Tipping your Wedding Service Providers
It is not uncommon to be browsing the forums and come across a post asking about tipping protocols for your wedding service providers. Completely understandable, which is why we are going to break this all down!
The Golden Rule of Tipping
So the fast and loose rule of tipping is that;
"Tipping is reserved for services that are performed ON you, not FOR you."
This would be people like your HMUA (hair/makeup artist), your seamstress, venue waitstaff, to name a few.
Now this doesn't mean you don't tip the other services that are performed for you. You just have to dig a bit deeper to see who is already adding in their tip.
There are many service providers that work their tip into their contract like limo/transportation, and caterers for example. Typically this will be indicated on the contract and be around 15% - 20% give or take.
This means that their tip is already included in the price of services and no more is required of you. This also means that they get tipped no matter how good or poor the service is.
Tipping your Wedding Vendors
Lets take a look at a few different ways you can tip your service providers who do not include it into their contract. After all, tipping is meant to be appreciative and meaningful!
They say money makes the world go round. True or not let's face it, it is pretty useful. Monetary tips are the most common way to tip your service providers. This can be done in the form of cash at the end of their contracted time or even after the fact.
Personally I like the 'card method'. You make up a card for each service provider with the intended tip. I've been tipped $100 and I've been tipped $1000 dollars, so it's really up to you.
Standard tipping protocol is about 15 - 20% of the contract value before taxes.
At the end of their shift if you feel they have provided a tip worthy service then you hand them the card. If not, then it wasn't expected in the first place so you simply keep it and no one is the wiser. Alternatively, you can email or call and ask for their mailing address and send something a bit more personalized with the tip.
I am a HUGE fan of reviews as we do little to no advertising. These reviews are worth more than money and I know I can't be the only small business owner to feel this way.
Problem is, we all start with great intentions... and then finding the time and words to post online get the better of us, so we just end up never doing it.
If you have every intention of writing a review as a tip and never actually do it, it amounts to the fact that you gave that particular service provider nothing to let them know how pleased you were with their services. Think about it this way, if you were going to tip someone $100.00 how much of your time is that worth? An hour? 90 minutes, perhaps?
Set that time aside and write a review about your experience. Click here for tips on writing a review!
Copy and paste it to any and all places you can find reviews for them. Usually those would include Google and Facebook, however some will have Yelp, WeddingWire, Knot profiles, and possibly more. You don't have to go crazy and create profiles for all these places, just do the ones that you are already an active member of.
According to a report in 2018 "a negative experience is more likely to generate a negative review than a positive one". This means that displeased people are more motivated to try and destroy a business than satisfied people are of wanting to help a business. We can change this! It's never too late to leave a review! If you've been putting off writing a review for months or even years, you can still do it!!
Word of Mouth
Referrals make great tips too because people trust people they know. Posting on wedding forums, calling or emailing your venue and wedding planner/coordinator to tell them about your vendors can go a long way. Tell your friends and family who are thinking or planning on getting married.
Word of mouth helps to allow the businesses that provided you with those exceptional services to provide them for others so they in turn can have the same wonderful results!
A new trend is to now post on forums a blurb about ALL your service providers. This is typically done in a single post, the post is broken into a small review about each vendor and includes a link to their social media page and/or website.
If you have nothing nice to say about a particular vendor then it should be excluded from the post.
This is an interesting concept however on the scale of tipping usefulness, this would be on the lower end of the scale.
There are pros and cons to all of your options. For example money will save you the time of writing all the reviews. Reviews however are the tip that keep on giving long after the money has been spent. So maybe it all just comes down to, where do YOU personally place more value? How much help and support would you like to provide your service provider? Is it a one time monetary contribution? Is it a one time online review with more longevity? Or perhaps you can become their biggest fan like you would a sports team or popular restaurant and recommend them on-line and in-person to everyone looking for that particular service. Either way, you can't go wrong because there isn't a single vendor that doesn't like to be shown that they did a great job and that all their efforts were appreciated.