Tips for Tipping
Tipping is a personal expression of gratitude for service given. Therefore, the matter of rewarding those assisting you with the wedding planning is obviously an important one.
Gratuities are almost always added into the final bill, whether you have hired a private catering company or are using one of the finest hotel facilities.
However, if a particular server has provided service above or beyond what is expected, it is certainly proper to give them a gratuity in addition to that already paid. That choice is totally up to you. It should be given for extra services only. Since the gratuity has already been paid in the contracted amount, it is not required. The customary amount to give would be 15%.
Those falling into the above category include, catering managers, hotel banquet managers, waiters, waitresses, bartenders, and bridal consultants. A hostess or captain would be in the 1% to 2% range. But this has already been added to the final bill so it would just be additional.
Coat Room Attendants: The customary gratuity is fifty cents per guest. But a flat fee can also be arranged prior to the event.
Limousine Driver: A 15% gratuity is appropriate. Check your contract--sometimes it is added into the bill.
Florists, Photographers, Bakers, Musicians: Give a gratuity only for extra special services, up to 15%.
Civil Ceremony Officials: (Judge, Justice of the Peace, City Clerk) It used to be considered improper to ask a set fee for these services if rendered by a public official. However, now you may find a suggested donation for those in public service. The average gratuity is usually between $50 and $75. You should add more if travel is involved.
Clergymen, Rabbis, Priests: A donation of $100--certainly no less than $75--is proper for your officiant. The money should be placed in a sealed envelop and given to the best man before the ceremony. He should give the envelope to the clergyman after the ceremony. More should be given if travel was involved.
Organist and Musician: Often the fees for church organists and musicians are included in the church rental fee. If that is not the case, a suggested gratuity of $35 to $50 would be appropriate. Of course, you can always pay more if you choose.
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