Here are the general rules for tipping. Although it is thought to be a voluntary thing, there are still areas of your wedding that require tipping, but you can use your discretion. First, you may want to find out from your vendors if tipping is allowed. There are several vendors, caterers for example, that include the gratuity for their staff in their price. They sometimes discourage tipping. And some vendors may add gratuities to their bills. Be sure not to double tip.
If you are using a wedding coordinator, they should be responsible for delivering the tips and payments to the related vendors. If not, then it should be your best man, your Father or as a last resort, yourself. All tips should be calculated and prepared in separate envelopes ahead of time, thereby making it much easier for the individual responsible to deliver the tips.
TIPS ON TIPPING
All tips should be given in cash. If the person serving you is an employee of the company, their tip should be in a separate envelope.
No one-single person should get more than $100.00. But 10-15% of the total bill is usual and adequate.
Tips should be given just before your vendor leaves. That way you can judge how much to give, according to the job they did for you.
All vendors would love a thank you card. It is a great reminder of happy clients and let's face it, it'll help them book future clients.
Giving vendors a tip is totally up to the couple and how much they can spare.
THE ONES YOU SHOULD TIP
Altar boys or girls - $5 - $10 each
Limousine Drivers - 10-15% of the limousine bill, given at the end of his/her service.
Valet Parking Attendants - $.50 to $1.00 per car, prearrange this amount with the venue manager based on your estimate of how many cars will be arriving. A sign should be posted outside for guests that the gratuity has been taken care of.
Disc Jockey - If there is 1 DJ, $25-50.00. If you have 2 DJs (DJ & MC), give each person $50.00 in separate envelopes. More is appropriate if the DJ/MC acts as your coordinator or does things over and above his/her normal duties. When your guests rave about your reception later, remember it was the DJ that had everything to do with the fun.
Wait staff - The gratuity is usually included the contract already. However, if there is a member of the staff that did an exceptional job for you then 10-15% of the total catering bill is usual. Wait staff do the hardest physical labor on your wedding day.
Bartenders - 10% of the total liquor bill presented to the head bartender or divided equally among the total number of bartenders who worked the full evening. Make sure that a tip hasn't already been added to your contract .
Makeup artist or Hair Stylists - You don't have to tip them if they come to you. If you go to the salon, then you should tip them 15%. Why you ask, well the salon makes the money, not the individual. If you have received a good job, and you would tip normally, then go ahead.
Your Wedding Coordinator - If this vendor owns the company, then the tip is optional. If they are an employee, $50.00
Ceremony Musicians - $5 per hour per person, in one lump sum given to the person in charge. Don't forget to include any rehersal time in your calculations.
Banquet or catering manager - doesn't need to be tipped unless they've thrown in extras or saved you a few hundred dollars on your bill. Then the tip would be between $25-$50.
Photographer and Videographers - If these vendors own the company, then the tip is optional. If they are employees, 10-15% of the package price would go to the main photographer and he/she can give a split to the assistant.
Officiant - To tip them is to trivialize their profession and extremely bad etiquette. Generally you pay your fee and that's it. If you wish to make a financial contribution to the church, you can do that separately but the minimum should be $75.00.
Florist - You don't need to tip the florist for making your arrangements but you can tip them an extra $5.00 per delivery location (3 locations=$15.00) for set-up and delivery.
Wedding Cake Baker - You don't have to tip for the baking of the cake but if you are at your reception venue at time of delivery and set-up then $10.00 is enough especially if travel was involved.
Wedding Coordinator or Room Manager- This is the person managing the reception venues staff and facility the night of your wedding, $25.00
Your Wedding Planner - This person has planned your wedding from start to finish. An appropriate tip would be 10% of their total commission or bill unless they are the owner of the company.
This should give you some guidelines on tipping etiquette. Tipping etiquette is different in different cities and towns. Please be sure to add this to your budget.
The amounts above are only examples and are not written in stone.