- Factor tips into your original budget. If you would like to allot a portion of your budget to a tipping fund, you certainly can do so. Peggy Post recommends no more than 15% towards an unexpected tip fund. This way, if you really got your socks knocked off by the vendors who made your day the experience it was, you will already have the cash set aside.
- Wait until after the wedding. I would not advise bringing sealed envelopes with a preplanned amount. You have to experience their services before being able to really thank them for it! When you get back from your honeymoon, write a thank you note and enclose it there. It will be very much enjoyed and appreciated—and the note is appreciated as much if not more than the actual dinero!
- It does not have to be a monetary gift. Chris Isham (of Chris Isham Photography; see some of his fabulous work with us here!) verifies it does not have to be a monetary tip. He has received gifts from his grateful clients. In fact, we just had one of our lovely brides drop off some homemade chocolate chip and sea salt cookies and lemon rosemary shortbread biscuits- how AMAZING is that?!? Trust me, around here, we really appreciate the value (however quickly they may disappear) of yummy thank you treats.
Rules vary regionally. Obviously, the rules that apply in New York do not apply in Greenville. As a matter of fact, The “norm” around Greenville is even going to differ from Charleston, SC. Our research shows the following amounts as a national average. Transportation and catering companies will include tips in their fees (if not, 15-20%). Hair and makeup will get 15-20%. Entertainment gets $20-$50 each, whereas a DJ would get $50-$300. Photographers, wedding planners, and florists range from $30-$100. This does not apply if they own their own business. They have already negotiated their fees and will not expect anything extra (although I’m sure they would not object). However, it is customary to tip one of their employees if you so desire. Bottom line, keep in mind where you are having your wedding and adjust accordingly.
One of the very best ways to show your appreciation is to leave a great review for your vendor. Don’t hesitate to ask them if there is a specific site or link they want you to leave your review on—that is how you can leave a lasting “thank you” that helps them gain future business. In the wedding industry, our goal is “no return business” in that we hope to only see our clients again as bridesmaids or groomsmen in their friends’ weddings—as we want our clients to stay happily married forever! That’s why taking just a moment to write up your review for a vendor makes such a difference. We have certainly enjoyed reading back through our thank yous and reviews (found here)!