We all know what tipping is – you tip the cabdriver, your pizza guy and your hairstylist. Most people don’t know the proper etiquette for wedding tipping. How much should you tip and who should you tip?
Sometimes a tip is expected and may be factored into the worker’s wage, such as a waiter. Other times, the tip can be a thank you for going beyond the call-of-duty. Be prepared to give a lot to your vendors if you are a demanding bridezilla!
You will tip the limo driver (which is usually 15-20% for a taxi driver), your ceremony officiant (if you’re married in a church this will be in the form of a donation), and sometimes waiters and bartenders. Check your contract to make sure the service charge is included in the final contract before you tip the staff. You should give the manager 15-20% of your food and drink bill to pay the waitstaff. You should also remember the bartenders.
Although it’s not required, tipping the band is a good idea. You can tip the musician between $20 and $25, or $100 to a DJ. A coat check attendant or valet parking attendant would appreciate a tip of about $1 per guest. Photographers, bakers, and florists are not often tipped. An appreciated gesture of appreciation would be to send a personalized thank-you note following the wedding.
Even if you are not expected, exceptional service is an excellent reason to tip. One example of this was when I worked in a bridal salon, where the owner went above and beyond to please her brides. For brides who lost ten pounds just before their wedding, she worked late at night and through lunches. When the bride couldn’t find the right piece, she made custom flower girls jewelry. It was so cute that she loves making it! On days when the shop was closed, brides from out of town were accommodated. Although it is not traditional to tip the bridal shop staff, the woman received many tips. These tips ranged from large checks to Tiffany Vases to crystal bowls with beautiful floral arrangements to large checks. The token of appreciation for a special occasion does not have to be monetary.
It is best to plan ahead for tipping. Make a list of the people and amounts that will be tipped. Cash is preferred by the recipient. Place the correct amount for each vendor in a separate envelope. Be sure to clearly identify each one. Delegate the actual tipping on the wedding day. The best man usually hands the envelope to a minister at the church. It is good luck to have the envelope be a strange number, such as $501 instead than $500. The father of the bride will handle most of the tips, except for those expenses that she and her mother have conspired to keep hidden. ).
It is best to give the tips as soon as possible before the wedding. This will ensure that the people who are deserving of them will be properly thanked and that the father of the bride does not have to chase down people at the end to hand them their envelopes. A generous gratuity at the reception can make a big difference in the quality of the service your guests will receive.