Groomsmen's Blog

Tipping Point - Gratuity Advice for Grooms

Posted on Sep 05, 2013. 0 comments

The time-honored tradition of tipping can often raise a lot of questions and debates. Although tipping service providers is typically regarded as a distinctively American practice, the act was actually an Old World tradition starting back in the 1700s (or even earlier) where tavern workers were given ñdrink moneyî by patrons so that they may also have a tankard of beer at nightÍs end. Tipping in America did not actually take hold until after the Civil War when opinions about gifting to ñinferiorsî were less controversial.

Today it seems everyone has an opinion about how large or little of a gratuity to leave. While it is widely accepted that 15 to 20% is the norm when tipping the waiter or waitress at a sit-down restaurant, it seems that the specific percentage left on a tip isnÍt necessarily correlated to the serverÍs performance. Research has shown that customers tip more out of a fear of social disapproval than for actual good service.

As a customer in the wedding industry, you are in a position to be tipping all sorts of service providers. At least for the sake of your wallet, letÍs just hope itÍs a limited, once-in-a-lifetime experience. Budget ahead for tipping on your wedding services, that way youÍre not surprised that you spent up to 20% or more than expected. IÍve compiled a list of suggestions on how much to tip when settling the bill. Remember, for many service providers, the tip is often considered by his or her employer as part of overall compensation _ even though it is really just the ñpotentialî for compensation. If you know what youÍre getting into and tip wisely, yet fairly, youÍll certainly have enough cash left over for awesome groomsmen gifts and best man gifts.

Barber and Manscaper: Even if youÍre a low-maintenance guy, you may be getting a few extra services for your wedding day. The expected tip at the end of your appointment is 15 _ 25 percent, depending on the quality of service.

Wedding Delivery and Set-up Staff: Tip $5 to $10 per person for those workers who are delivering important items to the location of your wedding. This can include delivery persons for the wedding cake, flowers, chair and table rental, etc.

Wedding Ceremony Officiant: Make a significant donation to your church or synagogue if your officiant is part of that organization. That money will be considered a donation to the church and not a tip to the person. Nondenominational officiants, not related to a church, do not require a donation because you are being charged for their time _ however a $50 t $100 tip is common.

Wedding Ceremony and/or Reception Musicians: If you think your musicians did a great job during your wedding, tip them about $20 _ 25 dollars per person in addition to their set fees. Also, if you have hired a DJ to play tunes all night, he will also be pleased with a tip for good service. Usually this will be more than for the ceremony site; heÍll be working more hours.

Wedding Photographer/Videographer: Although it is not required, many couples tip their wedding photographer (and assistants) as a thank you and, perhaps, way to ensure the photos turn out great.

Wedding Reception Staff: Employees who are working your wedding event, such as the banquet manager, servers, bartenders and such, will require tips, so pull out your money clip. However, look at your contract with the facility to see if the gratuity is already included and, if not, tip 15 to 20 percent on the total bill.

Limo Driver: Standard tips are 10 to 15% of the fair, go up to 20% if the driver helps with extra, heavy or unwieldy bags.

Tattoo Artists: If you head straight to the tattoo shop to get a ñMr. & Mrs.î tat, tip least 10% to 20% of the bill, depending on the difficulty and amount of work performed.

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