Is It Absolutely Necessary
to Tip Everyone?

do you have to tip everyone at your wedding

Photo: Meg Smith

We asked The Official Preppy Handbook's Lisa Birnbach to field your bridal dilemmas. Listen up, ladies. Her tips will help you keep your sanity—and your friendships—in tact.

I'm on a super-tight budget. Is it absolutely necessary to tip everyone-- the limo driver, caterer, DJ, florists, etc.? —Jessica W. of Algonquin, Ill., via Facebook

Dear Jessica,

Unfortunately, my dear, you must tip everyone who isn't a close friend or family—up to and including your wedding planner—in cash, on the very day. But first check the fine print on all of your vendor contracts. Your caterer might have included a 15 to 20 percent tip in the final bill, in which case you don't have to add anything extra. If a clergyman (or -woman) is officiating, he has probably charged you a fee, but on top of that, a donation to his congregation is generally acknowledged as appropriate. No bride wants to handle money at her reception. Perhaps that's why wedding dresses typically don't have pockets. Let your parents or the best man handle this chore. Prepare to spend a few extra thousand dollars, all in. It seems like a lot, but it's the nice thing to do, and industry standard. And if you get married again, you can expect even better service the next time.

—Lisa Birnbach

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