To Tip or Not to Tip?

Taken from I-do

From I-Do Wedding Blog

Your wedding day is finally here! Everything you have ever wished for is about to happen and you can’t wait to get your life started together as a couple.  The only problem is that your mother-in-law is asking you if you tipped your vendors yet and you start to panic. You have no idea how much is appropriate and you have forgotten to budget for this last minute expense!

The best way to keep this from being you is to plan ahead. The day before/week before, doesn’t really matter as long as you don’t wait until the day of your wedding,  you should gather all your vendor remaining balances, INCLUDING tips and put  cash/checked for them in individual envelopes for each vendor. Give these envelopes to someone you trust to distribute to each vendor on the day of the wedding. Just makes sure its clear that if a vendor has an issue it is their job to handle it and not to bother the bride and groom.

If you are looking for guidance on what is the appropriate amount to tip for services is, review this list from theknot.com below.

Wedding Planner – Most will not be expecting a tip. However if you felt they did an amazing job and want to shop your appreciation you can tip depending on the extravagance of your wedding.

Protocol – Optional
Tipping Standard – up to $400 , or a nice gift
When – End of the night or at a later date

Hair Stylist & Make-up Artist – Similar to your regular hair stylist you should expect to tip both. Also tip extra if you feel they did a great job or had to make lots of changes.

Protocol – Expected
Tipping Standard – 15-20%
When : End of service

Delivery and Set-up Staff – If you have lots of items being set up in your wedding ceremony/reception space you should tip employees for their services.  If you are having close friends or family help with set-up make sure to write them a hand written note appreciating their help with making your day go smoothly.

Protocol – Expected
Tipping Standard – $5-$10 per person
When – Before the wedding so that the manager can distribute tips

Wedding Officiant – Most officiants will except their payments at your discretion or ask that you donate to the church. If you officiant does have a standard rate  no tip is required. Remember not to skimp on this because its a suggested fee. This person is playing one of the most important roles in your wedding.

Protocol – More Often Than Not Expected
Tipping Standard – $50-$100 for an officiant , more if you are donating to the church.
When – Before the Wedding Day

Ceremony Musicians – Up to your discretion.  If they are with the church are are required to play according to your contract, you can probably skip the tip. If you brought outside musicians consider tipping.

Protocol – Optional
Tipping Standard – $15-$20 each
When – End of Ceremony

Photographer/Videographer – You are not required to tip unless you feel they went above and beyond what you expected. If you decide that tipping is not in your budget but still feel they did an amazing job consider a hand written note. Also the best way you can show your appreciation is by referring others to their business.

Protocol – Optional
Tipping Standard – $50-$200 per vendor
When – End of the Reception

Reception Staff – This include on-site coordinator, banquet managers, and other staff. One thing to check before hand is if you are already paying a gratuity in your contract. Many now include that in your fee.

Protocol – Expected
Tipping Standard – 15-20% of the food and drink ( max of $200-$300)
When – Before the reception if included in the bill otherwise at the end of reception

Reception Attendants – this includes your parking attendants, bathroom attendants, bartenders, coat check etc. Again this is sometimes already included in your bill. If not it may be a good idea to ask ahead of time how many will be expected so you can calculate accordingly.

Protocol – Optional Based on Contract
Tipping Standard – $20-$25 for bartenders and waiters, $1 for any additional staff like coat check and valet.
When – End of the event or beginning depending on your preference.

Reception Band or DJ – This is completely optional for you. Depending on the quality you can tip accordingly.

Protocol – Optional
Tipping Standard – $20-$25 per musician, $50-150 for DJ
When – End of Reception
Transportation – Gratuity is usually included so check your contract before hand.

Protocol – Expected
The Standard – 15-20% of bill
When – End of night or end of the ride

Keep in mind these small tips as well:

  • Don’t tip business owners, only tip employees.
  • If a vendor has given you exceptional service or gone above and beyond you should tip appropriately, or express your gratitude in a hand written note.
  • The best tip you can give is to recommend their services to someone else!!
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