Wedding Etiquette: Tipping Vendors

Wedding Etiquette:  Tipping Vendors

QUESTION: Should we tip our vendors?

If you are reading this blog then it makes sense that you want to do the right thing and you already have a sense of what the answer might be.

Let’s expand on the question first. You’ve paid for vendor services to be provided on your wedding day. Is it appropriate and/or necessary to additionally tip that vendor? We conducted a survey of wedding vendors regarding this question and here is a condensed version of their responses.

Caterer:  “In a world where little things seem to matter less and less it’s particularly refreshing when your bride and groom show strong indications of being well bred.  This is especially true in the wedding industry where a wedding is by definition, all about the Me, Myself and Mine.   While it is true that a wedding is certainly focused directly on the Bride and Groom, it does not follow that good breeding should go out the window. The wait staff is certainly an overlooked item at many weddings.  Some are exceptional and some are really good but most are great. If nothing else, appreciation shown in the form of good manners would be welcomed. Our tips are usually in the $$ category but a thank you following the event is really nice, too.  A note can give us inspiration.”

Event Planner:  “More often than not, the “Bridezilla” is an anomaly.  While there certainly are difficult people, the stress of a wedding can exacerbate that kind of personality.  Actually, the stress of planning a wedding can create a difficult person.  Our job is all about keeping that stress down.  Still, gratitude is something that is unique to each couple and demonstrated in different ways.  Referrals are a great way. Gifting is not uncommon.  Yes, we get a thank you note about 45% of the time and it closes a circle in the warmest way”.

Photographer:  “It is one thing to promise a couple their photographic dream, but it is another to be absolutely sure that their satisfaction and gratitude will follow.  Our job is very stressful during their most stressful moments and we work long and hard to meet their every needs.  Their satisfaction is always complicated by circumstances and we know that.  We can’t predict variables but we certainly plan for them.  What we can’t count on is the reaction of our clients to those variables.  A ‘thank you’ note is great if for no other reason than to validate our effort. ”

DJ:  Our job looks like the easiest but it can ruin an event and we know it.  We have our own pressure and there aren’t many couples that smell our fear if you are any good at all.  Each event is punctuated by our performance and we exhale after each reception.  It’s a great day when anyone says thank you, in a note or otherwise.  They are always quick to tell you where you messed up, but slow to say thank you.”

Floral:  “We don’t get that much approval one way or another.  They know exactly what they are getting long before the big day.  A little more appreciation would be nice”.

Entertainment:  “Well, our photo booth business is all about the fun at an event, so it is rare to have an unhappy client or unhappy guests.  It follows that when classy Event Planners coach their clients on Wedding Etiquette, a $$ tip or gift card appears.  Still, even with extreme customer satisfaction, it is rare to get an actual ‘thank you’ note. Recently, a long, detailed, handwritten thank you note with photos taken at the event arrived in the mail from a bride and groom.  I was shocked and pleased at the same time.  It was joyful!”

Thank you



ANSWER:  A tip can come in many forms and may be decided by your budget.  But one thing that everyone can afford is a stamp and an envelope.  An email is nice but an old fashioned thank you card is still a treasured gift to most human beings…even wedding vendors.



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