While it may be a not so sexy topic, tipping your wedding vendors is an important consideration when planning your budget. Many vendors will spell out in their contracts a gratuity percentage, but what about vendors that don't add gratuity to their contract? While nothing is set in stone, here is a guideline to help account for those unforeseen amounts and plan accordingly.
Delivery & Setup Crew:
They've worked tirelessly possibly since first light doing a myriad of set-up and arrangement. From your ceremony seating to the cake delivery they have handled delivery with the utmost of care. While you likely won't interact with this crew, it is customary to tip five to ten dollars a person.
Hair & Make-up Stylists:
This is one where gratuity is rarely included in a contract (always remember to review) and is expected. As you would tip in a salon or spa, the customary 15-20%.
Musicians & DJs:
Generally this is built into the contract; however, dependent upon the size of the musical ensemble and your happiness with their performance, it is customary to tip for a larger crew about twenty dollars a musician. For a solo act consider a more heightened generosity.
Reception Servers & Bartenders:
This is a little more straightforward. Most likely you signed a contract that clearly spells out 20% gratuity on the entire bill. Tipping beyond this is not necessary, though you are free to tip further if you see fit or if there is an exceptional server or bartender that stands out in your experience.
You may have hired a party bus to drive guests to the remote location. Either way, gratuity is not included in a transportation contract generally. For a job well done tip based off of the contracted amount between 15-20%.
This may have been one of the most important selections in planning your big day and these photos will live with you forever. Generally if the photographer or videographer is the owner of the studio gratuity is not expected; however, if you have a team of photographers working for a larger studio, consider tipping each team member on site. Again, this is well up to you, customary is $50-$100 per person.
Again, another subjective gratuity. For an incredible job, consider tipping your planner monetarily or by giving him or her a gift. Gifts could be spa gift certificates to a spa she suggested for you in the area, or also writing a great review and sending some professional photos from your wedding with permission to publish on his or her website.
Generosity is always appreciated for those who have worked tirelessly to make your day incredible. Planning ahead will ease stress on the day of, as will assigning someone to present gratuities. The Maid-of-Honor or your Coordinator are always great choices