Should I Tip My Wedding Vendors?

Should I tip my vendors?  I get this question from clients usually a month or so before their wedding date.  I don’t know why it happens at that point of planning but it always does. I recently learned I’ve been handling this matter all wrong.  Let me explain.

This year for my birthday, I treated myself to two days of learning at The Planner’s Suite Conference in Orlando, Florida.  One of the reasons I make it a point to continue attending events like these is to keep learning and do better for my clients.  This particular topic came when the vendor team panel had their turn to hit the stage. This was a chance for the planners in the room to hear from the vendors.  This dialogue is important because a good vendor relationship makes for a great wedding experience. But I digress.

During the panel “Tipping Your Vendors” topic came up.  I’ve received a tip a time or two and it was always greatly appreciated. I don’t ever expect it but it’s always nice to receive it.  It’s not the money I care about. It’s the kind gesture that shows my clients appreciate and value my services.

Well all vendors feel the same way and they would also appreciate feeling appreciated by tipping them at the end of your wedding.  In fact they would prefer if planners would advise their clients to tip their vendors.

Now I started this  out by saying I’ve been handing this all wrong.  When I get asked the tipping question from my clients, I always say “It’s nice if you do, your vendors will appreciate you for doing so” and then I hand them a tipping guide.  And I leave it up to the client to decide if they want to tip their wedding vendors.

Here is why this was the wrong advice.  Your vendors are providing a service. You always tip service providers don’t you? You tip your hairstylist, your manicurist, your uber driver and your waiters.  Your wedding vendors are providing you a service so you should budget to tip them as well. I know you are thinking I’m already paying them XYZ dollars so why am I tipping them?

Truth is, a good portion of your wedding vendors fee goes towards, materials and labor.  Your wedding vendors are not coming home with all of the money you paid them. So a little extra just for them is a very nice gesture.  Especially when your wedding vendor has provided you with exceptional service. Don’t you like when you get a bonus from your job? Well that’s how your wedding vendors feel; like they got bonus.

Another reason I’ve been handling this all wrong is because I wasn’t thinking about my vendors.  A planner with a good vendor relationship is benefit to you as the client. When the vendors really like working with the planner that recommended them, it shows.  They will always do their job whether they like the planner or not. But good chemistry makes a difference.

So the moral of the story is…..