Wedding Tipping   Leave a comment

In Vegas tipping can sometimes make your trip ($20 dollar bill trick anyone). Tips are an important line item in all wedding budgets, because if you forget to add them in you may be find yourself struggling to figure out this expense in the few days before your wedding. Vegas weddings are unique in their tipping rules, because they are often not held in a traditional banquet hall. You should have all your tips ready to go in marked envelopes. Here is my Vegas wedding tipping guide:

1. The Concierge- I would give them a larger tip up front if you want to use their services, through out your stay (like if your honeymooning there). The concierge will make your show and dinner reservations and can tell you which seats and tables are the best or the best time to attend a show or exhibition. $20 plus is acceptable, depending on the services provided.

2. The officiant- It is typical to tip the officiant or donate a sum to the church, but in Vegas most chapels include the officiant. This doesn’t mean s/he shouldn’t get a tip. $25-$50 is sufficient based upon your package, how well a job he does, etc. Seeing as most brides who get married in a chapel only meet the officiant 10-15 minutes before their ceremony $25 is really sufficient unless you have a particularly difficult or long ceremony then a bit more may be appropriate.

3. The Wedding Coordinator- If you are getting married in a chapel then you will have your own planning coordinator, who may or may not be your service coordinator on the day of. This makes things a bit complicated. I am on my third wedding coordinator through the chapel, but very pleased with her. She has been super helpful and quick to answer all my questions. I hope she will be there the day of. For this coordinator I would recommend a tip of $25-$100. For me if she is there the day of and everything runs smoothly, she will get $100. If she is not I will split the tip between her and the service coordinator. I will give the servicing coordinators all tips for the ceremony (officiant, coordinator, ceremony musicians, photographer,and coordinators) in marked envelopes prior to the ceremony to distribute.  If you have a coordinator who you have hired outside of your venuesa tip is not expected, but may be given. Up to $500 is acceptable. Another great option if you feel your coordinator rocked it is to send a thank you note with some pro-pics for her portfolio.

4. Ceremony Musicians- This vendor is often included in most chapel packages, but tip should still be given. $15-$25 per musician is reasonable.

5. Photographer/Videographer- It is not required you tip these vendors unless they are not owners of the studio/business. The standard on this is 15-20% of the bill or $50-$200 per person. I will probably tip our photographer for the ceremony $50 because they are contracted through the casino and not owners of their own studio. My other photographers are the owners of the studio, so tip for them is unnecessary.

6. Delivery Persons- The people delivering your cake, flowers, linens, etc. to the wedding site deserve a tip to. $5 to $10 per person will do the trick. Pass an envelope with 5 or 10 dollar bills to your coordinator, so s/he can distribute them.

7. Wedding Reception Staff- The onsite coordinator, maitre’d, serving staff, bar tenders etc. are all included in this. Generally most venues charge a service fee which covers the tip for all these vendors, but make sure to double check with your venue. If a service fee is not included in your final bill then 15-20% of the food and drink fee should be given to the maitre’d or banquet captain to distribute among staff. I have a service fee included in my venue contract, but I will be giving an extra tip to my onsite coordinator. She has been incredibly helpful and gone above and beyond. I will be giving her a gift, thank you note, and check the day before or the day of.

8. DJ/Band- Some think this is optional, but I feel it should be done. If the DJ is not the owner of the company, then a tip of $50-$150 should be given. If it’s a band $20-$25 per musician is appropriate. Just hand this marked envelope to your on-site coordinator to distribute or have the best man give it at the end of the reception.

9. Transportation- 15-20% of the bill should be given to the drivers/attendants for all your transportation. If you will not be using this transportation either have a responsible guest distribute the tip or contact the company to see if you can give the tip to them ahead of time.

10. Hair and Make-Up: 15-20% of the fee should be given to your hair and make-up people, whether they are coming to you or your going to them.

11. Impersonators- We don’t have one of these at our wedding, but a lot of Vegas brides like to do an Elvis impersonator (if your looking the one I have seen most recommended on The Knot Vegas Board is Travis Allen). If you do have one you should tip between 15-20%.

12. Valets- You want to make sure you befriend these guys, because there going to be the ones running for your car or hailing you a taxi for every last minute wedding appointment you have. If they’re hailing you a cab then $1-$2 if they’re pulling up your car $2-$5 will do the trick. Some tricks to get your car quickly (it can take up to 30 minutes to get your car from valet) is to call ahead or give them a bigger tip up front and tell them your not feeling well. Keep an envelope of ones on hand in your purse for tipping these guys.

13. Bellmen- These guys are very important part of your wedding. They will deliver your dress, your alcohol for your in-suite reception/after party, or wedding cake for your in-suite reception. They will deliver the welcome bags to all your guests. Keep an envelope of five dollar bills with you so you can easily pull one out and hand it to them every time they deliver a wedding item to you.

Make sure you have all your tips set aside in marked envelopes before you leave for Vegas, that way it’s simple and easy. Make sure tipping is a line item in your budget, so your not caught off guard by this expense.

How much did you spend on tips? Was it a large portion of your budget?

My sources for this post are:

http://www.freedsbride.com/las-vegas-wedding-tipping-procedures

http://wedding.theknot.com/wedding-planning/wedding-budget/articles/wedding-vendor-tipping-cheat-sheet.aspx

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