I was sitting with a group of childhood friends enjoying the Fourth of July weekend when Janine was telling me about her daughters’ wedding. More specifically, about tipping various vendors. This led to a large discussion on the subject that, even with more than 25 years of experience, causes me to struggle. Hopefully, this guideline will give those of you with a wedding or big event on your horizon some direction.
A gratuity means the person went OVER AND ABOVE. Not just doing their job.
- Caterer: Leave an extra tip for the wait staff if they did what? If they went over and above.
- Catering company owner: Does not need to be tipped because he or she is the owner.
- Bartenders: I go against the grain here. Bartenders are tipped by the guests. Even if it’s a hosted event, they’re often putting money in their pockets. And I pay the catering gratuity. So why triple tip them? They don’t work any harder than anyone else.
- Seamstresses: If they’re reasonably priced and did a really great job, maybe leave them a little something extra.
- Musicians: If you’re paying them a fee, I see no need for a tip. If their fee is included in the cost of the church rental, as in the case of an organist, I’d leave a tip.
- DJ: Tip if he or she is a subcontractor. If they own the company, I don’t tip because they’re paid by the fee.
- Event coordinator: Same as DJs and musicians.
When in doubt I recommend this: Go with your heart. If the vendor truly has your best interest at hand, do what you feel is appropriate. If you’re truly stuck, look it up online.
This is my wedding-bell blues morsel for now, and I’m sticking to it.