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A few weeks ago, with our shop relaunch, I mentioned that we had added a whole new category to the Southern Weddings Shop: our e-book library! This was a natural next step for us, gals who have always been equally devoted to the pretty AND the practical. It’s my joy to give you a more extended peek into one of our first two digital offerings today: the Ultimate Guide to Budgeting for Your Wedding!

Anyone who knows me knows that I am extremely passionate about personal finance. Since I am also passionate about weddings, this new e-book is pretty much the culmination of my life’s work! :) The good news is that you do not have to be passionate about either to get the most out of our guide — in fact, it’s meant for people who want to cover their ears when they hear the word budget!

In this 26-page digital download, we equip you with everything you need to know to spend, save, and celebrate your wedding with money smarts. Topics covered include:

— How to set your wedding budget
— Ways to supplement your hired professionals (and save money!)
— How to negotiate while hiring vendors
— Our favorite ways to cut costs
— Creative ways to stretch your budget
— Setting your budget priorities
— How to talk to your parents about money
— When and how much to tip wedding vendors
— Industry standard percentages for your budget
— 11 line-item budgets from real weddings (ranging from $12,500 to $100,000+)

…plus a budget spreadsheet, a payment tracker, and plenty of encouragement along the way!

We believe that if you can do your budget well, the rest of wedding planning will be so much more joyful – and that’s our greatest wish for you! Get more info and purchase your Ultimate Guide to Budgeting for Your Wedding.

P.S. Curious about the intersection of our e-book library and the Joyful Wedding Planner? Our e-books can be used alongside our planner (since we go into more detail on each topic than we were able to in the planner) or in tandem with another planner. We’ve heard from so many brides who were sad to have purchased another planner before finding ours, so this is a way that all of y’all can still get our perspective on individual topics without purchasing a second planner!

emily Written with love by Emily
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    Southern Weddings reserves the right to delete comments which contain profanity or personal attacks or seek to promote a business unrelated to the post.  And remember: a good attitude is like kudzu – it spreads.  We love hearing your kind thoughts!

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    Happy Valentine’s Day, friends! We have been hard at work over the last few months making the Southern Weddings Shop an even lovelier and more helpful resource for y’all, and today is an exciting day! Our shop has a brand new, easy to navigate look, new features, and some mighty fine new products. Let’s take a look around!

    It’s true, we’re smitten with our shop’s new look, but she’s even prettier on the inside, if you know what I mean. Y’all now have the option of leaving reviews for our products, which will be so helpful to future brides and gift-givers! Thank you to everyone who has already left a review (and if you’d like to leave your own, we would so appreciate that!).

    In addition to our signature products like the Joyful Wedding Planner, the Memories of Us prompted journal, and the Welcome Home guest book, today we’re excited to launch a library of wedding planning e-books! These e-books, priced from $6-$18, are meant to either accompany our wedding planner (they go into more depth than we could in the planner, or cover entirely new topics), or stand apart from it (for example, if you’ve already purchased a different wedding planner but want our take on a topic).

    Today, we’re so happy to share our first two e-books: All About Southern Wedding Traditions ($6) and the Ultimate Guide to Budgeting for Your Wedding ($12). You’ll be hearing more about both in the weeks to come, as well as other offerings! Shhh… a little birdy told me a guide for mothers of the bride is up next :)

    To celebrate Valentine’s Day and our shop’s relaunch, we’re celebrating with 14% off EVERYTHING for today only with code ILOVESW. Plus, we’ll throw all of y’all who purchase something from the shop TODAY into a hat and draw one winner for a $50 Visa gift card, which we’ll mail in time for a date night this weekend! So fun.

    So, go take a click around, and tell us what you think! I’d also love to hear: what would you love to see in future e-book topics?

    emily Written with love by Emily
    0 Comments

      Southern Weddings reserves the right to delete comments which contain profanity or personal attacks or seek to promote a business unrelated to the post.  And remember: a good attitude is like kudzu – it spreads.  We love hearing your kind thoughts!

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      One of the more popular posts we’ve ever written is on tipping wedding vendors. (I wish it were something more exciting, but there you have it!) And I don’t blame y’all–there are so many different sources offering advice, and so many different dollar amounts recommended for so many different vendors at so many different times, that your head can start to spin long before you start separating cash out into envelopes.

      Plus, when you’re already shelling out thousands of dollars per vendor, you might find yourself feeling, ahem, a little less than grateful at the thought of tipping on top of your final bill. Believe me, I completely understand! BUT, if you remember that tipping is never required, and should only be used to reward exemplary service, you might begin to feel a little differently.

      With the help of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Chelsey Morrison from Gather Together Events (who has been sending our guide to her brides for years!), we updated our advice and even made a handy list with everything in one neat place.

      Finally, remember that while cash or a gift is always appreciated (and can be given whenever you’d like, regardless of our guidelines below!), a grateful spirit on your wedding day; a genuine, thoughtful thank you note after your wedding; and personal referrals to family and friends are without a doubt the MOST valuable gifts you can give your treasured vendors.

      Photo by Kristen Kilpatrick from our eighth issue

      Wedding Planner
      Should I tip? If your planner owns her own business, then no tip is expected, since it’s not customary to tip the owner of a business. However, if you would like to recognize exemplary performance, a personal gift or check is an option. If your planner has assistants on your wedding day (which most do), she will likely split the tip among them if she is the business owner.
      How much? Up to $500, or 15% of her fee, or a nice gift
      When? We recommend sending a thank you note and your check or gift after you return from your honeymoon.

      Delivery and Set-up Staff
      Should I tip? It’s a lovely gesture, especially if they were careful to set everything up to your specifications and without causing damage to the surroundings.
      How much? $5 – $10 per person
      When? Drop off envelopes with your catering manager or wedding planner if they’ll be accepting deliveries on your behalf. Sending after the event is okay, too.

      Photo by KT Merry from our eighth issue

      Wedding Photographer or Videographer (and other vendors like florists or cake bakers)
      Should I tip? As most photographers and videographers own their own businesses, tipping is not expected or required in this case. If you are working with an associate photographer, a tip is customary. Either way, a personal gift is always a lovely touch.
      How much? 15% of his fee, or a gift
      When? After the honeymoon

      Wedding Hair Stylist and Makeup Artist
      Should I tip? Yes, this is one area where a gratuity is definitely expected. However, the owning-their-own-business exception is still in effect, so keep that in mind.
      How much? 15-25%, just as you would for a normal appointment
      When? On the day of your wedding, after she’s finished getting you prettified

      Photos by Whitney Neal from our eighth issue

      Wedding Transportation
      Should I tip? Check your contract, because a gratuity is usually included. If it’s not, then one is pretty much expected.
      How much? 15-20% of the total bill if a service/gratuity charge is not included in your contract. If a gratuity is included and you’d still like to go above and beyond, a flat tip per driver of $5-10 per hour of service is commonplace.
      When? When the driver picks you up or after the last ride

      Wedding Ceremony Officiant
      Should I tip? It isn’t necessary to tip religious officiants like a priest or minister (many of them, in fact, won’t accept cash tips). In lieu of a tip, a donation to their house of worship is a nice gesture. It’s not expected that you’ll tip a civil employee or non-religious officiant, either (and sometimes, in the case of civil employees, tipping can be illegal). For all officiants, a personal gift, such as a gift certificate to a nice restaurant, would certainly be appreciated.
      How much? For an officiant associated with a house of worship, a donation of $100-500 is appropriate if there is no fee for the officiant, or $50-150 if you have already paid them a fee. If you’re working with an independent officiant, $50-150 is appropriate.
      When? At the rehearsal or rehearsal dinner or after the ceremony

      Photos by Katie Stoops from our eighth issue

      Wedding Ceremony Musicians
      Should I tip? This one’s definitely optional. If the string trio you hired has arranged or learned a particular song for you at no additional charge, then a tip might be a nice gesture.
      How much? $20 – $50 per musician, or 15% of total fee
      When? Before the musicians leave your ceremony site

      Wedding Reception Band or DJ
      Should I tip? It’s completely optional, but somewhat common. For bands that book their own gigs (i.e. separate from an entertainment agency), tipping is not customary.
      How much? If you choose to tip, set aside $40-$100 per musician or $50-$200 for DJs
      When? Before they leave the reception

      Photo by Nancy Ray from our eighth issue

      Wedding Reception Staff
      Should I tip? Oh boy, this one’s the big guy. Yes, you should tip, but look to see whether a gratuity is not already included in your contract — it often is. (If gratuity is included, you’ll likely still want to make an additional flat fee tip on top of that – see below.)
      How much? If a gratuity/service charge is not included, tip 15-20% of the cost of your total catering bill. If it is included, and you’d like to add an additional thank you, go with flat fee amounts: catering manager, banquet manager, headwaiter, or maitre d’: $50-$150; head chef: $50-$150; kitchen staff: $20-$50 each; bartenders: $20-$50 each; and servers: $20-50 each.
      When? Before you leave the reception

      Here’s an easy-to-pin version of our tipping cheat sheet:

      A final tip from Chelsey, who says about 75% of her clients choose to tip beyond the expected vendors: “On your wedding day, the last thing you want to worry about it money changing hands. It is a GREAT idea to put any final payments and tips in individually labeled envelopes to be handed out by your planner the day of the event.

      “If you want to wait until the end of the event to see which vendors went above and beyond, trust your planner to make the call – we’ve worked hand in hand with them all day and see what goes on behind the scenes. In that case, I have my clients provide an envelope of cash in different bills (and keep it on my person at all times during the day). If I see great service, I will hand out the tip amounts and write them on the envelope how much was handed out and to whom. I hand the envelope back to the father of the bride (or wedding host/financier) at the end of the night that shows the summary of what was handed out and any remaining cash.” Such a good idea, Chelsey!

      Wishing you all exemplary service at your weddings that deserves copious tips! :)

      Gather Together Events, Kristen Kilpatrick, Whitney Neal, and KT Merry are delightful members of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

      emily Written with love by Emily
      6 Comments
      1. avatar Brianne Munz reply

        Bless you! This is exactly what I came on here looking for! :)

      2. avatar Edieth Smith reply

        Why is the florist never included when it is a full wedding and reception set up? We often go above and beyond what is expected.

        • avatar Emily reply

          Hi Edieth! I should have made a note above originally (but have now!): florists would fall under the same category as photographers and videographers. I’m sure most clients would be happy to reward any vendor who goes above and beyond, whether through a personal thank you, a referral, a gift, a review, or a tip!

        • avatar Chelsey Morrison reply

          Hi Edieth! We do see florists tipped when they go above and beyond with a large installation. I would put this in a similar category to “delivery and setup staff.” Our florists are often doing large architectural pieces (like floral chandeliers) and deserve tips for the extra detail they put into these pieces!

      3. avatar Eleni Dona photography reply

        Totally agree with these tips!! As a professional wedding photographer, couples most of times are tipping my second shooter and my videographer

      4. avatar Bella Vita Montreal Wedding Photography reply

        I agree it should be common courtesy.

      Southern Weddings reserves the right to delete comments which contain profanity or personal attacks or seek to promote a business unrelated to the post.  And remember: a good attitude is like kudzu – it spreads.  We love hearing your kind thoughts!

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