Who do you tip? How much should you give? Mitzvah parents wonder about this. A lot. So we went straight to the vendors to ask for their expectations and guidelines when it comes to gratuities.
First things first: you won’t tip every vendor. Photographers, photo entertainment providers, and decorators do not expect gratuity. And you wouldn’t tip the owner of a company. (If you do, they’ll just distribute it to working staff members.)
Caterers and Venues
For safe, on time pick-ups of the kid crew or relatives, a tip of $20-$30 for the coach or limo driver is appropriate.
You might offer a $20-$40 tip to the support services staff of your synagogue, depending on the size and scope of your on-site bar mitzvah arrangements – for setting up your Shabbat dinner, Kiddush luncheon or evening affair.
While this isn’t a “tip”, it’s a nice touch to make a donation to your synagogue (through a discretionary fund, religious school fund, or whichever category is meaningful to your family) in appreciation of the rabbi and cantor following the bar/bat mitzvah weekend.
Remember, it’s totally OK to have conversations with your vendors beforehand about their tipping policies and how you can acknowledge outstanding service. And that’s an important TIP!
It’s your b'Mitzvah kid’s big day and everyone important to your family is going to be together… in the same room…. wanting to talk to the guest of honor. How can you help your child navigate the tricky choreography of being center of attention at a major life cycle event? Paula Sobb, President and Founder of Peachtree Etiquette, provides a crash course on Mitzvah manners for your Bar or Bat Mitzvah kid: