Who to Tip at Your Wedding!

Who would have thought that tipping at a wedding could be so controversial and complicated?!?  Everyone has a different view on whom and how much to tip!  I have put together some simple guidelines to help you navigate the world of tipping.

First, make sure to decide BEFORE the wedding (not the day of) which vendors and how much you would like to tip.  No one wants to decide tips on the day of the wedding.

Next reread and double check your contract!  Some gratuities are built in to your contract and you wouldn’t want to tip twice.

Here are some of the vendors that are traditionally tipped and an average amount that is appropriate:

Hairstylist/ Makeup Artist: A standard tip for the makeup and hairstylists is 15-20% of the total amount of the bill.

Officiant, Church Musicians, etc.: Many times these “tips” are built in to the church contract.  If these fees are not included for church musicians or other members in attendance an average of $50 per musician/helper is satisfactory.  Most officiants will not accept tips however you can give a donation to the church anywhere from $100-$300 for their service.

Bartenders: Check to see if the facility has a policy with tipping the bartenders.  If you decide to tip the bartenders make sure they do not put out a tip jar during the event. Typically you would tip the bartenders 10% of the alcohol bill to be split amongst the bartenders.

Waitstaff, Bathroom attendants, Coat Check Attendants:  Again, check to make sure that  these tips were not included in your gratuities when signing the contract with either your facility or caterer.  Usually these fees are included.  If not, $10-$20 per server and .50- $1 per person for the bathroom and coat check attendants.

Chef:  If the food is tasty $100+

Catering Manager: Usually 1-3% of the menu total or between $100 and $200

DJ: If they keep the party rockin’ 15% of the service fee

Vendors such as the Photographer, Florist and Cake Baker are not usually tipped. My advice is that if they go above and beyond a tip of 10% is appreciated.

Limo/Transportation: Usually this is included in the fee.  If not, 15% of fee is customary.

Wedding Planner: If your planner goes above and beyond to make your day special 2% of the total wedding amount is appropriate (or 10-15% of the package price)

Although some vendors expect a tip, tipping is not mandatory.  Remember that the key to tipping is to tip those people who go above and beyond their contractual agreement.  If you are on a tight budget, this may not be a reality to tip every vendor.

My advice is that even a small amount shows your appreciation. Never feel like you are not tipping enough so you decide to not tip at all.  Trust me, it will be appreciated.

Remember that a thank you letter and your testimonial can mean a whole lot.  Word of mouth is how many of these vendors grow their business. If they went above and beyond for you, make sure to share your experience and story.  Sometimes that means more to them than any amount of money!

Good luck and happy tipping!

Picture Sources: www.onewed.com, www.brides.com, www.theknottybride.com

Wedding Photography: Tips and Ideas for every bride

Wedding pictures are the most common cause of stress on wedding day. I have a few tips for every bride to follow to make sure that the least of their worries on wedding day is photography:

1. Hire a professional wedding photographer!!

If you do nothing else…take this advice! So many brides try to save money by hiring a friend to take pictures.  Trust me, you will be disappointed in the end.  Professional wedding photographers understand how quickly and efficiently they need to stage photos to get all of the shots you want without all the stress!

2. Be on Time!

Sounds easy, right?  This has to be the #1 reason for stress on the wedding day.  Make sure if you are having a makeup or hair stylist they do not leave you to do last!! Artists always run late (even with the best of intentions) so leave enough time to sip some champagne and relax while the rest of your girls are getting ready.

3. Make a list of your Top 5 shots!

Some brides create a long list of poses and ideas for pictures that even the most skilled photographer cannot accomplish in the time allotted.  If you make a list of the top 5 shots or ideas you can’t live without it will allow your photographer time to be creative while getting your “must-have” list accomplishedl!

I have included some of my favorite wedding photography picture ideas that you may want to add in to your Top 5 shots!

Anything involving jumping!! Whether it involved the bride and groom or the whole wedding party jumping shots are so much fun and a great expression of what an amazingly fun time you are having!

Funny shots of the guys!! Let your guys be creative and have fun with choosing how they express their excitement!

To show off your style and how awesome your choice of dresses and bouquets are; line up!

You can even have a bridal portrait taken of you with all of your girls in the background.  Beautiful!

Don’t forget about the shoes!! (or socks)

Anything involving flower girls is usually adorable but this idea is one of my all time faves!

Light up the night sky with sparklers!

I hope these ideas and advice have helped in staying stress free on your wedding day and given a little inspiration for those Top 5 shots!

Happy Planning!

Picture Sources: www.kevinweinstein.com, www.tumblr.com, www.bridalmusings.com, www.mastinstudio.com, www.homegrownwedding.com, www.theknot.com, www.sarahromingphotography.com