Just as tipping is standard at a restaurant or hair salon, it's standard to give all your vendors gratuity on the wedding day. But before you start shelling out cash, it's important to determine exactly how much you should allot for each vendor, as the appropriate amount differs based on their expertise and service.
Keep in mind that some vendors may actually include gratuity in their overall cost, so don't forget to check your contracts to make sure the tip, a.k.a. "service charge," is not included in your bill. But for those who do get a gratuity, give them cash in sealed, labeled envelopes, and including a handwritten thank-you note is a nice touch. Here's what's customary for each of your vendors:
Vendor Etiquette 101: Tipping, Feeding, and Dealing with Difficult Vendors
Officiant: $50 for a judge or clerk; a $100 donation to a clergy member's house of worship, as they generally don't accept tips
Band or DJ: $25 to $50 per person
Photographer or Videographer: $100 to $200 for the main shooter, unless he or she owns the
business (then no tip is needed); $50 to $75 for second shooters
Catering manager: $250 to $500
Wait staff: 15 percent of the total pretax food bill
Bartenders: 10 to 15 percent of the total pretax bar bill
Drivers: 15 to 20 percent of the total transportation bill
Valets: $1 to $2 per car
Restroom and coat-check attendants: $.50 to $2 per guest
Makeup and hair professionals: 15 to 20 percent of the total bill for each
Deliverymen: $5 to $20 each
List look a little shorter than expected? Remember that your cake baker, stationer, and florist — basically, any wedding vendor who's self-employed or is the owner of a business — will not be expecting tips. So you can take that out of your wedding budget!