Life is a special occasion

TOTW: Tipping Etiquette

Oh, I know, this is a delicate subject. So, I'll write straight forward, like a parent teaching their child. Yes. Yes, you should tip. And you should plan for tips and gratuities in your budget.

Think about this, when you dine in a restaurant you tip a waiter, bartender, valet attendant, maybe even coat check, hostess or piano player. You tip them because they are working hard for you to have a great dining experience. Well, this idea holds true for special events too; probably even more so! Special event professionals work over time to make sure every single detail of your dream is brought to fruition.

The big question: how much and to whom? Well, you should tip the vendors you're working with, of course: wedding coordinator(s), photographer, caterer, entertainers, hair stylist, make-up artist, etc. A good rule of thumb is if any one of your vendors went beyond your expectations and provided you with extra special service you should compensate them extra. Pretty straight forward.

Now don't get me wrong, this does not necessarily mean you have to shell out a ton of extra cash! Money is customary but certainly not mandatory, especially with money being tight for just about everyone right now. Be creative and bake your vendors a batch of your favorite cookies, write them a handwritten note or pick up a case of wine to divvy up amongst the vendors. But no mater what, do something to show your appreciation!

A lot of vendors in the special event industry go above and way beyond what is asked of them all to ensure your event is a smashing success. Sometimes you may not even notice when a vendor has gone the extra mile. There is always a lot of behind the scene occurrences clients are not privy to, which is a good thing. Sooooo, if and when a vendor does go above and beyond for you, it means they've put forth extra energy and donated their time for your event. Now come on, how many times in life does this happen? I'm from New York where most people don't even hold the elevator when you scream "HOLD THE DOOR", and that doesn't cost them one cent! 

BUT WAIT... you don't want to double tip. Read your contracts because sometimes gratuities are automatically included in the final bill. Also, check with your venue to find out about tipping policies because sometimes employees are not allowed to accept tips.

With ALL of this being written, remember, tips are not mandatory. It is difficult to give an exact amount for each type of vendor because each situation is unique. Base tips on the total amount of time you've spent with your vendors during the planning process and take into consideration if someone went beyond your expectations and provided you with extra special service. Did I use above and beyond enough in this post, or what?

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