GSS Guest Blogger :: Tips on Tipping Wedding Professionals with Sarabeth Events

We have the utmost privilege of having Dallas Event Planner, Sarabeth Quattlebaum of Sarabeth Events, as a guest blogger for Groom Sold Separately today!  We are so excited and beyond thrilled to have Sarabeth lend her expertise and experience with us! 

We know that it can be stressful and confusing when it comes to tipping your wedding professionals… Should you tip?  If so, which ones should you tip?  And how much?  Fortunately for us, Sarabeth has the scoop on tipping your wedding professionals!

So, without further ado…. Ladies and Gentlemen, here is Sarabeth!

We recently attended an oh-so-delicious-and-informational American Association of Certified Wedding Planners meeting at the beautiful Crow Collection of Asian Art. This months’ topic was Money, Money, Money (who doesn’t like to talk about that?!).  One of the most important things we discussed was a standard on tipping that we’d like to pass on to you!

Side tip: If you are personally extending the gratuities to wedding professionals or if you are having your wedding planner/coordinator extraordinaire perform this gracious task, it is polite to have the money in a sealed, marked envelope with a personal note included.  Most vendors won’t accept a wad of cash out of your pocket, so please add a special touch for this special thank you!

 

“Tipping is a personal expression of gratitude for service delivered graciously and efficiently. The numbers below are only guidelines and apply when gratuities are not included in the bill. If you are unsure of whether they are covered, or if you are confused about when and how much to tip, just ask. Tips are generally larger in big cities and upscale environments. Be sure to work these figures into your overall wedding budget well in advance. “

  • Whom to Tip: Club Catering, Venue Coordinator or Banquet Manager.
  • How much to Tip: Given for extraordinary service at your discretion.
  • When and By Whom: Given at the end of reception or the next day, with a note of thanks included.
  • Whom to Tip: Waiters and waitresses.
  • How much to Tip: Usually not tipped directly.
  • When and By Whom: Usually figured in to the total bill by venue. If not, the customary 15% will do nicely.
  • Whom to Tip: Bartenders.
  • How much to Tip: 10% of total liquor bill.
  • When and By Whom: Often figured in to the total bill by venue. If not, the reception host or wedding consultant pays the top in an envelope near the end of the reception.
  • Whom to Tip: Powder-room or Coatroom attendants.
  • How much to Tip: $.50-$1.00 per guest, or arrange a gratuity with the hotel or club management.
  • When and By Whom: The reception host should pay in advance, so that the appropriate sign, “Gratuities Have Been Arranged By The Host”, can be displayed.
  • Whom to Tip: Parking Attendants
  • How much to Tip: $1.00-$3.00 per car, or arrange a gratuity with the hotel or club management.
  • When and By Whom: The reception host should pay in advance, so guests will not be expected to pay.
  • Whom to Tip: Limousine Driver
  • How much to Tip: 15-20% of total limousine bill.
  • When and By Whom: The host or the wedding consultant tips the driver at the delivery site.
  • Whom to Tip: Entertainment
  • How much to Tip: $20-$50.00 each
  • When and By Whom: The reception host or wedding consultant offers in envelopes at the end of the reception.
  • Whom to Tip: Acolytes, Cantors, Soloists, Choir Members, Organist
  • How much to Tip: $5 for alter assistants, $25 for cantors and choir members, $25-$40 for organist, $25-$50 for soloists
  • When and By Whom: Sometimes the payment is taken care of through your church fee. If not, use the above guidelines.
  • Whom to Tip: Florist, Photographer, Film Maker
  • How much to Tip: 15% of total bill.
  • When and By Whom: Usually no need to tip above contracted price unless vendor has gone above and beyond and provided excellent service.
  • Whom to Tip: Hair | Makeup Artist
  • How much to Tip: 15-20% of total bill
  • When and By Whom: Upon conclusion of the service.

Thank you so much, Sarabeth, for sharing your expertise with us!  Please stop by Sarabeth Events website and blog and show them some love!

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GSS Guest Blogger :: Sarabeth Events :: DIY Dessert Bars!!!

We have the utmost privilage of having Dallas Event Planner, Sarabeth Quattlebaum of Sarabeth Events, as a guest blogger for Groom Sold Separately today!  We are so excited and beyond thrilled to have Sarabeth lend her expertise and experience with us! 

With dessert bars being such a trending topic in weddings, (thank you Amy Atlas!) Sarabeth will be showing us how easy and affordable it can be to create your own dessert bar for your wedding, bridal/baby shower, and birthday!

So, without further ado…. Ladies and Gentlemen, here is Sarabeth!

The team at Sarabeth Events had a great time planning these tables and our goal was to add a little fun and class to any size social event. We showcased three tables; a baby shower {yellow and green}, a birthday party {pink and yellow} and a wedding {all white}.

Here are some steps to follow when making your own dessert bar:

1. Think of a creative – but simple theme and color scheme {try to keep the colors to two or three choices}.
2. Decide where you will feature your fabulous dessert bar {kitchen table, bar, or awesome pedestal tables from Ducky Bob’s.}
3. Find favorite linen you already have that’s simple and won’t steal the show from the desserts {or pick one up at Ducky Bob’s and have all of your friends envy your tablecloth collection!}
4. Take out {and dust off} candy dishes and simple plates – make sure these items coordinate well together.
5. Have fun locating desserts AND candy that match your linen and/or the colors you are working with! We always think a majority of desserts with a little candy thrown in there make a perfect pop. Don’t forget that you can make the centerpiece of your table a cake or some drinks {we found adorable bottles in the deli and took off the labels}.
6. Go home and play with filling the jars with candy and putting the desserts on the plates. Remember when plating desserts – less is always more!
7. Take linen to local hobby store and find fun and festive ribbon. Buy extra! Pick up two colors of cardstock as well for labels.
8. Make labels at home {with fun fonts} then cut out cute shapes and mount the ribbon {use hot glue on glass} with the labels on to the candy dishes {you can also make labels for the desserts just use some place card holders or small frames you already have}. Secret: Make all of the labels the same size to create a uniform look.

These tips are truly meant for small parties of under 20 people. For larger social events call a Soiree Specialist at Sarabeth Events to custom, tailor-make you a perfect Sarabeth’s Sweet Soiree Dessert Bar! For the larger dessert bar we can coordinate with our pastry chefs’ custom monogrammed chocolates or a family recipe to add that special touch to your social event.

Here is the cost breakdown as well as what we featured on each table:

Birthday Party (Pink & Yellow) – Feeds 15-20 Guests = $29.65

1. Rock Candy – $15.00 – Bulk Aisle
2. Pink – Mini cupcakes – $2.99 for 12 – In Bakery
3. Pink – Zingers – $1.50 for box – In Snack/Cake Aisle
4. Pink/White Frosted Animal Cookies – $5.00 for box – In Snack/Cake Aisle
5. Pink Soda Izze Spark Blackberry – 4 x $1.29 = $5.16 – In Deli

Wedding (White) – Feeds 15-20 Guests = $52.98

1. White – Jelly Belly – $25.00 – Bulk Section
2. Whie Rock Candy – $15.00 – Bulk Section
3. White – Mini-Crispy Marshmallow Bites, Square – $2.99 – In Bakery (dip in white chocolate)
4. White – Twinkie Bites – $3.39 in Snack/Cake Aisle (add powdered sugar)
5. White – Chocolate Pretzels – $6.00 – Candy Aisle

Baby Shower (Yellow & Green) – 15-20 Guests = $49.26

1. Limeade – Frozen Section – $1.94
2. Green – Sixlets – 25.00 – Bulk Section
3. Green Stick Candy – 14.00 – Bulk Section
4. Yellow – Madelines – $2.99 – In Bakery
5. Yellow Golden Oreo Cakesters – $2.54 for box – in Snack/Cake Aisle
6. Yellow – Zingers – $2.79 for box – In Snack/Cake Aisle

Thank you so much, Sarabeth, for sharing your expertise with us!  Please stop by Sarabeth Events website and blog and show them some love! 

Image Credits:  First Image Courtesy of Amy Atlas.  All other images Courtesy of Sarabeth Events.

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GSS Asks An Expert :: Q & A With Sarabeth Quattlebaum of Sarabeth Events

We frequently receive questions about how to handle sticky situations during the wedding planning process and even issues that can arise on the big day.  Who would be better to answer these questions than someone who takes these situations and tasks head-on for a living?  We would love to introduce you to Sarabeth Quattlebaum of Sarabeth Events!  Sarabeth has an extensive background in the event planning business and has planned almost any event that you can think up:  Just to name a few…. Anniversary parties, holiday parties, team building events, birthday parties, rehearsal dinners, and of course, weddings!

Sarabeth got her start in the wedding biz working at a custom wedding dress studio.  She was setting up at a bridal show when she had the opportunity to speak to a wedding coordinator that was in the booth next to her. The coordinator told her that she offered internships and upon leaving the bridal show, Sarabeth immediately contacted her. After working with the wedding coordinator for a year, Sarabeth was promoted to Vice President and loved her position. Sarabeth had found her dream job!  She knew this was her passion and decided to start her own company to fully control her future. She continued her education by attending the American Association of Certified Wedding Planners, a four day workshop, the summer of 2009 and graduated college that year with a Bachelors of Entrepreneurship.

Sarabeth Events offers such services as:

Sarabeth Events is excited to offer Weekend Of, Partial and Full Coordination Packages. Their packages range from helping clients choose their locations, to attending vendor appointments, to full coordination on the day of the wedding. They are also more than happy to customize a package for a bride for her unique needs. They also offer planning simply for engagement parties or wedding showers! Brides are advised to contact Sarabeth Events as soon as they are engaged as they only accept one wedding a month, so that they can give that client their undivided attention during ‘crunch-time’.

We were blessed with the opportunity to speak with Sarabeth and ask her some of our reader’s questions: 

Have you encountered a Bridezilla before and how did you handle it?  Do you have any advice brides so that they do not become one on their big day?

No Bridezillas! I hate the name people give to stressed-out brides!  I think each wedding day comes with its own unique stressors for each bride. Our job is to handle any emergency with calmness and to think quickly on our feet. My advice to any bride concerned about becoming too stressed to enjoy her wedding day would be to contact an independent wedding coordinator. Even if your venue comes with a coordinator; I’ve always said location coordinators are there to maintain the rules and regulations of a venue, but an independent coordinator can truly work with you and each vendor to create the wedding you’ve dreamed of.

 How would you say most wedding planners bill?  Percent of budget? Flat fee? Fee per vendor?

I’ve found that it depends on each wedding coordinator. Sarabeth Events prices are dependent on each clients budget. We chose to offer this type of pricing to our clients to be affordable for each bride.  A wedding with a budget of $20,000 would pay a Sarabeth Events coordinator less than a wedding with a $50,000 budget because with a larger budget wedding there are typically more guests and more details such as rentals, custom coordinated lighting, as well as additional vendors to coordinate.

 Some Brides send out RSVP cards without the “and Guest” part.  How would you handle someone writing in their guest when only their attendance is requested?

I love everything to do with etiquette. With that said, etiquette is meant to make everyone feel comfortable; even when someone breaks what etiquette said we should do. I personally think that if the guest is not wanted at the wedding the bride/groom should speak with the invitee. Otherwise, if the guest will just be a few additional dollars, in the end I would advise not saying anything; doing so could embarrass the invitee who simply didn’t want to attend alone.

What is a polite way to remind guests to return their RSVP card?  What if a guest shows up to the wedding that didn’t RSVP?

Now-a-days if a guest hasn’t RSVP’ed it is up to either the Bride’s family or Groom’s family, depending on whose guest they are, to contact the invitee. They should state that they are calling to inquire about the upcoming wedding and that they need to turn in a final count to the caterer. If a guest shows up to the wedding that didn’t RSVP, your wedding coordinator should show him to a place setting of someone who RSVP’ed yes but didn’t end up making it to the reception.

What is the best way to handle an overbearing Mother or Mother-In-Law when planning a wedding?

I think each situation is unique with Mothers. Most of the time they truly have the bride’s best interest in mind when making suggestions but sometimes the suggestions can go overboard. The first few time I would suggest a bride saying, “I’ll take that in to consideration.”  If they seem to be on the insistent side, I would suggest taking it a step further and saying, “I’ll take that in to consideration but ultimately it is up to Ryan and me.”

 Have you ever dealt with a problem guest?  If so, what  happened and how did you handle it?

Yes, but this happens so rarely.  At one wedding, at the end of the reception, the best man jumped over the bar, which had already been closed, and started breaking full and unopened bottles of liquor. We  quickly grabbed security and they asked him to leave the wedding. Unfortunately the bride and groom ended up having the pay for the broken bottles.

Thank you so much, Sarabeth, for sharing your wisdom and expertise with us!  If you would like more information on Sarabeth Events please visit their website at www.sarabethevents.com or email them at hello@sarabethevents.com .  Also, if you have any more questions would you like answered, send them to us at tamra@groomsoldseparately.com .  We are always more than happy to do a little investigative work for you!

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