Fort Lauderdale, FL

Should You Tip Your Vendors


Today’s blog is a hot button for so many people.  I’m excited to give my 2 cents about “If you should tip your vendors”

Please share this with somebody that’s planning a wedding or even with somebody that you know in the wedding industry because I can talk without fear of repercussion.  I’m not necessarily on the vendor’s side or even on the bride’s side.  I’m on the side of reality and perception.

Big shout out to Aubrey Nyberg, Beth Delgado, Andrea Graci & Charlene Catherine from the Wedding Planning Club Facebook Group.   Your questions in the Facebook Group are the reason I wanted to speak about this topic today.

When you’re already digging deep into your pockets for wedding expenses, allotting room in your budget for gratuities on top of that can be hard to handle.

Should You Tip Your Vendors

First take a good, hard look at your wedding contracts

Read through them to see if a gratuity is included.  It’s pretty standard for it to be covered in your venue, catering, and even transportation contracts.  When the contract states that gratuity is included, there is no reason for an additional tip.

A “service charge” is not necessarily a gratuity

Okay, so here’s the deal: A “service charge” is a mandatory fee that gets added to your venue and/or catering contract for things like maintenance, cleaning or administrative costs.  Service charges don’t go directly to employees. So you may still need to tip.

Unless it’s built into your contract, tipping is never mandatory

If you simply don’t have funds to spare, you can express your appreciation in other ways. Write your vendors a rave 5-star review online, give them a big bottle of wine, or wait until you have a few bucks saved, send them a handwritten thank-you note with a $50 check. They’ll feel all the warm fuzzies from your thoughtful gesture.

You don’t tip business owners is false

I saved this for last because it’s going to be a long one.  I’ve heard many reasons for this myth.  First, because the business owner gets “all the money”.  Or that the owner builds the tip into the cost.

I just want to say STOP THE MADNESS!  You’re sounding like Steve Buscemi …. Mr. Pink in Reservoir Dogs.  If you don’t know what I’m talking about. Check the description.  I have a link to the infamous “no tipping scene”.

Here’s the truth….  Everybody wants to be tipped…. Everybody!  There are no exceptions.  I said “want” not “expect to”.

If an employee provides the service and you appreciate their effort, you show that appreciation by tipping them.  You may expect the owner to go above and beyond compared to the employee.   However, if the owner does go above and beyond, and you’re grateful; why would you not show your appreciation with a tip?  Just because they’re the owner?

Many think that the business owner pockets the money, that’s a wrong assumption.  The business owner has rent, overhead, federal, state and city taxes, insurance, worker’s comp., advertising, and the list goes on and on.  33% of business owners work 60 or more hours per week and 86% work weekends.

As for this nonsense about a tip is included in the price; unless it’s stated in the contract, it’s just not the case.

Look at it this way.  The money that you pay goes to the business, not the owner.  If you’re lucky enough to get the owner to do the work, chances are that you’re in the best hands.  But the business owner is still an employee of the company.  The company is paying its wage.  They do not get paid the profit.

I hope that clarified things.

OK.  I lied.  I have 1 more point I want to make

Tipping is optional.  If you don’t want to tip, you don’t have to.  If the vendor did a poor job, definitely reconsider tipping them.  Or, if you’re over the moon happy with your vendor, the most universal way of showing it is by giving them money.  We tip the pizza delivery guy, the person that carries your groceries to your car, and the blackjack dealer.  And those people don’t have a vested interest in the success of the biggest day of your life.

OK, I’m done.  I apologize if I went a little HAM today.  I believe I’m saying what your vendors are thinking.  If there are any wedding vendors out there that want to chime in that either agree or disagree with me, please reach out.

wedding vendor tipping cheat sheet

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