Photo by Clinton James Photography
So your cousin is an amateur photographer and has offered to photograph your wedding, or your best friend really wants to arrange your flowers. While it sounds tempting to save a little extra money on the service, and it’s hard to say no to our loved ones, accepting their kind offers may not be the best idea in the world.
Before you decide to hand over important wedding day tasks to your friends and relatives, let us tell you why we think you should hire a professional instead.
You get what you pay for. When you hire a professional, you get to thoroughly check them out – see their previous work, read reviews and get samples. You can make sure that they are going to do a wonderful job on your wedding day. They’re charging for their service because they’re good at it, which you can confirm before you hire them. You’re not likely to have the same luxury with a friend or relative.
They’re experienced. It’s unlikely that you’ve ever planned an event this big before, and no matter how confident you feel about planning your wedding, you’re going to want people on your side who have been through it all before. Professionals have worked on many weddings, and know exactly what they should be doing, and how to keep your day on track. They’re also practiced at handling the stress and sometimes-chaotic environment of the average wedding day.
You’re protected. What happens if your caterer never shows up, or your venue double books for your wedding day? If that vendor was a professional, you’ve got a contract to fall back on that clearly states their obligations. If instead, a family member or a friend was in charge, you have little legal recourse, and may be putting your relationship with that person at risk. In addition, professionals carry insurance, so should any accidents happen, you won’t be left holding the bag.
Everyone can enjoy your day. You want your friends and family to be able to relax and have fun at your wedding, and you should be able to do the same. Hiring professionals to work your wedding means that instead of wrangling people and making sure everyone is where they are supposed to be all day, you can step back and enjoy the celebration you’ve worked so hard to create.
Of course your loved ones want to have a special place in your big day – they should be involved in such an important event. Have your best friend and your mother help you shop for your wedding dress and accessories, and ask that sister with an eye for detail to help you pick your decorations, but when it comes to the essential components of your wedding, it’s best to leave it to the professionals.
Photos by K Hulett Photography
With so much to remember leading up to your wedding day, it’s inevitable that a thing or two is forgotten once the big day arrives. Don’t let that thing be gratitude for the people who have worked so hard to make your day run smoothly. Tips are an important part of your wedding budget, and should be built into your costs from the beginning.
Now, you don’t have to tip everyone. Your hired wedding vendors, such as caterers or florists, should only be tipped for exceptional service or circumstances. Be sure to ask your vendors if gratuities are included before signing your contract to avoid double-tipping.
So who do you tip, and how much? Here’s a general guide:
Servers/wait staff – $25–30
Bartenders – $25–30
Valets – $1 per car
Coat check attendants – $1 per guest
Limousine or bus drivers – 15–20 percent
Makeup and hair – 15–25 percent
Musicians – $25–30
Delivery or set-up staff – $5–10
Extra Tip: Assign a member of your bridal party or your wedding planner to hand out tips. Figure out what you’ll owe ahead of time and prepare labeled envelopes with cash and a thank you note for that person to give out.