It can be frustrating for brides to discover that after shelling out big bucks to put on the wedding of their dreams, they then have to consider an additional expense -- whether to tip their vendors! There are a lot of different opinions out there on proper tipping etiquette. While tipping wedding vendors gradually seems to be becoming customary, I believe that tipping should be reserved to reward excellent service and show appreciation for a job well done. Here is my quick guide to tipping:
Makeup/Hairstylist: Expected, About 15-20% (same as regular appointment)
Photographers: Optional, $20-50 per photog
Catering Staff & Bartenders: Check your contract, gratuity is usually already included in the price
DJ: Optional, about $25-100 or 5-20% of cost
Reception Band: Optional, about $10-25 per band member given in a lump sum to the band leader
Ceremony Musicians: Optional, $15-30 per person
Florist deliverers/setup people: Optional, $5-20 each, depending on difficulty of setup
Wedding Coordinator: Optional, $25-100
The best way to tip is to put the money in a sealed envelope and give the envelope to each vendor at the end of the wedding reception or right before that vendor leaves. Traditionally, the best man hands out tips, but today, your wedding coordinator can handle the task for you.
If it's simply not in your budget to tip, most vendors will appreciate a heartfelt thank you note. Wedding vendors often build their business by word of mouth, so sometimes the best thank you that vendors can get is for you to simply refer your friends and family to them.