Friday, July 30, 2010

Wed Recap: More money to spend?

So about 2 weeks ago BiCoastal Bride posted about her research and decisions on tipping her vendors.  I was truly surprised at what she came up with.  The info I seemed to recall finding online and in wedding mags seemed to disagree with what she found. 

For instance, there were several vendors (photog, videographer, florist, etc) that she said you don't really need to tip where I pretty much have always thought you tip them all.

Of course, this all depends on your satisfaction with their service.  So since she did it, I thought I'd share a recap of how we made our tipping decisions:

Photographer:  Since we were really disappointed with the images he delivered and mostly upset about all the ones he did NOT deliver, we didn't tip him anything.  We paid him close to $2,000 for his services already for a 10 hour day and a second shooter.  I got a great deal.  His web site said his packages started at $2,500 for 8 hours for minimum coverage.

By Amber Marquez

Videographer:  Though we haven't tipped him yet, he gave me a phenomenal deal on the package I wanted and went above and beyond bringing along an extra photographer who gave us some great shots our main photog didn't, an extra videographer with a second camera and a third videographer with a special 'jib' camera for some of the coolest shots in our footage.  Though we haven't tipped him yet, I fully intend to send him at least another $50 with a thank you card.

By Yan Freedline

Florist:  She did a phenomenal job.  She included set up fees in her total charges and since she worked with my coordinator and they arranged for the coordinator to deliver everything back to her the next day (all the vases she let me use for free and such), there were no delivery charges.  Though I am still on the fence about whether to send a tip or not.  But she totally did a great job.

Baker:  This was a family friend.  We paid a heck of a lot less than most bakeries would have charged us for a cake.  Since it was a friend who gave us a set cost, we didn't offer any additional tip.

DJ:  I think Mr Fix It tipped him $50 at the end of the night...not sure though.  I need to follow up and ask him about that.

Caterer:  We loved our caterer through the whole planning process.  Tax and gratuity were included in our total charges from him but he did such a good job that Mr Fix It gave the owner an extra $100 at the end of the night.

Coordinator:  She was fabulous and had a team of 4 assistants.  They set everything up, took all the free vase rentals back to the florist the next day and then stored all of my wedding goods until we got back from the honeymoon.  Mr Fix It didn't think we needed a DOC but was so impressed with all they did and how hard they worked that he gave her $100 at the end of the night.  When he realized there were 5 of them total, he felt like he should have given her more.  But I told him that was plenty!

Stylist:  She did a good job and I think you should tip them between 10 and 20% but I honestly think I forgot to tip her.  Oh well.  She must not have minded because she felt so bad about our photog situation and the fact that one of my false eyelashes was coming off after the ceremony that she offered to do my hair and makeup for free if we did a post-wedding shoot.  :)

Officiant:  He was a long time friend and pastor of a local church.  He told us that the church accepts donations for his services typically around $500.  We didn't pay him that much at all though (and that was for pre-marital counseling as well).  Since this was a donation, we didn't offer a 'tip.'

Unless otherwise noted, all photos by Robert Mullins Photography


Miss C said...

This post makes me so glad that Australia isn't big on tipping.

I would never even consider tipping a supplier unless they had really gone above and beyond.

I'm loving seeing all of these photos- your recaps are the best!

SG to SP said...

I think tipping is kinda excessive considering what you are already paying for the services...with that said we did tip a few people. Our photographers b/c they helped us out tremendously when our initial ones quit two months beforehand. We gave them $100.

Kristian tipped the DJ who I wasn't super impressed with but was feeling generous. I think he got like $50 or $75.

We tipped the limo guy. Not sure how much, Kristian did it. I tipped my hair/makeup lady 20%.

We tipped the catering staff since that wasn't built into the contract. I think we tipped $200 total to be split up among all of them.

PartyPlannerGal said...

I'll probably go ahead and tip most f the vendors, just because I grew up working in a restaurant and I know how much tips can help! That said, if a vendor disappoints, they won't be getting a tip from us.

Our Catholic officiant also recommended a donation of about $500, which we intend to give, especially since he will be coming to the rehearsal as well. He's actually "cheap" compared to the Hindu officiant, who asked for a recommended donation of $1000! My fiance's parents will be taking care of that one ;)

BigAppleNosh said...

Very useful post - we were totally clueless when it came to gratuities!

buhdoop said...

Hmm, we still need to go through our tipping stuff. I believe tipping was included in a lot of our vendors since we went through a resort.

Bicoastal Bride said...

It sounds like you were on par with us in some categories, aside from tipping your caterer on top of the gratuities already included, as well as tipping the videographer and wedding planner. We did give a donation to the officiant, and tipped the DJ and stylist. For the venue staff, we paid an 18 percent gratuity as part of the bill upfront.

As for the photographer, I think you made the right choice not to tip since you weren’t happy with his services. We splurged on close to $4,000 to our photographer up front, and we didn’t feel a tip was necessary or within our budget, since my understanding is that a tip is not expected for a studio owner anyway. Here’s what I posted in response to the comments I got about my tipping post, along with the article I got some of the guidelines from:

Thanks for all the feedback, ladies! Here’s the link to an article below on The Knot that includes some of the guidelines I mentioned. Of course, tipping is a courtesy, and if you have the money and feel so inclined, it’s always OK to throw in a little extra even if the “protocol” says you don’t have to. In fact, in the article below, there’s often a discrepancy between the protocol and the “standard” that many couples follow.

P.S. Can't wait to see your page in Get Married magazine!

Cyn said...

DJ: Tipped $100.He did screw up our first dance song however... he is a friend of a friend and only charged $200 for 8 hours which is pretty cheap

Hair/Makeup Artist: Tipped $40 she worked from my home and even did on-site touch ups. I was really happy with her service she did an amazing job.

Photog: Tipped $50 she did a really good job I'm happy with our photos and we only ended up paying $800 which included copyrights and the CD.

Florist: Me Myself and I... nada

Bakery: I wasn't totally satisfied with my cake. It tasted good but it was delivered without the stand that we ordered. So I didn't tip them.

Venue: 20% gratuity was calculated in our total bill.

wedding tickers