What are the general rules and regulations when thinking about your wedding vendors? Seeing as there really isn’t a set budget or amount for the general public, we may not always know the exact answer. How can we be sure that we aren’t that person when it comes to wedding vendor etiquette. When do we book them, what is the average cost, and what do we tip each vendor?
As a courtesy, if you aren’t satisfied with your business transactions that has occurred, make sure that you are politely vocal about it. If it can be fixed, be sure to take measures to fix it. You are your own advocate and you need to be aware that just because you are paying for a service, it doesn’t mean that they will know exactly what you want. Say what you mean but don’t say it mean.
Owners’ of a Business
If your vendors are the owners of the specific businesses that you are requesting services from, then you don’t need to tip them. Why? Because they are providing their own services. You do however tip those helping the owners. And you may not necessarily tip the owner, but there is nothing saying you can’ t give them a gift if you thought they deserved one.
A Tip for Tips
Remember to include a “thank you” note with your tip. If you thank them specifically for the service that they gave you, they may feel more appreciated and it never hurts to give words of kindness!
Also, a tip doesn’t have to be a monetary gift, it can be a bottle of wine or a donation to their charity of choice in their name.
The duty of a wedding planner is to take over the planning of the wedding. Basically, they collaborate between you and all the vendors, pay attention to all the small and large details, and make sure the events of the day run smoothly.
Average cost: $3,300
Tip: $0-$100 per person. (Usually a wedding planner is self-employed and has helpers… The tip goes to the helpers.)
When to book: ASAP! You want to give them as much time to plan as possible.
Depending if you are having your ceremony and reception at the same place, you may save a buck or two by combining them. Some venues may even tack on a fee for using there venue as a ceremony site. Always ask to see a copy of their contract.
Average cost: $2,300 to $13,200.
Tip: Their contract may say what their gratuity would be, but usually the gratuity is included in the total cost.
When to book: ASAP. When you know your date, be sure to find places that will work with your date and your budget. Make sure they accept outside vendors and don’t have a list of their own that they work with.
The pricing of the caterer depends on how formal or informal you would like your wedding to be.
Average cost: $15 to $85 per person.
Tip: 15% to 20%, if not already worked out in your contract.
When to book: 10 to 11 months before. You need to have an idea of how many guests will be in attendance.
The cake may also have a cake cutting fee to cut and distribute to your guests. Please be aware to the fact about your bakers delivery options. Although this is the norm, there may also be a fee for this too!
Average cost: $400 to $900 (depending on the size)
Tip: Gratuity may be included in the total amount, but double check your contract!
When to book: Seven to ten months in advance.
Average cost: $2,100
Tip: A tip is not specified, however, if your florist has given you a contract, they may specify their fees, specific to them, in their contract.
When to book: six to eight months in advance.
Average cost: $2,500 to $10,000 (Depending on experience and the package details that you choose).
Tip: Tip is usually included in the total price.
When to book: 11 to 12 months before (You may be able to get package deals with engagement photos and wedding photos!).
Average cost: $400 to $2,500 (Depending on experience and what kind of atmosphere you want to set, the price range is extreme; They are usually flexible, just talk it out and let them know what you want!).
Tip: $25 to $50 per person.
When to book: six to seven months in advanced.
Hair and Makeup
Average cost: $100 to $150 per person.
Tip: 15% to 20% of the total bill.
When to book: Three to six months in advance. Don’t forget about your trial runs with both your hair and makeup! And be honest, if they do something you don’t care for, politely ask them to fix it.
Average cost: $0 to $50.
Tip: Normally a tip isn’t accepted by them as they are more than happy to officiate your ceremony, donate the money to their choice of charity or house of worship.
When to book: No later than eight to 10 months before. Especially if you are getting married at a popular time. You’ll also need to ask about marriage counseling if they require you to have any at all.
Wedding vendor etiquette is a tricky subject especially when you have so many vendors for one day. Take a deep breath and realize that each of these vendors are there and happy to help you with whatever they can! They’ve been around the block a time or two so they know a thing or two about weddings. Happy planning!!