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Ah, the infamous question of how much to tip. When dining out, most people know that a 10% tip is given for service just below average, 15% is an average tip, and a 20% tip is for exceptional service. However, when tipping in relation to weddings, the guidelines become cloudy. The decision of who is tipped and the amount for various services provided at your wedding is up to you and your fiancÚ.
You will need to determine which of the vendors have tips built into the overall fee, and which do not. If the bill includes a set gratuity, usually 15% make sure others know so they are not tipping twice. If using the services of a wedding coordinator, it is his or her responsibility to advise you of the tips and keep things organized. If the wedding is being planned and hosted with a coordinator, have a close friend or family member take this responsibility, as it requires attention and time. In most cases, the Best Man would be the first person of choice, with the Maid of Honor being second, each being responsible for handling the tip money and keeping records straight. All tips should be rounded up or down and then placed in a large envelop along with a list of who tipped and how much.
Knowing whom not to tip can be confusing:
For some services, if you receive exceptional services, a tip would be appropriate:
- Officiates perform the wedding and provide the service as a part of their vocation and while few will ask to be paid, some may. Although you are not required to provide a tip, many couples do as a sign of appreciation and respect.
- A makeup artist or hairdresser that comes to you would not be tipped since they are generally charging a higher rate that includes the tip. However, if you go to their salon, a tip should be given.
- Florist, Baker, Invitation Printer, and other similar services would not be tipped. After your wedding, sending a note of appreciation would be a good choice.
- Reception waiters and table captains, if being used, do not require a tip. In this case, the maitre d' or banquet manager is paid a good sum of money, which they will divide among the servers after the reception.
- Wedding or reception musicians should be paid a tip of $10 to $20 for each member, in addition to payment for services.
- Limo drivers should be tipped between 15% and 20% once the service is completed.
- Valets are generally tipped $.50 to $1 for each car parked.
- Bartenders are tipped on 10% of the total liquor bill. If there are any servers, the bartender is responsible for dividing the tips evenly among everyone.