions and trade shows, won Second Place in the Annual Juried Artist Book Symposium at the ACA Library of SCAD, and received the Ben C. Morris travel scholarship to study abroad in Cambodia. Today Gray is working on a variety of projects, from photo styling to garden design and event planning.

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