You are currently browsing the archives for February 2012.
Displaying 1 - 4 of 4 entries.

Tips Gratuities for Your Wedding Services – Part 2

  • Posted on February 20, 2012 at 5:34 pm

Did the first one help you out a bit.  Not so scary tipping your wedding vendors after all, eh?  I thought  I’d ease you into it with the soft budgetary tipping first.  Here’s another part of his article.  Take notes.  Enjoy!

Gratuitous Tips on Gratuities and Tipping Your Wedding Services.


By Bill Parkison

Published by: Orlando Wedding Professionals Bridal Directory Magazine – Fall 2011 October 17, 2011 @ 3:50 pm

You have planned every moment of your dream wedding, covered every detail, accounting for every expense imaginable; then you rememberyou’re expected to tip your wedding vendors!

However, who to tip is a question many couples struggle with regularly. Regional customs and location play a large part in the amount tipped, as well as, how many service providers receive that special thank you.

Tips are never obligatory.  Rewarding vendors with a gratuity is an expression of your appreciation for services delivered beyond expectation. Tipping serves as a simple thank-you for a job well done. While researching, I came across a blog post claiming that a 20% tip on all things wedding related, products and services, was mandatory. Yeah, right!  After picking myself off the floor and dusting off, I realized how expensive 20% of an entire budget is! Unless you are willing to dig a hole in the ground and spend your honeymoon there, tipping across the board can cost you thousands of dollars. And if you aren’t careful have you doubling up on tips.

While there is no way for me to provide a universal list of tipping rules to serve the American wedding experience. I do suggest that you follow the advice your grandmother probably told you, “trust your own judgment”. Here are a few general guidelines to assist you in determining the value of your gratuity for outstanding service.


Who do we Tip?


Let’s begin by examining your vendor’s contract first. Many service agreements have a section or sentence stating if other fees and gratuities are included in your final cost. Take these vendors off of your list of who to tip. While business owners incorporate their operating, living and profit expenses in the cost of their services; it is not necessary to offer a gratuity if they are personally working your wedding. A good suggestion to follow is basically, tip only employees. Should a business owner provide an exceptional service or solution to an unexpected situation arising during your day, there is no law prohibiting you from tipping them as a gesture of your appreciation. Always remember, a thank you note with a picture with their product provides great bragging rights for their portfolio display.


I would like to add, should a service provider go above and beyond, other forms of expressing your gratitude can be made that will be equally appreciated.  I’ll address these examples later in this article.

As I have mentioned, some vendors include gratuities in their fees, others will leave that amount to you. The level of service they provide can influence what you give them.  Here is a modest breakdown of the vendors to consider who are participating in your special day:

· Transportation: Limousine service, Carriage driver etc.

· Ceremony: Hair/makeup pros, Musicians, Soloist, Officiate

· Reception:  Wedding planners, Photographers, videographers, Catering manager, Wait staff, Bartenders, Band, DJ, Valets, Restroom/coat-check attendants

· Setup/Breakdown: Delivery people, florist, baker, rental suppliers, and other vendors.

· Honeymoon: Bellhop, Doorperson, Housekeeper, Concierge



The Tipping Chart

Gratuities and tips should be made in cash and delivered in a plain white business envelope with the recipient’s name handwritten on the front. The amounts vary by region but, the Northeast seems to be the one part of the country with a consistency in posting tipping rates appropriate for the costs of their wedding services. Remember to consult your service prices and agreements before offering a gratuity to avoid overspending. I’ve chosen to include a scale of rates taken from leading charts found in my research. Any similarity to one particular chart is purely unintentional and coincidental.


· Event planner: 10 to 20 percent of your bill, depending on the terms of contract

· Officiates: $50 to $100 on top of any set fees

· Ceremony site staff: $20 to $30 per person, depending on amount of service

· Organists and ceremony musicians: $20 to $40, depending on length of service

· Reception site manager: 15 to 20 percent of entire bill for the reception

· Valets: $1-$2 per car

· Waiters: $20 to $40 each, depending upon quality of service. If you saw that there were only a few

waiters who worked their tails off, give them more.

· Bartenders: 15 percent of liquor bill

· Coat check: $1 per coat

· Limousine drivers: 15 to 20 percent of transportation bill (Check to see if tip is already included in the contract first! If so, then on-the-day tip may be smaller as a token for great service, or left out altogether)

· Photographer and Videographer: $30-$100 or more

· Delivery workers: $10 each if just dropping items off, $20 each if dropping off and setting up to great extent; even more if they’re transporting a LOT of items

· Tent assemblers and rental agency assemblers: $20 each, even more if the tent is extremely large or complicated, or parquet flooring is set down as well

· Entertainers: $25 to $30 each, more if they really exceeded expectations. Again, check your contract to see if gratuity is already included.

· Beauticians and barbers, manicurists and makeup artists: 15 to 20 percent of beauty salon bill – don’t forget the shampoo person!

· Cleanup crew: $20 each

· Baby-sitters: $30 to $40 each, plus a gift, in addition to their hourly wages; more if baby-sitter is putting in extra hours or caring for several children


With so many elements in motion during your wedding day, allow me to teach you a little trick ensuring you enjoy the most of your special day … delegate responsibilities!

For your wedding day tipping responsibilities, assign a gratuity ambassador. This person will be in charge of passing out tips to services rendered and at the end of the event. Choose someone you feel is responsible like a wedding planner, a father, mother, best man or maid of honor. A plain business envelope filled with cash is fine, but adding a “Thanks for everything!” will earn you extra points. You would be surprised how much it means to a vendor to receive a heartfelt thank-you note or email after the wedding.

Tips represent an expression and gesture of appreciation. Does this sound familiar? If a service provider makes a difference in your day, reward extraordinary effort.



Tips on Gratuities For Your Wedding Services – Part 1

  • Posted on February 17, 2012 at 4:17 pm

I found this article when I was deciding on a Podcast host and thought you would love to know about tipping. I know I’d forgotten about this until the day before our wedding. Here are some great tips even though Bill is specifically talking about Orlando weddings. I’ll follow up next week with New York tipping, but you probably know them anyway. Also I am starting the article with the less expensive way of tip or the budgetary way so as to avoid sticker shock.  It’s a long article, so I have decided to break up into three segments over the course of the next week. Enjoy it.

Gratuitous Tips on Gratuities and Tipping Your Wedding Services.

By Bill Parkison

Published by: Orlando Wedding Professionals Bridal Directory Magazine – Fall 2011 October 17, 2011 @ 3:50 pm


What if your budget prohibits you from affording a tip?

During these difficult economic times, couples from coast to coast are cutting back on their wedding expenses. If a simple wedding and modest Staycation honeymoon is all you can really afford, consider these suggestion as a way of showing your appreciation for outstanding services when funding is tight:

This is the era of individual mass communication. Send your message of delight with your wedding services providers in a message released on Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, Twitter, Digg, and the endless social networking services available online. All it takes is one “Like” on Facebook for everyone you have befriended to get the word on the great experience you had with a vendor.  Referrals, referrals, did I mention referrals?  A referral contract makes everyone’s day! One good word goes a long way in the wedding industry. Even if you don’t know anyone getting married in the near future, most wedding vendors provide services to corporate and other social events. What a great surprise to your vendor if they were hired to work a holiday party due to the referral from your wedding. One of my favorite non-monetary tips is a big basket of home-made cookies. Home-made inexpensive chocolate chip, oatmeal or the family’s secret cookie recipe for a holiday favorite, you can’t go wrong.  And cookies are guaranteed to bring smiles to the faces of everyone in the room.  For the officiate, or business owner that went above and beyond, you may consider sending something personal, like as a restaurant gift certificate, or tickets to the theater.  Flower arrangements or plants are very nice and widely appreciated as well. Remember, a simple handwritten thank you note is always greatly appreciated by everyone.

Nothing can ever make you wedding day more memorable than the moment you stand holding hands with your best friend promising to love and care for them the rest of your life. However, when special moments arise due to the efforts of your vendors, don’t forget to let them know it.



Valentine’s Day Flowers, What to Buy?

  • Posted on February 9, 2012 at 6:39 am

This article courtesy of:

Flowers Other Than Roses On Valentine’s Days retrieved 1/12/2012

Believe it or that not there are flowers Other Than Roses Gifted On Valentines Day
“There is a popular tendency to associate Valentine’s Day with a single type of flower – the rose. There are many other flowers too that are gifted on Valentine’s Day. There is a reason why each of these flowers is given on Valentine’s Day.
The giver is expected to have associated with each flower a particular meaning and the recipient is supposed to have got that meaning. These meanings are not accepted by everyone. Yet there seems to be a consensus on this matter, which enables people to communicate using flowers.
The meaning associated with tulip is “love and passion”. This is, in some ways, similar to red rose, which means love, respect, and courage. Yellow tulip, on the other hand, conveys the sense “hopeless love”. Hibiscus indicates delicate beauty and heather suggests admiration and beauty. If rose meant mere love, ivy means a more specific type of love, namely wedded love. Lotus flower means “separated love” and lily of the valley means “let us make up” or “return of happiness”.
If the giver and the recipient are following different conventions, it can result in confusion and miscommunication. According to one convention, a hyacinth gives the meaning “playful joy” whereas by another convention, it means sorrow. It seems wise to not just rely on the flowers; the giver is also advised to act according to his/her feeling rather than let the flower do all the talking.
Apart from the fact that it provides you with a whole system of flower-meaning association, using various flowers also helps in reducing the monotony created by the use of rose alone.
Carnations, in addition to being the most popular flower for Mother’s Day, are also popular for Valentine’s Day. There are carnations of various colors and designs, each conveying a different sense.
There are mixed flower bouquets that are made using different kinds of flowers, like lilies and irises. Such combinations have a visually pleasing effect.”

Mention my website when you go to Flowers By Zenda.

FlowersByZenda for Spring

The Bag . . . for the Wedding

  • Posted on February 3, 2012 at 5:07 pm

New Yorkers are a community of bag carriers. Pretty much everybody carries some sort of carry-all. Think about it. I was looking around just the other day and there was possibly one person in ever twenty-five people that did not carry a bag. And those that were carrying a bag carried not one, but two bags. It is amazing the types of people who carry bags. At the very least a carry-all is going to be in their repertoire. One for each person, alive and of age to carry a bag. One of my favorite shows has always been 60 minutes and I will miss Andy Rooney immensely. I don’t believe I can fill his shoes since I am neither curmudgeonly nor, even though I don’t get threaded nearly enough, do I have bushy eyebrows, but this is a subject he would understand. I’m sure.

Granted I was in the subway initially when I made this mental and visual discovery. And what’s funny is that even though I was indeed carrying a bag, this was the one day, that I was not carrying a notebook, to write in. Luckily I was going to both Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods, so I would get a bag, yes, another one and in WF I could pick up their sales sheet, that afforded me space to write my notes and the beginnings of this blog post. If you don’t count my purse, I now had, after only being outside less than an hour, two bags. One carrying all the stuff I would need to stay awake on the subway to and from all my destinations or just for entertainment, so as not to stare at others.

Take women for instance- most of us on any given day have our purses. The sizes vary, but for this season, it’s supposed to be a large bag. Earlier in the year, I fell for that idea, coupled with what the purse size is supposed to be for anyone above a size 6. Fashion-wise, the larger the woman the larger the bag. The larger woman is not supposed to carry a small bag, since it makes her look bigger, “they” say. I bought a hobo-like bag discussed below in violet. My color, but alas, it was too big to carry everywhere, at least for me. I tend to fill the whatever the dimension of the bag to its capacity rather than to how much my shoulder, back, or arm can carry easily. And don’t we all do that?

What about men? Here’s the thing–men carry all sorts of bags, too. I don’t even mean a man-bag as the okay carrier for the Metro-sexual man. No men carry backpacks, messenger bags, hard briefcases, soft briefcases, computer bags, passport-sized bags with long straps and even yoga bags. In fact, the straps come in various lengths even for men: long ones, short ones, extended handles and regular briefcase handles.

Then there are the children and students through college. You know you’ve seen all the poor little girls and boys who carry backpacks that are almost the same size as their frame or torso, through the ones which are even bigger than their own bodies, bending them over. Looking at them, we often realize, that if they do not have back problems now, that later on in life, they may. Even female toddlers are encouraged to carry a little purse, usually pink, or some other pastel tone. I’ve crocheted a couple myself already for nieces. And they love them. Something that’s light to throw. It’s probably one of the last stages of life to throw a purse or bag around.

I think the reason we New Yorkers are SO enamored of our various bags to tote here and there, is that we are mostly on foot when we are outside. Unlike other ultra-urban cities, we are not tethered to cars – the ultimate catch-all. You know, you’ve seen the type of car that acts as a mini kitchen or lunch room. Some are even portable changing rooms, or if at least shoe receptacles. In fact, we (New Yorkers) are often quite proud about all the walking we do on a daily basis, because we have to. Cars in Manhattan, Bronx, and Brooklyn are many, but not every person who lives in these boroughs has a car. It’s crowded enough without that. Perhaps we should also be proud of the muscles we have developed as well, even though it might only be on one side [of our bodies] from carrying our disparate bags. Even Queens and Staten Island with much less people have a great many people who don’t even know how to drive.

What do all of these ruminations have to do with weddings? To be sure the bride and groom will have to carry something with them to their wedding place, even if it is to get from the limo to the ceremony. What type of thing will help them be organized, and also be able to carry everything they need to get them through ceremony and possibly all the way through to their wedding night, without being burdened down with various bag paraphernalia? The bride, no doubt during all the planning stages will need to carry her loose-leaf binder—with all the information gathered before making the final decision, plus the contract afterwards, the notebook for taking notes after talking to a service provider, items picked up at various stores, for later ideas pertaining to the reception or a party. Various items, that might get to be used somewhere in the event. And you haven’t even gotten to the wedding day. Let’s think about some of the things that might be needed.

Dressing at the ceremony spot, then a garment bag is a must. Inside the garment bag, preferably one that will accommodate the shoes, maybe even jewelry, flip flops [for the reception].

Maybe the bride is already dressed, but needs to take little things to the ceremony for the reception: flip flops, a handkerchief or tissues, lip stick or lip gloss, translucent powder, maybe even a fan (if summer or late in life).

Groom might need a bag for keys for the rented car to airport. Really that might be for the Best Man to carry. Other things for either the wedding or the reception, i.e. Groom’s vows (if written personally), Best Man’s toasting speech, music for the soloist, accompanist, a gift to the bride during their honeymoon (or condom if they are not ready for children, yet.) Honeymoon tickets (if leaving right away). Or even just their keys to their house or apartment (So as not to disrupt the line of their suit or tux or any groomsman’s either for that matter.) You get the idea, almost anything.

What kinds of bags will help all these people carry all that they might need for the ceremony? Well, I wish I’d had at least one of these when I was getting married. It would have carried just about everything I needed and if my husband or “brother” had had one of these, they would not have forgotten things like the Guest book or the memorial programs for my parents’ chairs. For myself/or Matron of Honor, both my something blue (Irish Fan), and something borrowed (necklace with earrings) and my handkerchief would have made it to the ceremony and the reception.

The perfect bag for all of these people would have been the Puddle Jumper by Lug. If you ever watched Maxine’s Corner-TV you would have seen one between the segments of the episodes. The Puddle Jumper comes in two sizes mini and large. One is for everyday usage and the larger is for overnight use. For the bridal party, use of the larger one will probably be most beneficial. Whole Foods used to carry them and is where I bought my first one. Now some Duane Reade’s carry them (across from 42 Broadway in Wall St.) They also have large sack-like or hobo bags. What’s great about them is there are numerous compartments that are pockets and zippered areas. They, do of course, come in great colors: purple, orange, royal blue, lime green, black and fuchsia.

Since we New Yorker are attached and will be attached to various bags, isn’t it great that Lug can enable us to be stylishly organized in so many wonderful colors and styles. Check them out at