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With a wedding budget of $39,475, do you have to tip the vendors too? Pay extra to the vendors when you already paid the negotiated fee? Because wedding planning is stressful, you may not have thought about budgeting gratuity, who to tip, and how much to tip.

Here are some guidelines to help you through the process.

What Are Tips?

A gratuity (also called a tip) is an amount given to vendors and staff after you paid the basic bill. Is a tip obligatory? No. A tip is often a token of gratitude to recognize a job well done by the vendor. Etiquette also decides who you give tips to and how much to tip. For example, a wait person expects a tip after you have had your meal.  If you don't tip, she might follow you out the restaurant to demand an explanation on why you didn't tip.

For weddings, it is vital to know who to tip (and not to tip) and the tip amount. It can be a specific range or a certain percentage of the bill. It is not a "nice surprise" for the vendors to receive a tip. They expect one unless the service was terrible.


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Here Are The Wedding Vendors You Need To Tip

Gratuities are an added expense to your wedding budget, but these are the people you need to tip!

Note: Make sure the gratuities aren't built into the contracts before you tip! Some vendors include it in their contracts to help avoid confusion.

Makeup Artist And Hairstylist: Tip 15 to 25 percent to the hair stylist just like you would at any beauty salon you go to. You can tip her more if one of the bridesmaids wanted her hair teased into a beehive. You should tip after you and your bridesmaids are beautified.

Ceremony Staff and Setup Staff: The standard tip is $15 to $25 per person.  You should give the cash envelopes to the catering manager the day before the wedding.

On-Site Coordinator, Maitre d', and Banquet Manager: Tip 15 to 20 percent of the food and drink fee. Have the father of the bride or best man hand the cash envelope to the maitre d' at the end of the reception.

Wedding Reception Band Or DJ: Tipping customs vary with this one.  Tip $25 to $50 to the wedding reception band musicians, DJ, and sound technician.  If the band plays songs like "the hokey pokey" so everyone has a good time, you can show your appreciation by tipping more. Have the best man to give out the tip at the end of the reception.

Transportation: Tip 15 to 20 percent of the total bill after the last ride. How much might depend on the speed of the ride and how safe you felt. Have the best man take care of the tipping.

Non-denominational Wedding Officiant: If you have a nondenominational officiant, offer a tip of $50 to $100. Have the best man or maid of honor give the cash envelope to him at the rehearsal dinner.

Now that you know who to tip, who not to tip is just as important because gratuities add up.


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Here Are The Wedding Vendors You Don't Need To Tip (Unless You Want To)

Although tipping at weddings is a custom, these are the vendors that don't expect a tip:

Denominational Wedding Officiant: You should not have to tip the priest, minister, or rabbi. It is his sacred duty and spiritual calling. Often times they won't accept a tip. Making a $100 to $500 donation to the church or synagogue is a great way of thanking him.

Individual Wait Persons: Try chasing them down at the end of the reception in your silver stilettos.

Wedding Planner: Wedding planners don't expect a tip because they already charged you a set fee. If your wedding planner performs emergency surgery on your wedding gown with florist pins on your big day, show your appreciation with a tip.

It is a custom to tip the many people involved in making your wedding day unforgettable.
Gratuity can add up so it is important to know who to tip, who not to tip, and how much of a tip to give.

Now you know how much to tip each vendor. Enjoy your wedding day!


This is a guest post by Mark Wilcox. He's the founder of Wedding Intro which helps brides reduce their stress by providing simple and clear wedding planning information.


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