What is the guideline for tipping DJ's and bartenders?
Our reception, start to finish, is 5 hours. That is including a sit-down dinner and cocktail hour. There is open bar throughout (beer,wine,soda)and about 60 guests.
How do I figure out what to tip? Is it a percentage of the service cost, or a per person/time length formula? We are providing a plate for the DJ as well. (The bartender is hotel staff, so they feed her/him.)
I know "industry standard" varies within different areas. I'm in upstate NY (Albany) Any help guidance is appreciated.
Thank you for thinking about the people who will make your day wonderful. Tipping is a delicate subject when dealing with your wedding vendors. Some of the fees you've paid include tips for the staff and others don't. The first thing you need to do is determine who's already been tipped and who isn't. Once you've determined who has not been tipped, you have to decide if you want to tip them. Not everybody deserves a tip. Some people may have actually not completely done their jobs. OTOH, others may have gone above and beyond the call of duty. Another factor to consider, does the vendor work for themselves or are they an employee. If they work for themselves, they are already earning the full fees and are making a reasonable profit. For those people tips are appreciated but not required. Finally, if a person is an employee, they should be tipped anywhere between $50-$100 depending on the service and the length of time they worked.
Howard Kier, Certified Professional Wedding Photographer
Having once been a bartender (union) for wedding and other functions myself, I realize the bartenders don't always see that automatic gratuity. If they do, it is not 18% as it has to be split with the rest of the staff.
The DJ is an employee. So I am definatley planning on tipping (unless he refers to Grandma as an "old bag". (Nightmare scenario.) I was figuring about $75-100.
So it sounds like I am in the ballpark.