Posts tagged Day of tips
Your guide to tipping each wedding vendor
 
Artboard 1updated3.png
Aesthetic Images

Aesthetic Images

Today we’re going to tackle the tricky subject of tipping wedding vendors. This is a topic we are asked about quite often as couples reach the final stages of planning. Here are some suggestions:

  • While it is customary to tip some vendors, deciding to tip is a personal choice and shouldn’t feel like an obligation. It’s a kind and generous gesture to those who go above and beyond for your special day.

  • Consider tipping vendors (whether they are owners of their company or employees) that are hands on at your wedding.

  • The gratuity should go to the lead person (i.e. catering supervisor, band leader, etc.) to be disbursed to their team.

  • Organize gratuity in cash envelopes prior to the wedding. Give these cash envelopes to your wedding coordinator or another responsible person to distribute according to your wishes.

  • Allot room in your budget for gratuities. If your budget doesn’t allow cash tips, consider a small personal gift or a thank you note. Writing a glowing online review or offering to be a reference means a lot!

Vendor Categories

If you choose to extend gratuities to vendors as a “thank you!” for providing exceptional service, consider these suggestions to help you plan in advance.

PHOTOGRAPHER/VIDEOGRAPHER/WEDDING PLANNER/COORDINATOR/FLORIST

Suggested amount: Tips are generally not expected by these vendors, but are a great way to appreciate their hard work and attention to detail.
5-10% of fee or a personal gift.
$25-50+ per assistant, depending on their level of involvement.
When to tip: At the end of their service

Catering wait staff/chefs/Bartenders

Be sure to check your contract to see if a gratuity has already been added to avoid double-tipping or forgetting to give staff a tip, since it’s customary.

Keep in mind a “service charge” or “operational charge” is generally NOT considered a gratuity. This should be spelled out in your contract, but ask your catering manager if you’re not sure.

Suggested amount: 15-20% of food and beverage total or $20-$50 per staff member

When to tip: It’s best to give this tip (in cash that can be easily divided up) to the catering supervisor to distribute accordingly to servers, chefs and bartenders. It can be done at the end of the event or following dinner.

event manager/BANQUET MANAGER

Suggested amount: $50-$150
When to tip: At the end of the event

catering manager/Food & Beverage Director

Suggested amount: $50-150 or a personal gift
When to tip: At the end of the event

Jennifer Strange Photography

Jennifer Strange Photography

Hair Stylist and Makeup Artist

Suggested amount: This is one area tips are expected. Provide 15-20% of fee, just as you would for a normal hair appointment.
When to tip: After services are complete

LIVE Musicians/Band

Suggested amount: Sometimes this is included in your fee, so check your contract. $20-$50 per entertainer.
When to tip: At the end of the event

DJ

Suggested amount: $50-$100 is a nice gesture if they did a great job, especially if they had to move heavy equipment during the event.
When to tip: At the end of the event
 

Ashley Latham Photography

Ashley Latham Photography

Officiants

Suggested amount: While it isn’t common to tip religious officiants, if you want to thank them you can make a donation to their organization or house of worship. A $75 to $100 donation would be appropriate. It’s also a nice gesture to invite them to stay as a guest for dinner.
When to tip: At the rehearsal or before
the ceremony

Delivery/setup STAFF

Suggested amount: $5-$20 for each person, depending on how much labor they provide.
When to tip: At the completion of delivery


SECURITY

Suggested amount: $20-$50 per person
When to tip: At the end of the event

TRANSPORTATION DRIVERS

Suggested amount: Check your contract, as gratuity may already be included here. Otherwise, $50-$100 per driver is appropriate.
When to tip: After services are complete

VALET/COAT CHECK

Suggested amount: $.50-$2 per guest. This total would be split among the workers.
When to tip: After services are complete

Gratuities are a great way to show your appreciation and let vendors know they’ve done an outstanding job on your wedding day.

 
Your Timeline: The Key to Your Wedding Day Success 
 

The following is a guest post written by Larry Martin of A & A Disc Jockey Service. For more on A & A, visit their website or call (336) 292-5446.


Why have a timeline

Photo by Jamie Blow Photography

A complete wedding timeline will cover everything from arrival of the vendors, pinning on boutonnieres, to what time linens will arrive. For our purposes, because it's the part of the day I'm involved in, I'm going to focus on the timeline for the celebration. 

You absolutely MUST know your objectives. A wedding celebration consists of a lot of moving pieces. Think of it like a jig saw puzzle. If you have no idea what it is supposed to look like once it's complete, then it is more difficult to put all the pieces together in the proper order. Find your vision for what you want it to look and feel like.

Ask yourself some questions about your dream celebration: 

  • How do you want your guests to feel about your day? 

  • What do you want them to say about your celebration as they drive home that night? 

  • What are the most important memories you want to have when it is over? 

Once you have a clear idea of a destination or your goals, determining the correct path will be much easier!

In the southeast, most of the wedding receptions average about 4 hours in length. Roughly, they usually break down this way: Approximately an hour for cocktail hour, about an hour for the meal, and then that leaves 2 hours for several traditional activities (bouquet, garter, formal departure, etc.) and open dancing. This is usually enough time for everything you wish to do, however you can always add more time if you like.

 

Purpose of a Timeline

1. It establishes your goals for the event. 

2. It sets out YOUR priorities for your event. If you don’t set them, someone else will. 

3. It assures things that are important to you are done and not overlooked in the excitement of the moment. 

4. It allows you to set the tempo and mood for your celebration.

5. You can use it to arrange activities in a way that flows smoothly and tells your “love story”.

There are certain activities that must be established and demand specific time allotments, so those must be set first to build a logical time. Keep in mind that almost anything you include in your timeline can be planned for and worked around. Anything that happens that isn't in your timeline, simply puts you behind schedule and cuts into other activities. 

Photo by Danielle Defayette Photography

The ceremony: What time does it start? Keep in mind that your prelude music should start approximately 30 minutes prior. How long is your ceremony? Ask your officiant because the denomination matters. Vendors will be asking you what time the reception begins. Calculate it: start time for ceremony + length of ceremony + travel time (if any) for guests to get from the ceremony to the reception = the start time for your reception. 

Photos: Unless they take the majority of your pictures before the ceremony, most photographers will need some time to take post wedding photos after the ceremony. How much depends on your photographer and you. Are the photographs one of your highest priorities? If so, you might want to allow a little more time to get a few more "creative" shots. Include that time in your timeline and you can plan other activities around it, but be aware of extremes. 

Food: One of the most important reasons to have a reasonably accurate timeline is for your food service. Food has a short window of optimal time to be served and your caterer wants your guests to get their food within that window to maximize their enjoyment of it. 

Photo by Aura Marzouk Photography

Toasts: Want to know what a difficult job is for a bride? Try going to your dad (who may be paying for all of this) and telling him to please keep his welcome speech short. It is going to be a difficult conversation, but we did an event last year where the bride's dad (while guests were waiting to eat) spoke for 25 minutes, even as his daughter was running her finger across her throat, which is a sign that we thought was universally understood!

Weddings are emotional times and if any speaker gets on the microphone without a script or at least bullet points to keep them on topic, they could ramble on longer than you would like them to. Perhaps the easiest way to deal with this is to simply contact each person that is doing a toast and set some parameters, if you want to maintain control over your schedule for the night. 

Photo by Jodi Gray Photography

Party Time: First, let me state, no MC or wedding director will let you leave the night without cutting your cake or doing your first dance if those things are on your schedule. The party time is one area where you have some flexibility. If you’re running ahead of schedule, you’ll have more time for you and your guests to dance and celebrate your union. If you are running behind schedule, then this is the area of the celebration that will have to be cut. Here’s where knowing your priorities will help. If you know that your family and friends aren’t big dancers, this is not a priority for you and time could be cut from that if you get behind. No matter which events during the night are most important or least, you must not allow yourself to get too far behind. 

Photo by Aura Marzouk Photography

Your Ending Time: One of the most important times to get from your venue is the time by which everyone (including your vendors) must be off the premises. As an example, the average DJ will need at least a solid hour from the time they play your departure song to pack everything up and get off the premises. If you added extra lighting and other equipment or in the case of a band it could take longer. When doing your timeline allow for your vendors to pack up and get out. 

Summary:

It may sound like just another piece of paperwork you have to complete, but your timeline is your opportunity to take control of your celebration and make certain that your priorities are observed. There is an old saying: “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail." One of the reasons I've always put a premium on proper planning is that I am, at heart, a bit lazy. And I have found over the years that it takes much less energy to avoid a problem, than it does to fix one after it happens. If you have questions or need assistance as you tackle your personal timeline, feel free to call.

 
Behind the Scenes: Why you need a Wedding Coordinator
Your Day of Coordinator will coordinate the perfect sendoff! 

Your Day of Coordinator will coordinate the perfect sendoff! 

Your wedding day is supposed to be all about celebrating you and your new spouse. But a myriad of decisions, detailed schedules, and DIY projects can take the focus off of you and turn the day into a giant stress fest. 

We want you and your loved ones to enjoy your wedding day – and the best way to do that is to hire the right team of wedding professionals.

 

The Venue and Catering Manager

You can count on the Revolution Mill Events Team to be an integral part in making your day run smoothly. You’ll work with Jaime, our Venue and Catering Manager, to plan the logistics for your day related to the event space and catering. Jaime will coordinate with the Pepper Moon Catering team on the day-of to ensure hors d’oeuvres, drinks, and dinner are served on-time. The catering staff will cut and serve your wedding cake, pass champagne, clean up and pack a yummy to go box for you to enjoy after the wedding.

Jaime and her team will also guarantee the venue and its amenities are accessible to vendors at the scheduled times, the space is properly setup and the inclement weather plan is ready-to-go if needed. 

 

The Wedding Planner

If you need help defining your wedding vision, finding vendors or figuring out your budget, a Wedding Planner is a great place to start.  Their expertise can help lighten the planning load and keep you from making critical mistakes. They can assist you with everything from choosing your venue to your color scheme, offering etiquette advice, and being a mediator when things get stressful.  One of their biggest values is steering you toward the best vendors for your vision and budget, which saves lots of time. Planners typically help with wedding day coordination and logistics, although there are some who only do pre-event planning and design. 

Not all couples hire a Wedding Planner, because they feel confident in working through the planning phase on their own. In this case, we encourage all of our brides to hire a Wedding Day of Coordinator!

 

Behind the Scenes: Why you need a Wedding Coordinator  |  Revolution Mill Events

 

Day of Coordinator

Day of Coordinator is the commonly used term, but this vendor will typically assist you the month leading up to your wedding. Their primary role is to coordinate the logistics of your day and ensure everything you have envisioned runs as planned while you enjoy a glass of champagne with your bridesmaids! 

There are some wedding tasks you can delegate to a friend or family member, but wedding coordination is best reserved for an experienced professional. They will be committed to your day and allow your loved ones to celebrate every moment instead of working the night away. 

A professional Day of Coordinator will assist in contacting wedding vendors to confirm details, develop a timeline, setup your décor, help with the flow of guests, cue each stage of the ceremony/reception and find the groom’s missing sock!

One example where a wedding without a Day of Coordinator went wrong? At a recent wedding, the photographers missed the cake cutting because they were in the back eating dinner. It’s completely normal for photographers to step away and grab some dinner, but the DJ didn’t realize the photographer’s absence, and called for the cake cutting to start. As a result, this special moment wasn’t photographed. Because it’s the Day of Coordinator’s job to cue the reception and know where everyone needs to be, this could have been easily avoided!

We feel an experienced Day of Coordinator is essential for a seamless wedding day. Still not convinced? Here’s a quick overview of their general responsibilities: 
 

  1. Make sure all the details you have planned come to fruition.
  2. Establish the day’s timeline and distribute to vendors.
  3. Function as the point of contact for vendors and bridal party.
  4. Welcome and manage guest flow.
  5. Handle last minute changes and keep vendors informed.
  6. Make sure picture taking time stays on track.
  7. Instruct you on what to do next, at every point of the day.
  8. Orchestrate the setup of your personal items/décor.
  9. Assist with your dress, pinning on corsages/bouts, etc.
  10. Direct the rehearsal, ceremony and reception.
  11. Problem solve any issues that arise (like a drunk guest or vendor that doesn’t show up).
  12. Distribute any final payments and tips at the end of the day.
  13.  Oversee cleanup and removal of personal items.
  14.  Keep you calm and stress free so you can enjoy every moment!
     

While this list is by no means exhaustive, it should give you a pretty good idea of just how indispensable a Wedding Coordinator is to any wedding. Trust us: your future, married self with thank you for hiring someone to take the stress off of your shoulders!