Thursday, February 3, 2011

In Need of Tipping Tips

I think it was Brides magazine that recently had an article about how much tip you should expect to provide each of your various wedding vendors.  It was similar to this online article from their website.  At first I had a minor freak out because tipping the reception staff 20% of our total food/alcohol bill would put us WAY over budget for the reception.  That is, until Mr. NM reminded me that gratuities were included in the per person package cost.  Whew... what a huge relief.

But the list of services we'd need to tip for extended beyond the catering/reception hall staff.  Here is the "tip list" I've compiled from several sources:
  • All those associated with the reception (maitre d', wait staff, bartenders, parking attendants, etc.)
  • Musicians/DJ
  • Transportation
  • Delivery/Set-Up People (including lighting, florist, baker, etc.)
  • Hair & Make-Up Artists, Manicurists, Masseuse
  • Photographer/Videographer
  • Officiant
  • Wedding Coordinator/Planner
  • Seamstress
The sources I looked at differed as to whether each of these is a mandatory or optional tip.  But one thing is crystal clear, and that's the fact that we totally didn't budget for tipping.  I don't want to look like I'm cheap (because I'm frugal, not cheap), nor do I want to look ungrateful (because I'm certainly not), and I feel terrible even expressing my uncertainty on this topic.  I just think that the wedding mark-up in many of these categories is already pretty significant from the get-go, so I'm not thrilled about tipping an additional amount if/when the service (that we've paid A LOT for) is decent or even exceptional.  Forgive me for saying this so bluntly, but I expect that when I pay a signficant amount for something service-oriented, I will get good service.  I've also never understood what I see as the arbitrary rules of tipping.  We don't tip our doctors, bus drivers, check-stand workers, cable repair people, dentists, postal clerks, parking garage attendants, and many other people who provide services to us.  So why is it that certain service providers get tips when others do not?  Seriously, if you have wisdom on this topic I totally want to hear it.

That rant aside, I want to make it known that I'm an excellent tipper.  (I'm feeling so defensive about this that I put it in bold, so you'd have to notice it... and hopefully believe it.  Did you notice?  Did you believe?)   I do it in equal parts because I'm grateful for good service and because I don't want to be known as the girl who doesn't tip well.  So I tip - well.  And I'm sure our wedding day will be no different.  I just wish I'd been prepared for it when I made that pesky budget...

What are your thoughts on tipping?  Do you feel like it's an arbitrary line between who gets tips and who doesn't, or do you understand the origins of this split better than I do?

1 comment:

  1. I saw that article and freakd out too!!! I had no idea SO many people would require tips. If you are paying your officiant, why do they get tipped on top of that? I'm just as confused as you are!


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