Monday, March 14, 2011

Gratuity Please

I get asked a lot about gratuity guidelines for wedding vendors, so below you'll find Ultimate Wedding Vendor Tipping Guide borrowed from

Hair/makeup pros: 15–20 percent of the total bill
Musicians: $25–$50 each
Officiant: $50 if you're married by a judge or clerk; clergy members, in general, don't accept tips, so instead, make a donation ($100 on average) to the appropriate house of worship.
Altar boys or girls: $5–$10; if they decline, add this amount to your donation to the church.

Wedding planners: 10-15 percent of contracted price
Photographers/videographers: $100–$200 if the pro is part of a larger outfit or agency (but not the owner). Second shooters should receive $50–$75.
Catering manager: $250–$500
Waitstaff: 15 percent of the total pretax food bill (given to the catering manager or "captain" to distribute)
Bartenders: 10–15 percent of the total pretax bar bill. Inform the bartenders of your intent to tip after the reception, and request that they refuse tips from guests. No rogue tip jars!
Reception band/DJ: $25–$50 per person, but take their performance into account: Did your bashful uncle boogie for the first time in 40 years? Then give a little more cash.
Chauffeur/driver: 15–20 percent of the total bill, typically presented at the end of the day
Valets: $1–$2 per car, given to the supervisor in advance, to be split among staff. Display a sign at the valet station stating that gratuities have been taken care of. The valets should also be instructed to refuse any tips offered by guests.
Restroom/coat-check attendants: $.50–$2 per guest; calculate this total in advance and give to your reception site manager to distribute.

Delivery people: $5–$20 per person for deliveries arriving from your florist, baker, rental company, and other vendors. These staffers may also be doing the heavy lifting, on-site setup, and hauling away that come with producing your wedding—so tip accordingly.

Bellhop: $1–$2 per piece of luggage brought to and from the room
Doorperson: $1–$2 per task for any kind of assistance, like hailing a cab
Housekeeper: $2–$4 per day
Concierge: $5–$20, depending on the request(s)

But of course these suggestions are standard guidelines. If you feel a vendor went above and beyond the call of duty, bless them accordingly. And if you are disappointed with the level of service of a vendor, you are not obligated to extend gratuity. But make sure to let them know how you feel so that they can improve for the next clients they service.

Until next time...WEDologize!

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