Friday, December 17, 2010

a "TIP" for you...

While tipping your wedding vendors is not mandatory, I personally feel that it is humane to reward someone for a service well done by money in addition to a simple thank-you card! With so many tipping myths around, how do you decide the right dollar figure?  Here are some “tips” that can help you out!
Wait staff: Most reception sites add gratuity fee to your bottom line.  In such cases, you are not obligated to tip the staff on the day of your event.  If however, you opt for a sit-down/ family style meal plan vs. a buffet, then you should tip the wait staff just as you would at a restaurant.  15% typically of your total catering bill is a good amount. 
Hair/Make-up Artist: 15-20%
Valet staff: $1.00 per car [if the guest count is really high, you can consider $.75 per car.  Similar calculation applies for restroom / coat-room attendants
Officiant: $50-$100
DJ:  75-$150.00 is recommended and yes, you should tip the DJ even if he owns the company!
Limo Driver: 15% is a good amount and most of the time this is already added onto your final bill, so don’t hesitate to check your contract again.
Horse for Baraat: 10%
Wedding Planner: 10% of their total bill
Here are other tips for you:
  • Always plan and prepare ahead:  Pre-label and place the tips into security envelopes per vendor.  Then give these to either your Maid-of-Honor or the Best Man to distribute at the end of the night to distribute. 
  • Tips are always in Cash
  • If you have an outside caterer, ask them before hand the tip they recommend for their services

Monday, December 6, 2010

Everything is fair in Love n' War [Fun games/ traditions]

Indian weddings are known around the world for their elaborate and flamboyant celebrations, the colorful outfits, jewelry, enormous guest list and groom’s procession on the horse or an elephant.  While these notions remain, I thought it would be a great idea to also share some insight on the fun games/ traditions we may witness at a South Asian wedding.  So here they are:
Shoe-Stealing: As soon as the groom enters the ceremony site, the bride's cousins and siblings attempt to steal the groom’s shoes and hide them.  The only way for the groom to have it back is to “buy them back” from the bride’s family.  There is a great deal of tussle between the Grooms men and the Bridesmaids.  Sometimes, family members also get involved to make sure the opposing team losses the game.  This tradition is a perfect example of excellent planning, team work and in the end leaves everyone laughing.
Varmala [Garland Exchange]: After the groom is welcomed by the bridal party, the bride joins them at the entrance to exchange the garland with the groom.  As the bride approaches the groom, his family pulls him away or raises him from the ground so that the bride has to hop or sometimes be lifted too by her family to get the garland on him!  This is usually to tease the bride and groom and make them feel more relaxed.  This ceremony is ends with a winner –so who would that be at your wedding? You or your groom?
Musical Chairs:  Immediately after the last phera, the bride and groom have to rush to their seat. The first one to make it back to the chair is believed to rule the house!  During this time, the guests and family members surround the Mandap supporting either the bride or the groom. 
 Sangeet Parties: This is a great pre-wedding tradition occasionally held in Punjabi families.  This is an evening dedicated to lovers, music, dance and a great way to break the ice between the families on both sides of the families together.  The guests sing songs describing the couple’s love story, their future and mostly tease them.  This happens to be my favorite tradition.  

So the next time you are wondering how to keep your guests entertained, try one of these traditions and you will not only keep your guests amused, but also make them smile and laugh throughout the day.