I have gotten this question alot and I know if I were planning an event this would be a question I have. I have broken it down into tipping and feeding - as they are two very seperate questions all together.
Here are a few answers that I found online, my opinion differs a bit:
Today's Bride (Your Northeast Ohio Wedding Resourse) States that "Although these workers have the fun of seeing all the goofy faces you and your guests make in the photo booth, they are still working hard to make sure everything is set up and working correctly. It is common to tip each attendant $20-$50."
Another discussion in Wedding Bee the one response to the question stated that of the owner is running the photo booth than no but if it's an attendant that is running the booth than they would.
We customize everything, including dressing up for themed events
Tipping a Photo Booth Attendant
Is Tipping the Photo Booth Mandatory?
The answer is no. However, in some cases it might be expected, and a lack of might infer that the service done was not up to your expectation. At Ajs Mystic Mirror a tip in not included in the price and is not required. Although, if you feel that your booth attendant exceeded expectations and earned a tip, it is always greatly appreciated.
When Should You Tip A Photo Booth Attendant?
We all know that on the day of your event it’s important for things to run smoothly, and that can bring a large amount of stress. As vendors start to setup, and then your guests start to arrive, tipping is the last worry on your plate. With that being said, typically, the best time to tip the vendor is right after they have finished supplying their service (once contracted time is up). If you’re worried about forgetting, or can’t necessarily take care of it afterwards, there is noting wrong with giving it to them before hand.
Why Should You Tip A Photo Booth Attendant?
This one is a little more straight-forward… If you feel that your attendant did a good job, a tip is a great way to say “thank you” or “hey you did an outstanding job”.
How to tip your Photo Booth Attendant?
When it comes to tipping your vendors, do some work and research before hand. If you’re not quite sure on the standard tipping percent, check out the link above to see what The Knot says in it's cheat sheet. We also recommend taking some time before your event to sort vendor tips into small envelopes with their names/roles on the front. This will surely make your night easier as the event dwindles down.
OK Now to What We Think About Tipping Your Photo Booth Attendant
We truly love what we do and never do we ever expect a tip. We have had times where the client has tipped us and it has meant so much, but we never expect a tip. For us, leaving a positive review, not just the 5 stars but a small positive written review is worth more than any tip.
At a few events we have had a few of the guests ask where our tip jar is. It's such a nice gesture but we always turn them down as we don't want people to feel they need to tip us. Again we just ask for a nice review to be left.
In one of the articles I did read about tipping the attendant but not the owner if they are the attendant. I am unsure if I agree with this as we have only started paying ourselves a little bit this year, my attendants make more money than I do lol. The past 5 year we have made sure to pay our attendants well for working the booth during the event. We do all the behind the scenes "stuff" including setting-up and taking down. My thought is, it really doesnt matter who the attendant is, if you are going to give a tip, it should be given without taking thier roles into factor. I will still go back to, we 100% perfer a great review over a tip, as we know how expensive an event is and tipping is just an additional cost.
Don't get me wrong a tip is extremly nice to receive and if we have help to create memories for your event, and you feel that our attendants deserve a tip, Please feel free to give them the tip. They all are working full time and are attendants on the side. I know how much they appriciate it when they do receive tips.
So Our Answer IS No You Don't Have To Tip The Attendant- But A Positve Review Will Help Our Business Grow.
Feeding The Photo Booth Attendant
Now this is a different story then tipping. There are a few different answers to this topic. Here are a few that I found on line:
A Discussion in Wedding Wire had everyone agreeing that yes you feed the Photo Booth Attendant as you would any vender.
Another Discussion in The Knot they all agreed to feed the photo booth attendant
Pretty much every article or discussion said the very same thing, yes feed them, just like any other vender. This is how we see it.
Should You Feed AJS Mystic Mirror Photo Booth Attendants?
This is not straight forward. There are a few factors that you need to take into account first, before answering yes or no to this question.
A) what time is the Photo Booth running?
B) is the photo booth running during supper?
A)The Booth is scheduled for one hour before supper - shut down during supper and then opening up again for 3 hours after supper-
In this scenerio, yes you should feed the attendants. They need to eat as well.
My husband and I were at an event with this exact same time frame. When we first started out, we did not have written in our contract about food. However, we were told that they were not feeding us at this one wedding. My husband is diabetic so there was no way her could go the whole night without food. (You also must consider that we had to set-up everything earlier in the day and due to distance and to same mileage costs we had been there since noon)
So we had about an hour and a half to eat and be back at the booth to have it up and running after the break. We were at a rural wedding place about 10 mins from town. So, we ran into town, went to a small café and ordered a meal to go. When we got back, we were told we would have to eat our meal in the back as there was no other place to eat. I guess we could have gone to the booth to eat but felt it didn’t look right us bringing in outside food.
As we sat on the back deck (no chairs) we noticed that all the servers, the photographer, DJ, and the Wedding Planner were all eating and having seconds. It gave us the feeling that we were just the hired help, no one should eat with THEM. Lol
From that day forward the question has been added to our ever growing contract
For the most part, our photo booth attendants are working extremely hard to create memories for your guests! They want to make sure everyone is having a great time and leaves with memories they will have forever. Have you ever watched others eat and then worked 2-3 hours, hungry? I have and it does suck, it also makes it hard to concentrate, and encourage guests to have fun when you are hungry.
B) The Booth IS Scheduled After Dinner But We Have the Seating Chart That The Attendants Have to Move During Dinner
In this scenario we truly leave it up to you to invite us for supper or not. Yes we absolutely love when we are invited for supper but it is not something we expect. We have had many of the event we do like this have us for supper and it is a great way for us to interact with the guests before we start running the booth. On our contract there is an area that states:
“MEALS For most events, we plan to have 2 attendants operating the photo booth for the duration of the event. If the booth will be functioning when food is being offered, Will the attendants be included in the head count of the food? (Many clients have asked us to add the late lunch to our contract so our attendants are aware)
☐Yes, the attendants may eat ☐No, please eat before arriving
☐yes the attendants can have late lunch ☐No late lunch “
It is always awkward to ask this question in person and it also does not put the client on the spot. A simple yes/no works.
I will talk about the late lunch in section D.
C) The Booth Is Scheduled To Run After Dinner
When we start the booth right after dinner/speeches we arrive about a half hour before to finish set-up and to be ready to go on time. We never expect to be offered supper but on a few occasions the client has kindly offered to have us for the supper. Depending on the situation we may or may not accept.
Sometimes we are setting up and we have attendants running the booth. Being as we are paying them we normally decline as we would have to pay them for the time the are there for supper. We may also decline because we have multiple events that day and we must eat on the run.
We do not expect to be invited for supper in this instance.
D) The Late Lunch or Snack
We again leave this up to the client. We have a place in the contract for you to check off. However I truly believe if we are working during the time or up to the time that the late lunch is served, that it is incredibly kind to be allowed to eat.
We don’t shut down the booth if we are running it and are allowed to eat. We each take a turn, eat fairly fast and then get back to the booth. The booth remains running the whole time. On other occasions, depending on the time, we may eat while we are packing up.
I will tell you that we are starving by the time we are packed up and ready to go. I can say that every event we have gone to that either did not have a late lunch or we were unable to have it, we ALWAYS stop and pick up take out. This how we found out that not all fast food restaurants or 7-11’s are open after midnight lol. So, we do really appreciate it when the client checks the yes to a late lunch, but again not mandatory at all.
Where Do We Put The Attendants To Eat
In most cases we are either put at tables that are short two people, or some clients have a venders table that all venders eat at. We are ok with either or even eating at our photo Booth. We have stood up at the bar tables, eaten on a picnic bench, in our Camper Photo Booth, with other venders or with guests. Honestly we are just so happy you invited us we will eat standing lol.
Drinks For the Attendants
This is something that never comes up but a very important one for us. We have had clients/ guests offer to buy us an alcoholic drink but we always have to turn them down, as any job we should not be drinking well we are working. Unless it is a wedding we are attending as a guest as well (friends/family) our attendants will not have a alcoholic drink.
However, water/pop/coffee is huge while we are running the booth. We do try to remember to bring our water bottles and own drinks but sometimes that is not enough. For the 2 to 4 hours we are talking (mostly yelling) over the music the whole time. We never drink enough but try hard.
Most events we have been to this has not been an issue. A few we have had to pay for a bottle of water/ pop or coffee, which is ok but we often do not have money on us to buy it.
A few venues we work with regularly, will bring us a pitcher of water, which is amazing but again not necessary.
I hope this information helps you to make an informed decision. Basically, everything is 100 % up to you. We will not change how we do a job based on any of the above factors. We ALWAYS are there to help capture the memories from your event and to have fun with your guests! We are always striving to be the very best in our field and love when you leav e a written positive review over anything else.
WE LOVE WHAT WE DO AND CAN NOT WAIT TO CREATE MEMORIES FOR YOU AND YOUR GUESTS!! THANK YOU
NEXT WEEK: What do we mean by customization? What is an overlay and the animation?