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It’s the night before your wedding, and everything’s going smoothly. The guests have all checked in, there are no rogue pimples on your face, and your mother-in-law didn’t go overboard on the Chardonnay at the rehearsal dinner. (Phew.) You’ve finally put your feet up for the night, when it dawns on you — you have no cash to tip with. Wait a second, do you even tip your wedding vendors? What about the photographer? Florist? And how much?
Figuring out who to tip and how much to give them can be overwhelming, but don’t spiral just yet. This article has you covered! There are some simple guidelines you can follow to express your appreciation for the work your vendors have put in.
First, make sure that you pay attention to all of the contracts you’ve signed with your vendors, if the agreed upon charge includes “gratuity,” you don’t need to worry about adding a tip. Transportation companies often include gratuity in the cost of the rental. But if there’s no mention of gratuity on a contract, you should be prepared to leave a tip, especially for the assistants and servers present on the actual day. Careful, however, a “service charge,”does not always mean that gratuity is included in the bill. When hiring a catering company, for example, typically a service fee will go right back to the catering company, not the individual servers.
The Wedding Planner
If your wedding planner is the business owner, there’s no need to leave a tip. However, if they work for a larger company, or have an assistant present to help out, leaving a 15% tip or giving a thoughtful gift is a nice gesture. You can deliver this after your wedding and honeymoon.
You don’t need to tip the officiant if they are part of a religious institution, but a donation of $100 or so to the church, synagogue, or peace abbey your ceremony is being held at is customary. If you’ve hired a non-religious officiant, tip between $50 and $100.
As with tipping your wedding planner, if the person capturing your special day on camera owns their own company, there’s no need to tip unless you feel that they went above and beyond. Assistants, however, should get somewhere between $50 and $75.
Hair And Makeup
Definitely tip your hair and makeup artist somewhere between 15-20% at the end of your service. Remember to tip for your bridesmaids’ service as well.
Tip every musician, band member, and DJ at both your ceremony and reception somewhere around $20-50. Double check that gratuity wasn’t included in your initial contract! Obviously, for a single DJ, you’ll want to tip more. Make sure you do this at the end of the reception.
Delivery And Rental Staff
On the day of your wedding, deliveries are abundant. From the chairs and tables to the cake, there will be people coming in and out, so make sure they’re each tipped between $10 and $20, depending on the scope of the delivery.
If you’re getting married at a venue that includes catering, a service charge is typically in your contract. If there’s no gratuity built in, or if you’re using an outside catering service, tip the manager between $250 and $500 at the end of the reception.
Again, gratuity is often already included in your bill. Catering waitstaff are not dependent on tips like waitstaff at a restaurant are, but you can slip each of them a $10 or a $20 if you feel like the service was above and beyond.
Usually, gratuity for bartenders is included in your bill, but if you hired your own, tip 20% of the bar bill to be dividing amongst the bartenders.
Again, gratuity for wedding drivers and chauffeurs is typically included in the contract you signed, but if not, tip 15-20% of the bill when the service is completed.
Bakers, Florist, Stationer
Like wedding planners, the baker you hired and the florist who organized your flowers are typically business owners who do not need to be tipped. However, if there are assistants on site, arrange gratuity for them to be delivered on the day of the reception.
And Finally, For All Vendors Involved With Your Wedding
Send a thank you note for their service. This is a classy gesture that will go a long way, especially in 2018.
Written By: Kimmy Foskett