The gorgeous Gigi searched the site for an answer to her query but found no satisfaction. To prevent other brides-to-be from suffering a similar fate, I shall repeat her question and my answer here.
Who am I supposed to tip the day of my wedding? And how much? We are getting married in Florida at a resort. Do we tip the person who works at the resort and is running the wedding? Let me just mention that my wedding is a mere 21 days away and I just got an e-mail for the girl who I have been working with since May of last year when we chose this location. She wrote that she had a family emergency and is leaving Florida next week. She assures me the girl who is taking over is good but does she deserve a tip? I know to tip the photographer and DJ, but how much? The bartenders will get tips throughout the night from guests, but do we give them one at the end? It is a buffet so there is no wait staff….I know I am forgetting someone…PLEASE help me.
I’ll admit right now that I’m a big tipper. You might even say that I tend to be an overtipper, unless service has been extra, extra shoddy. Service staffers aren’t usually paid particularly well, and if I can help make up that difference, I’m pleased to do so. That said, tipping only gets really confusing when you’re dealing with wedding professionals!
It’s important to remember that gratuities are always appreciated, but are never required. Some people won’t tip vendors who own their own businesses — photogs, florists, and bakers come to mind — but I see nothing wrong giving a small gift to a vendor who has gone above and beyond the call of duty. Sometimes it’s better to write a gracious letter of thanks instead that your favorite vendors can show it to future customers.
Now, Gigi has been dealing with one on-site coordinator and has to work with another one instead. Being that the change happened so close to her actual wedding date, I’m going to guess that a lot of choices have already been finalized and a lot of orders for ceremony and reception accessories have already been submitted. Presumably, gal number two is going to slip into the role of day-of coordinator. It’s appropriate to tip a planner 10% of the total bill, but whether or not Gigi chooses to do that should depend on how much work her coordinator has actually done. A smaller tip might prove more appropriate.
How much Gigi tips will vary depending on how much she’s spending and who is working at her wedding. Tips are traditionally reserved for those service professionals who will only see a small percentage of the money paid out to the big boss. Tip a maître d’ around $150, tip a catering manager about
15% of the total bill, tip a bartender 10% of the total liquor bill if she or he is working an open bar. To avoid double tipping a barman, ask him (or her or the site manager) to put up a “no tips please” notice.
If the photog and DJ aren’t the owners of their companies or they’ve obviously earned something more than a thankful note, tip them with 15% to 20% of the total bill. If your photog has assistants with him, consider giving them $30 a head if they’ve done a lot of work. Wedding day stylists should be tipped like any other stylists, with 15% to 20% of the total bill. Chauffeurs and drivers get the same. Parking attendants should receive from $1 to $2 per car parked, and coat checkers get the same per guest. If you’re so inclined, you can give delivery staff for florists, bakers, and so forth a small cash tip, e.g. 20 or so dollars.
Since it sounds like Gigi has opted for a package wedding, she should make sure a gratuity hasn’t already been added to her bill — sometimes it’s included in the price but site managers conveniently “forget” to tell the customer. If gratuities aren’t included, put cash in labeled envelopes and give them to your best man or MOH to give out. Don’t, whatever you do, stash them in here: