Gratuities and tips are an important part of event planning. Some clients are aware while others are thrown off by what they consider to be an extra expense.
The first thing you want to do when planning an event with your planner is to ask them which services have gratuities built into overall costs and which services require a separate tip. Your planner will tell you how to handle paying separate tips, and serve as your middle person, taking your tip envelopes and handing them off to vendors.
The next thing you should do is discuss the amount to tip vendors. Your event planner would know what’s customary and can even make suggestions to you in regard to the services provided. For example, if a vendor has gone above and beyond what has been contracted or has done something for gratis, a standard tip could be too small.
Here is a list of vendors and suggested customary tipping.
Catering: Check to see if your contract includes a gratuity, if not tip 15-20 percent of the total bill. As an alternative you can tip $50-$100 for each cook/chef and $20-$50 per server. Again, consult with your planner for their suggestions.
Event planner: Tipping the planner is not required. If your planner gave you a discount for services and/or went above and beyond contracted services, then a cash gift of 15-20% of invoiced bill would a nice way to say thanks.
Photographer and videographer: Photographers are one of those vendors not requiring a tip but if they brought a crew to capture your event, tipping their staff for extras would be appropriate.
Florists and decorators: Most florists and decorators don’t expect a tip. It can be a good idea to offer a tip or cash gift for work above and beyond.
Tipping is tricky, so consult with a pro before dispensing cash. Keep in mind that while you won’t see everything at your own event, your planner will know how servers were treated and how hard they worked and which of your guests challenged staff the most.
And here are a other ways to say thank you like emailing a testimonial for the vendor’s site AND perhaps the best tip is to send an email to your friends recommending your planner’s and vendors’ services.