We have eight weddings coming up over the next two months and that means Final Timeline Appointment GALORE! We've been all over the place this week, finalizing timelines and details for all of our upcoming couples. Nothing makes me nervous about these appointments - I know what to ask and I know how to answer every question a couple is going to ask me...well, almost every question.
In a couple's eyes, these appointments are overwhelming because of all of the information I am asking over an hour and a half time period (literally every detail of their wedding day). But the good news is that once it comes out of their mouths, it's into my brain and out of theirs. And I am there to take care of the rest!
In my eyes, however, these appointments are a breeze. I've done hundreds of them over the past seven years so at this point, it's just muscle memory.
But to this day, I've got to admit, there is one single question that I cringe at the sound of. Before each meeting, I hope and pray that this question doesn't come up. Well, I don't actually pray, but I really hope!
And the question is...
Which vendors do I need to tip?
Eek! I just can't stand that question! And if you're one of my couples and have asked me that, don't worry. I still love you. And in reality, it's a great question to ask! Because if I still don't know the answer after this many weddings under my belt, then of course you're not going to magically know the answer with no weddings under yours!
Personally, it's sad to me that tipping has become such a dreaded topic. Isn't a tip supposed to be optional? Isn't it supposed to be given only to those who did a great job and not just given because society tells us we have to? It's become a mandatory item in some industries but here in the wedding industry, there is still a bit of a grey area.
And I'm sorry to say it, but today I am not going to be able to answer this question. Because it's not my decision and there is no "real" answer to the question anyways. The answer lies within you as a couple, and you only.
But of course, I can't leaving you hanging, so I'll give you my best advice :)
1. We all love money. You've paid what we charged and we're happy there were no problems there. But on top of that, a couple hundred extra dollars in our pockets at the end of the night for doing the work we were going to do anyways? Who wouldn't be happy about that?! Yes, of course it makes us happy when our couples tip us to show that we did a great job!
2. We're all on a budget. Two years ago, I was a bride myself. And even before then, I knew that weddings were expensive and that there isn't always as much room for a tip as a couple wants to give. If we all had unlimited money, of course it would be nice to tip the vendors we love thousands of dollars but as we all know, that's just not plausible. And as vendors, we know that too! So don't tip want you can't afford. Debt going into marriage is a big no-no!
3. Here is an article we wrote on how much to tip and other ways to tip besides money! There are plenty of other ways you can tell a vendor they did a great job!
4. Is the tip included in the contract? Some vendors include their tip within their price, sometimes known as a "service charge," and some vendors write in their contract that tips are "highly recommended." So carefully check each and every contract to make sure you didn't already pay that tip!
5. If worse comes to worse, ask! If you still can't decide, call you vendors and they'll give you an honest answer. If they pretty much expect a tip 100% of the time, they'll tell you in the nicest way possible. And if they never expect it, they'll tell you that too! So never be afraid to ask!
6. The best tip of all: If I were going to choose one "type" of tip I would most often want, it wouldn't be the couple hundred dollars at the end of the night. Yep, seriously. The best tip I could ever receive is a REFERRAL. Now this doesn't mean you tell your friend who is getting married to book me and they book me as their coordinator. Because you may not know anyone who is getting married! A referral could be an online review or it could be as simple as mentioning to your aunt, "Jenn from The Overwhelmed Bride was so amazing! I don't know how anyone plans a wedding without a coordinator!" Because you know what? That aunt may know someone getting married or she may have a friend who knows someone who is getting married. And the more people know about The Overwhelmed Bride and that I did a great job (if I did a great job, of course), the larger my business is going to grow. So that's why word of mouth is the best tip I will ever receive :)
So with these six tips (pun intended), you and your fiance can sit down and decide who you'd like to tip, and who you are not going to tip monetarily at the end of the night. But remember, money isn't everything. So for each and every vendor you loved working with, I urge you to find one way to "tip" them after the wedding day...no matter why type of tip you are able to give!