Just because you're shelling out a small fortune for your wedding and feel like the next dollar you part with is going to make you seriously nauseous, it doesn't mean that tipping etiquette can be thrown out the window. While you're focused on the big-picture price, your vendors are each providing a unique service and you, gracious bride, must be prepared to tip when appropriate. Just as your Friday night dinner bill jumps when tax and tip are added to the total, your vendor costs will also increase when you add these two Ts into the mix. Take them into consideration when building your budget so you don't end up having to dip into your honeymoon fund to tip your vendors. Discover what's good tipping etiquette when you
Some vendors will make it easy for you and include gratuity in the total cost of their services. This is a common practice among caterers but some other vendors have also adopted the practice — be sure to double check all bills to make sure that you haven't double tipped. If you want to tip an individual who works for a larger company, be sure to give all tips in cash and present them just before the vendor leaves. Your wedding coordinator can handle this task for you, and if you're not working with one recruit a member of your wedding party to help you. A tactful approach is to give cash tips in sealed envelopes.
- Customary to tip 10-20 percent depending on quality of service: Limousine drivers, waitstaff (if not included in contract), makeup artists, hair stylists, bartenders.
- Valet and coatroom attendants: Prearrange an amount of $.50 to $1.00 per car and make sure it's obvious to guests that the tip has been taken care of. The same applies for the coatroom tip, but it's $.50 to $1.00 per guest.
- DJ: It's your call on whether or not you want to tip the owner, but you should tip any DJ employees about 15 percent.
- Optional, but recommended gratuity: Site's wedding coordinator and your wedding planner.
- Gratuity No-no: Don't tip your religious officiant as it's actually considered bad etiquette. You may make a charitable contribution if you choose, but otherwise just pay the set fee. If you're married by a judge, tipping is expected as it usually takes the place of a fee. Justices of Peace can only accept tips if the marriage is performed after office/court hours.
- Gray areas: Your florist doesn't expect to be tipped, but it's optional to tip those employees who set up and deliver your arrangements. Similarly, your cake baker doesn't expect a tip but you may tip them upon delivery if you feel it's appropriate.
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