The day is drawing near: your dress is carefully hanging in the closet, you can almost taste the food and the cake just has to be baked and decorated. The budget is prepared and ready…or is it? Have you covered gratuity? Is it necessary? Is it customary for brides to tip? Who should be tipped?
Let’s talk about tipping etiquette.
Tips are never obligatory―they are supposed to be expressions of appreciation for especially good service. That said, unless the service was terrible, would you walk away from a restaurant table without leaving one? The same applies to weddings: It is customary to show your gratitude by tipping many of the people involved in making yours a success.
Customary Rules: Vendors who provide a product, like the cake or flowers, don’t usually receive tips, but vendors who provide a service, like your makeup artist or hair stylist, do. And it is your choice of course, to tip anyone you feel has gone up and over the top for you. If your vendor is self-employed (owns the business), tipping is most likely not expected. Certain businesses, like caterers and transportation companies, may automatically include the gratuity—usually about 20 percent of the total bill, which you pay in advance as a condition of your contract. Be sure to read the fine print!
Bottom-line ladies, we feel that anyone who does a job with passion and commitment deserves gratitude from the person who pays his or her salary. On your wedding day, you can give gratuity directly to the vendor or have your appointed “person” take care of it. [If you’re short on cash, it’s fine to tip by check or include it on a charge.]
Some suggested amounts include:
Hair/Makeup: 15–20% of the total bill
Musicians: $25–$50 each
Officiant: $50 if you’re married by a judge or clerk; clergy members, in general, don’t accept tips, so instead, make a donation ($100 on average) to the appropriate house of worship.
Altar boys or girls: $5–$10; if they decline add this amount to your donation to the church.
Wedding Planners: The junior staffers should be tipped $50–$100 each.
This obviously is a HUGE topic. Come back next week for Part 2!
Peggy & Joanne