Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Tips on Tipping! Part 1

This week a bunch of my clients have been asking about gratuity. So I figured they probably aren't the only ones with these questions. I am going to dedicate the rest of the week to tipping your wedding vendors.

So, you feel pretty confident that you've completed calculating costs for the big day. But wait -- before you close that budget binder, did you remember to include tips? Technically, no one should expect tips, but many vendors might, since tipping has become standard practice.
Depending on where you're getting married, the protocol will vary. Here is a simple rule of the thumb: most of the time you tip employees, not owners. Don't add pressure to your wedding day -- designate someone to be in charge of tipping. The host of the event (often a dad) or the wedding consultant is the perfect person for the job. Several of my clients give me a bunch of white envelopes, and tell me to definitely give these out to "so and so" or tell me to use my discretion.
Advance Prep
The last thing you want at the end of your reception is someone having to count out cash when offering the tips. Set aside pre-determined amounts beforehand and place them in labeled envelopes. This way, your gratuity guy or gal simply has to hand over the designated envelopes, leaving little room for error. Having an additional envelope with a bit more cash is not a bad idea either -- that way, if the bill is higher than expected, or someone really went the extra mile for you or a guest, you can be sure to take care of it right then and there.
Get the 411
Before you just start dolling out money, however, find out about the tipping policies. Talk to the hotel or club manager at your reception site to see how tips are normally handled. Also find out if a service charge is included in the total on your bill. If so, you don't need to offer an additional tip. Remember, it's completely acceptable to have these kinds of conversations with your vendors, preferably at the time you sign a contract, rather than the day of the wedding. You can only know what people are expecting if you ask them.
Tomorrow tips on who and how much!

5 comments:

Blue Orchid Designs said...

great point on the 411 paragraph. I know that at several venues out here, gratuity is not included in the service charge, but many people assume they are the same thing, just by a different name.

Melissa DiStefano said...

Thanks Liene! You are so right! Thanks for visiting my blog! I feel so honored!

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