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Guest appearance on The Mack Hour Hosted by Denasia Mack

  • Posted on May 9, 2012 at 6:43 pm

CharLena Pearson-Fulcher                                                            

Live on WCBR, 590 AM radio on “The Mack Hour”

Click link below to take you to the radio broadcast:

DENASIAMSPEARSON5812       

Watch Out For Those Taxes.

  • Posted on April 14, 2012 at 8:46 pm

What’s taxable and what’s not?  Have you wondered what you had to include in your wedding budget per service provider, especially when it comes to taxes?  Sometimes it doesn’t seem to matter or make sense who charges the tax or if it’s rolled into the total price already.  If you thought service charge was the tax, think again.  It’s really just the “service charge” and sometimes it is STILL taxable.  Confused?  Here’s help below.

Check out this article my friend Fouzia, of My Bridal Budget wrote about and you’ll have a much clearer understanding.   http://www.mybridalbudgetllc.blogspot.com/

WEDNESDAY, MAY 2, 2012

Service Charge- Is it taxable or not?

That is a good question to ask to your catering company or catering venue because you don’t want to miscalculate or have any surprises when you pay your final bill. Most catering venues charge 20% for service charge, which you are responsible for that cost that covers waiting staff, linens, directional/place cards, any operating venue costs, etc. In New York, tax is applied to the service charge. Most of us go out to restaurants for dinner, most of the time tax is not applied on the gratuity and service charge. However, in catering venues that have large parties, tax is applied on the service charge.
If you are the type that is organized with finances and likes to see the figures in a spreadsheet. Here is an example in how you would calculate your catering bill with taxable service charge:$9,095 ($85 x 107 adults)
$280 ($35x8vendors)
$385 ($35x11kids)
————–
$9,760 (subtotal)
$1,952 (service charge-20% x $9,760)
—————-
$11,712 (total)
$1,010.16 (total x Tax 8.625%)
—————
$12,722.16-Grand Total

The numbers turn out to be a big difference when tax is applied to service charge, therefore please ask the question to your venue –“Is your service charge taxable?” so, you can make sure your budget is accurate.

Below is NY tax regulations regarding to service charges-

http://www.tax.ny.gov/pdf/memos/sales/m09_13s.pdf
Gratuities and service charges
Gratuities and tips that a customer leaves voluntarily for the wait staff are not taxable.
Mandatory gratuities are different because they are automatically added onto the bill given to the customer. However, a mandatory gratuity is not taxable if all of these conditions are met:
• the charge is shown separately on the bill,
• the charge is identified as a gratuity, and
• all of the money collected is given to the employees.
If any of these conditions is not met, the mandatory gratuity is taxable along with the rest of the catering bill.
Many caterers bill a service charge on banquets or on parties of more than eight or ten people. Since these charges are not specifically listed as gratuities on the bill or invoice, the service charge is always subject to sales tax.
For more details, see TSB-M-09(13)S, Sales Tax on Gratuities and Service Charges.

Thanks Fouzia for enlightening us on what to do and how to keep within our budget.

A New NYC Wedding Price High

  • Posted on March 25, 2012 at 6:51 am

Check this article out and keep in mind that just because this has been spent and is the new top price for weddings in the New York City area, you are not stuck paying this amount.  Not now or ever.  You can have your New York City wedding for less than $15,000 quite easily and elegantly.  As you read through the following article, it’s going to feel like an impossibility, but it is not.  Read the article, but keep in mind that all is beautiful on your wedding day no matter the cost up or down per plate.  Just keep in mind that or rather who counts is the person at the other end of the aisle.  What’s important is not to spend all of your money, but to richly realize the importances of your new life with your new spouse.  Do not use up ALL the money that is yours and your fiance’s or parents to throw this shindig.  Certainly not all the money for a wedding?  Remember what I say: Save some money for your house downpayment or at least the start of your house downpayment bank.

Wedding Price.  Too High?

http://www.timescolonist.com/life/dear+wedding+especially+york/6354078/story.htm

 

 

Looking at the number, it doesn’t seem possible does it to have your wedding in NYC for well under what you have in your bank account or on your credit card.  Don’t try to keep up the with wedding Joneses, they might have more resources readily available to them.  But all is still not lost; your wedding, doesn’t have to cost that much.  Nowhere does it say you have spend $450 or $196 or $107/guest.  It’s your wedding (yours and you fiances’).  The $450 versus the $27000 versus the $15K.  Going from outrageous to the sublime is probably just the kick in the pants you might need.  Notice the price differential per person (140 people in attendance) according to the three different budgets:  Several hundred over $67K, or over $27K or even down to a respectful, even relaxing amount under $15K.  Breathe, then stick to your budget and receive:

 

EVERYthing your heart desires to make your wedding beautiful.   In other words treat yourself  and demand to be treated like a Queen (or King), but also demand that the coffers not be raided, either.

Riverside’s Wedding Open House

  • Posted on March 14, 2012 at 5:11 am
  • Article originally Posted on February 21, 2011 at 10:47 pm

 

This year, I somehow missed the event entirely. I had it in my calendar at a completely different time than it was in reality. I showed up two hours later than the event. Forgive me for giving you a re-run of the event, however I believe the information is relevant.  The picture above is after this year’s event.

A Parent: Where does the wedding party begin?

Ms. Gregory: I am the first stop, for which you can schedule an appointment and we talk in depth about what you might want, the budget, and the number of guests.  You may also either email me, (best) or call me.  If you are ready to book, then definitely set up an appointment, and I will get you started in the process including your reservation of a room, along with the deposit.   Additionally, if you want your reception here, I can let our catering service, PashaEvents, know that you are booked and ready to have them (the Caterers) contact you.  You (The reservers) may also do that on your own, as well.

Bride: Can secular music be played during the ceremony?

Ms. Gregory: During the ceremony, you may only use sacred music, which you make the decision on what it is.  This is a sacred space and we are strict with having only sacred music played during the wedding ceremony.  At the reception it is your choice of musical style.  You may hire an outside entertainer, or band.

Bride: How long is the ceremony?  How long before the reception begins?  How long is the minimum time for the reception?

Ms. Gregory: The wedding ceremony is typically 30 minutes.  The reception can be scheduled to start immediately or within the half hour of your ceremony’s end.  Typically any place you speak to about receptions will measure their price by the time needed.  We schedule you for an hour cocktail, and four hours for the reception and if you would like dancing as well, that includes more than enough time.

Groom: How much is the reception?

Ms. Gregory: Our pricing is competitive with other venues of our caliber, so our price per plate/person is between $105 -$155.

Groom: Can there be two ministers side by side performing the ceremony, one in English and the other minister in another language?

Ms. Gregory: We have several ministers on staff from which the bridal party can choose.  If their choice is not available, we go down to the next minister who is available.  Often there are requests for a minister, who is not a member of the Riverside clergy staff, who can perform weddings at Riverside Church, then they are allowed to do the homily, and liturgy.  Having another minister duplicate verbatim what the English-speaking minister will say lengthens the ceremony by two, possibly three times as much. and that is why they may join the service, with their specific part or feature, but only be one or two parts, not the whole ceremony, usually the homily and liturgy.

There were many more questions which you may hear on my radio show: All Things About Weddings: Elegant and Affordable. If you are in the midst of or haven’t yet booked your wedding venue, I invite you to take a look a Riverside Church of New York.  And if you get the opportunity to go in February to go to their Open House, I would say, definitely go next year and maybe I’ll be there, too.

Ms. Gregory will also be at the GLBT Expo this at the Javits on March 17 & 18.

To Contact Ms. Gregory: 212 870 6763 or via email agregory@theriversidechurchny.org

 

Looking to read something that I have written check out my wedding cake Special Report: http://www.amazon.com/Wedding-Ideas-Decor-Trends-ebook/dp/B006G6GLTQ/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1331701685&sr=8-1


 


 

Tips on Gratuities for Your Wedding Services – Part 3

  • Posted on March 6, 2012 at 8:35 pm

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

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 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.