All the Questions You Have and More About Tipping at Your Wedding:

We understand how hectic it is in those last few weeks leading up to your special day and sometimes certain expenses go unnoticed.  To vendors, a tip serves as a thank-you for a job well done.  However, it is often difficult to decide whom to tip and how much to pay.  While some will leave the amount up to you, others may include a gratuity in their fee.  On the day of your wedding is when most tips should be given out.  So it would probably be beneficial to assign this job to a trustworthy friend or relative.  A helpful breakdown of how much to give to each vendor is as follows:

Officiants- It is not necessary to tip priests, ministers, rabbis, or other religious officiants, but if you want to thank them consider making a donation to their organization or house of worship.  Seventy-five to one hundred dollars would be a typical amount, but this would be separate from any fees you may be charged with for the officiant’s time.  In addition, be aware that many of them will not accept cash tips.  You may also want to make a donation to the church or send an extra personal thank-you if your own minister or priest performed the wedding free of charge.  Forgo a gratuity if your wedding was performed by a civil employee such as a judge, clerk, or other nonreligious officiant.  These officiants are usually not permitted to accept tips or donations and are paid a flat rate for their services.  A thoughtful card is always appreciated though.

Catering Staff- For the most part a gratuity is included in most caterer’s contracts to be divided up among the workers, but be sure to ask.  If you find out that the gratuity isn’t included, plan on tipping all staff members (including the catering/banquet manager, waiters, bartenders, chefs, and other essential workers who helped to serve your guests.)  Figure on paying about fifteen or twenty percent of the cost of your total catering bill.  Another option is to offer a flat amount for each worker, which is often a more economical approach, especially if your catering company was on the more expensive side.  Tips can either be paid in advance to the director of the catering company, or they can be handed out to the banquet manager toward the end of the wedding.

Musicians and Deejays- If you chose to go with an independent band that books their own events tipping is not customary.  On the other hand if you booked through an entertainment agency a gratuity will either be included or it is recommended to tip each band member or deejay a little extra cash.  When your contract includes a “service charge,” that does not necessarily mean there is a gratuity.  Often times the service charge goes right back to the company so it is a good idea to ask.  At the end of the night you can hand out the respective tips in cash.

Stylists and Makeup Artists- You can tip stylists and makeup artists as you would if you were going in for a regular appointment.  Around three to five dollars should be given to any assistant that helped with secondary tasks.  These tips can be given directly in envelopes or at the front desk of the salon.  The same procedure should be used for stylists who travel to your home or the wedding site, but in general stylists who own their own businesses are not tipped.

Photographers, Videographers, Florists, and Wedding Coordinators- For photographers, videographers, and florists who do not own their own businesses, tip thirty to fifty dollars, wedding coordinators should be given about fifty to one hundred dollars.  If you feel that the service you received from one of these vendors was extraordinary tipping an additional ten percent is a nice gesture.

Seamstress, Delivery People, and Drivers- Although they may not physically be at your wedding, these workers’ roles are just as important so be sure to thank them in some way.  Individuals delivering the flowers and cake should receive at minimum five dollars at the time they make their deliveries.  If gratuity is not included in your limousine bill, consider on tipping around fifteen to twenty percent of the cost.  You can pay this in cash when the driver picks you up at the end of the night.  A cash tip is not expected for seamstresses, but sending some type of small gift is always a great way to show your appreciation.

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