Tuesday, May 5, 2009

The Tipping Point

Photo courtesy of New Rules of Investing

About a month after The Candyman and I booked Mere Bulles for our reception site, I was looking over my budget and had a huge "DOH!" moment. I had forgotten to add in the required 20% gratuity mandated by our contract. Talk about a big "Ooops!" for the day. That one probably covered my week, at least.

It got me to thinking about tipping the day of The Big Show. I've read several articles and I'm just not sure about it all. There are some sites that say to tip the florist, another says the florist does not expect this.

As a tipper, I consider myself to be generous, with a minimum 20% for standard service. If you blow my socks off, you'll get somewhere between 25-30%. The Candyman is a notoriously generous tipper. As with other services I feel tipping is based on the level of care that exceeds my expectation of what a service provider offers. I also know what it's like to be on the receiving end of tips as I was a waitress and bartender in my college days. My brother and his wife make their living off of tips. Tipping is important.

However, when I look at my vendors, I wonder about the tipping. For instance, the amazing car we have arranged to transport us from the ceremony to the reception (all of FOUR MILES) is $175. It's a crazy cool car and this is a total splurge for us. The driver/owner does not work for a transportation company and the profit he makes on this will be his alone. Do we tip? If so, adding an additional $35 to the tab seems high for the service we are being provided.

The same goes for my DJ, florist, photographer, etc. If they are all self-employed, one-man/woman shows and the profit they make is theirs alone, what kind of tipping is expected or required? My thoughts go back to expectations and exceeding those expectations. However, how does one plan for expectations and whether they are to be exceeded or not?

The Martha gives guidelines here that fall in-step with my views of tipping. However, I do want to be prepared if someone blows my socks off.

I have a plan that involves additional favors for my wedding vendors. Since it's not set in stone and I know some vendors read this blog (hello, Sharon!) , I don't want to blow the "surprise" per se, but I might have a more personal way of saying "Thank You" to all my vendors, regardless of "protocol."

I would love to have feedback on this from anyone and everyone. There seems to be such a diverse thought process on this, I'm fascinated.


  1. I really didn't think I'd have to tip any vendors besides personal care as usual, and the caterer/servers!

    I tip an average amount, but I think I'm planning on not tipping any of my vendors, 'just because'. It's maybe a little too WIC-induced for me.

  2. Hi Louise!!!

    I agree tipping is important, I lived on them for years BUT when it comes to paying a person for there services they are already getting paid so tipping on top of that I don't feel is nessasary. When they are privately owned and the profit is all thiers, even more unnessasary. The caterer has a tip built in so they are already receiving one. I would save you $$$ for anyone that goes above and beyond what's needed.

    So, the ad on the side of your page for Ashleys Bride Guide and the photographer, how did you get that on there?

    Thanks for your help!!