Photo Credit: Tim Will Photography

Today’s helpful guest post comes to us from Sheila Weiner, President and Founder of The Event Group.  Enjoy!

To tip or not to tip, that is the question! When first putting together a wedding day budget, brides should always factor in the total amount of tips to avoid those last minute “surprises” the week before the wedding. Tipping is not only expected from certain vendors, but also serves as a thank you for all of their hard work on your special day! To minimize your wedding weekend to-do’s, place individual tips in sealed envelopes with each vendors’ name on the front of the envelope. Give these envelopes to your wedding planner, maid of honor, best man or a parent and have them take the responsibility of delivering them to the appropriate vendors on your wedding day. But the question remains, who should you tip and what is the appropriate amount? We’ve compiled a list of guidelines to simplify this money mystery.

Read the full post after the cut!

Makeup Artists and Hair Stylists: Expected

Every bride should feel like a celebrity on the morning of her wedding day, and what better way than with a personal hair stylist and makeup artist? Although you may have just recently been acquainted, your hair and makeup team will be right there with you during some of your most precious pre-ceremony moments. The expected gratuity rate is 20 percent, which is the same standard in hair salons.

Transportation: Expected

You have the dress, you have the groom, now you just need to ride off in style! Depending on the transportation company, gratuity may already be included. Consult your contract and, if gratuity is not already included, plan for a 15 to 20 percent tip.

Officiants: Expected

If your ceremony is being held in a house of worship, you should tip the priest, minister or rabbi $100-$500, though some may not accept or may ask for it in the form of a donation to the religious institution. If your ceremony is conducted by a nonreligious officiant or civil employee, they will usually charge you a flat rate but a $50-$100 tip is optional.

Photographers and Videographers: Optional

Your photography and videography vendors are there to ensure that every special moment, planned or unplanned, is captured. Depending on whether or not your vendors are self-employed, you can expect to tip $100 dollars per person. Photographers and videographers who own their own businesses have usually already negotiated their fees and are not expecting an additional tip, but you could always send them a nice thank you card and/or gift.

Wedding Ceremony Musicians: Optional

Here it is, the moment you have been dreaming about since you were a little girl, your bridal entrance! Ceremony musicians can play a big part in the atmosphere and grandeur of your wedding service. Tipping only applies if you brought in musicians or a choir that is additional to the venues’ offerings; not for the solo church organist who is required to play. A standard $25-$50 per musician is customary.

Venue or Catering Staff: Optional

There are usually a great deal of moving parts when planning a wedding, and the on-site staff is no exception. Venue or catering staff includes the on-site or catering coordinator, banquet manager, beverage manager, chefs and sous chefs. If their gratuity is not included on the venue contract, a flat rate per staff member tends to be the most cost-effective route, allotting $100-$500 for each manager, chef and sous chef. Generally, wait staff and bartenders are not expecting additional gratuity so tipping is not necessary, but a $25 tip per wait staff would be greatly appreciated. It is also a nice gesture to tip the venue housemen, the staff responsible for setting up the reception room, $25 each. You can get in touch with your on-site coordinator to find out how many staff members will be working on your event.

Reception Band or DJ: Optional

You have collaborated with your band or DJ to create the perfect set list for you and your guests to dance the night away. Depending on their flexibility and quality of performance, a suggested gratuity amount is $50 per musician and $50-$150 for the DJ.

Wedding Coordinators: Optional

From the minute you said “yes” to the sacred “I do,” your coordinator has been with you every step of the way (a wedding planning BFF if you will). Although they are not expecting a tip, it is always in style to give them some extra love in the form of a $200-$500 bonus or a lovely gift. You can either hand it off at the close of your reception or check in with them after the honeymoon.

Sheila Weiner, President and Founder of The Event Group, has been creating and coordinating show stopping events since 1987. A lawyer by education, Sheila has appeared on talk shows and at live engagements, serving as a valuable resource to the events community. With an accomplished national and international portfolio, Sheila’s work has garnered editorial and photographic coverage in esteemed publications worldwide. Sheila’s expertise in execution and creative vision has continually yielded beautiful and unforgettable events, establishing The Event Group as a leader in the special event industry.

For more information about The Event Group, please visit their WeddingLovely Vendor Guide profile or head straight to their website.

Do you have any questions or comments for Sheila? Add them to the comments below!