Brides and their family members will often ask me if gratuity for vendors is encouraged, necessary or expected on the big day. Of course, by the time the nuptials arrive, many are feeling stretched thin financially, as those costs just seem to add up and up – some of which are unexpected or unplanned.
So, the first thing that I always remind brides of is that a gratuity is never expected or required. However, if you have the means, showing your appreciation with a monetary bonus is a wonderful way to express your gratitude. In my experience, based on industry standards in D.C., I would recommend the following:
Hair and Make Up: I suggest giving your hair stylist and make up artist an additional 20% of the total cost of services. If your girls are paying for beauty on their own, then you can ask that they include a tip in the total that they each pay.
Photo Credit: Andrew Reilly
Hotel or Venue Staff: For the bellmen carrying your luggage and dress or for the conciereige distributing your welcome bags it is nice to offer a $5.00 thank you each time they assist you.
Band or DJ: Generally, I like to give each band member $50.00, especially if you booked them through an agency and they are only paid a cut of the total contract amount. If it is one DJ, then I bump it up to $100.00.
Catering or Venue Rep: For your catering and banquets representative (whether with a catering company, at a venue, or at a hotel), I think it is nice to provide a $100.00 gratuity. If you want to go all out, you can also give an additional chunk of change for the wait staff – just ask your representative how many employees they will have on site that day – I think $20.00 per person is lovely!
Transportation: Finally, if you can, treat those drivers to a little extra dough. They are in charge of getting you, your family and guests from one place to the next safely and efficiently. So, I like to throw each driver about $50.00 to say “thanks!”.
Planner: After taking care of all of the logistical elements, the many moving parts and the vendor coordination, it is wonderful to give your planner a little “icing on the cake”. I have seen gifts from $100.00 per team member to a percentage of the overall consulting fee to a gift certificate for a spa treatment –even a fancy bottle of champagne.
If anyone ever has questions, I love hearing from you — so shoot me an email at email@example.com. Happy weekend!