Tips and Fees
It's prudent to thank all of the people who worked hard and dedicated their time to making your wedding such a memorable experience with a monetary tip.
Keep track of tips carefully! Some gratuities may be built into your contract, especially for duties such as catering, and tipping some vendors may not be necessary.
If the officiant of your wedding ceremony is a member of the clergy, find out the fee you're expected to pay. Don't assume that officiating at your wedding is part of her salary. Weddings are not considered part of regular duties, meaning the officiant should be compensated.
If the officiant doesn't want to name a figure, ask some friends or family members who have been recently married what they paid. Think about what an important role this person is performing for you. If a fee is not accepted, then make an appropriate donation to the church or synagogue.
Civil officials who perform a wedding might not be allowed to charge for their services. Check before the wedding to see whether there is a fee and how much it is.
A Tip to the Wise
The general rule for tipping is 10 to 15 percent of the total charge and up to 20 percent if the service is exceptional. Do tip the following vendors:
Caterers, wait staff, and bartenders. Check your contract. Gratuities may be included, but make sure they cover the entire staff. If they don't, decide on a flat dollar amount for each member of the wait staff.
Delivery people. You do not need to tip the florist or the baker, but you should tip the people who deliver the finished products in one piece to the reception site.
Photographer and videographer. Use your discretion. Photographers and videographers don't always expect a tip, but this is a nice way to thank the people who develop your priceless images.
Deejays and band members. This is up to you. If the deejay has a partner or there are multiple band members, figure a flat rate per person and deliver the tip to the leader.
Limousine driver. A gratuity may be built into your contract, so check before you hand out the cash.
Parking and coatroom attendants. These helpers should receive $1 per car or coat.
Makeup artists and hair stylists. You normally leave a tip when you get your hair cut, so a hairdo for your wedding requires an even greater tip.
Wedding coordinator. Say thank you to the person who introduced you to all of the other vendors.
If you find that certain vendors for your wedding provide excellent service, consider writing them a note or offering a recommendation or reference. Some vendors also have a section for testimonials on their Web sites. It's nice for a professional to be appreciated, and it's doubly nice when hard work pays off in future business.