Guest Blog: A Bridesmaid’s Guide to Bridal Shows and Wedding Expos

Guest Blog: A Bridesmaid’s Guide to Bridal Shows and Wedding Expos

The beginning of each year launches a new season of bridal shows and wedding expos. These events give vendors a chance to demonstrate their products and services and find their perfect matches for the upcoming wedding year. This coincides with the end of “Engagement Season” which runs roughly from November – February, or Thanksgiving – Valentine’s Day.

If you are a new bridesmaid, you may not have given these shows a single thought. You’ve probably focused on scouting out the perfect pink bridesmaid dresses and planning an amazing bridal shower. Don’t be caught off guard if your VIPs ask you to attend – instead, be ready to help get the most out of the bridal show experience!

Tips on Tipping at Your Destination Wedding: Your Ultimate Guide on Tipping

Tips on Tipping at Your Destination Wedding: Your Ultimate Guide on Tipping

I get this question a lot. Who to tip and how much? There are so many guides online about tipping for weddings, but consider this your ultimate go-to guide for tipping at destination weddings. And for my Punta Cana brides, some of these tips are specific for you! 

Photo by Karina Jensen of Photo By Karina

Photo by Karina Jensen of Photo By Karina

Bottom Line

At the end of the day, tip what you can and what you feel most comfortable with, based on the service that you were provided. Consider this more of a guideline on who gets tipped and to guide on how much, within your budget and what you think is reasonable. Also, consider getting a nice, thoughtful gift for your vendors instead of a tip or in addition to a tip if you feel like the tip isn't enough. 

Punta Cana Tip

While tipping 20% is customary in the U.S., that's not the same in the Dominican Republic. From what I've been told, 10% is more customary. Keep in mind, however, that a lot of your vendors are not from the Dominican Republic and that in general, you're saving a great deal for what you're getting just by having your wedding in another country. Other vendors (like wait or bar staff) are people who usually get paid in Dominican pesos and the U.S. dollar is definitely worth more. These are things you should consider and weigh out when you're tipping. 

Vendors

Hair and Makeup Artist: it's customary to tip your hair and makeup artist around 20% of the cost of your hair and makeup. 

Photographer/videographer: generally, you do not need to tip them as long as they own their own company, but if they worked with you on pricing, stayed extra, or just in general worked extra hard, throwing them any amount would probably be greatly appreciated. Or, better yet, order an album or prints! If your photographer took you to another location for a Rock the Dress session, consider "tipping" an amount that may cover their gas. 

Officiant: this depends on where you're having your wedding; if it's in a church, then a tip is customary, but otherwise, it's not. 

Photo by Karina Jensen of Photo By Karina

Photo by Karina Jensen of Photo By Karina

Photo by Karina Jensen of Photo By Karina

Photo by Karina Jensen of Photo By Karina

DJ: $50 is probably sufficient, as long as he's not also the MC. 

MC: $50 is probably more than enough for the MC. 

Wait Staff and Bartenders: Depending on the number of people working that night, anywhere from $200-300 for everyone is probably sufficient. If you have a lot of guests and there are more waiters or the waiters are working harder, consider tipping more. Tipping 10-20% of your total food and beverage bill is way more than generous, so don't feel obligated to tip that much. 

Cake: it is not customary to tip your baker

Entertainment: it is not customary to tip the entertainment (Fire Show, Crazy Hour).

Florist: it is not customary to tip the florist

Transportation: Anywhere from $3-5 each time the bus comes around and takes you and/or your guests is great or count how many trips they took and give a lump sum. 

Reception

Wedding Planner, Coordinator and/or Decorator: Sometimes this is all the same person, especially with destination weddings, but sometimes it's not. Tip the way you would at a restaurant, 15-20% is customary, depending on how happy you are with the service

Punta Cana Tip: 
Jellyfish: The decorators are separate from the coordinators. The coordinators are the people who make sure everything is what you asked for and that everything is going according to your timeline, usually Janelkis. The decorators are Gianna and Clara. Consider tipping the coordinator separately. Coordinating is a lot of behind-the-scenes work that means your wedding was smooth. 

Huracan/Kukua/Pearl: These venues tend to have a set price for decor that includes certain items. The decorators (Nati at Huracan; Bego at Kukua; Mayte at Pearl) are also your coordinators. You might want to give a bit of an extra tip, if you were particularly happy with the service.

Photo by Karina Jensen of Photo By Karina

Photo by Karina Jensen of Photo By Karina

Hotel: even though most of the hotels are all inclusive, tips are welcomed and should be encouraged. Remind your guests to bring a bit of extra cash to tip the people that are servicing them, especially bartenders, housekeeping, and wait staff at the restaurants. 

Party Boat: ask if there is a tip box that can be left out on the counter. Much like with the hotel, encourage your guests to tip, especially if you're covering any portion of the cost of the boat. 

It's best to tip in cash, so don't forget to make it to the bank to take out the money, since ATMs tend to have a daily limit. 

What To Pack For Your Destination Wedding

What To Pack For Your Destination Wedding

Knowing what to pack for your destination wedding is important so that you don't forget things. Below is a link to our packing list for Brides & Grooms so that you can download it and check it off as you start packing. If you remember in our All-Inclusive Destination Wedding Planning Checklist, we recommend starting to pack about a week before departure. 

Creating Your Wedding Day Timeline

Creating Your Wedding Day Timeline

Creating the right timeline is important: it ensures that all your vendors know when to come, how long you will need for your photographer/videographer, that your bridal party and family members know where to be and when, and that everything runs smoothly and you have enough time for all your photos that day. It takes a lot of coordination between multiple parties and your wedding vision to finalize your timeline. Because of the importance and the individual nature of timelines, it is one of the many things Barefoot Bridal includes with the wedding planning services.

Your All-Inclusive Destination Wedding Planning Guide

Your All-Inclusive Destination Wedding Planning Guide

Planning a destination wedding? Here is your all-inclusive destination wedding planning guide written by previous destination wedding brides turned destination wedding travel agents and planning specialists! You won't get a better guide anywhere else!

#GivensHerTheMorgan - Lindsey & Sean, May 11, 2015

#GivensHerTheMorgan - Lindsey & Sean, May 11, 2015

I feel like a broken record when I say this, but it's just so, so true and I can't get past how lucky I am with how far Barefoot Bridal has come from when I first started it just a little over a year ago.  

I never thought Barefoot Bridal would be what it is today. I never thought that when I first started this that I would develop such a bond with brides across the country. I underestimated how bittersweet it would be every time a bride's group departed or one of my brides who hired me to help plan their wedding had their wedding. I underestimated the friendships I would forge with brides across the country. And their grooms, too! 

One of those very special couples is Lindsey and Sean. They contacted me for help with both their travel for their guests and wedding planning. Little did I know what an amazingly fun couple they were and how much fun I would have helping them plan for their wedding. Starting from their story of how they met (a joke over text that brought them together forever!), I knew I was in for a treat with these two! 

Picking the Location

Picking the Location

If you already know that you want a destination wedding, you might question where the best location is. Picking where you want to have your destination wedding depends on several factors including your vision, your budget, and your guests.