G is for Gratuity!
More than almost any other topic, we get questions from Brides regarding gratuities. It’s the number one most forgotten expense to account for too, so it’s a big ticket conversation. There are three main things to remember when considering tipping.
1. Some contracts already include it in the package.
2. By definition, tipping is never required.
3. There are other options to show your gratitude.
Before you set aside any cash for your vendors, read the fine print. Check the contracts to see if it’s already included. It’s important to realize that “service fee” or “admin fee” does not necessarily translate to “tip.” If it’s unclear, call the vendor and specifically ask about gratuities and what’s included. They’ll be happy to clarify for you.
Gratuities are always considered a nicety. Although they’re not required, some vendors do expect them. If there’s someone you would tip in your everyday life, then it’s a good idea to tip them on the wedding day too. This includes catering staff, bartenders, hair stylists, makeup artists, and anyone making a delivery. Current etiquette says to tip 18%. But you can give anywhere from 15% to 20%. The only exception is delivery men or women. If you’re opting to tip them, these people should each get a flat dollar amount (say $25-ish).
All other vendors are certainly not expecting anything extra, but if you feel like they completely killed it, tip until your heart's content! It’s so important to not stress about this, though. If you weren’t wowed by them, don’t tip! If you feel as though some vendors did some excellent work, but you just can’t afford to give cash, consider something else. Many vendors are dying to have past couples leave reviews of their services. This is almost as good as a gratuity, so hop on google and write a detailed account of your experience with that vendor.
The best way to administer tips is to take out cash and divvy it up into labeled envelopes for your planner to distribute. When getting the cash, take out smaller bills (think Lincolns and Hamiltons). The tips are usually split among many people, so smaller bills makes it easier on them.