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Tipping your wedding vendors is never mandatory — tips are supposed to be expressions of thanks for especially good service. That being said, unless the service was absolutely terrible, you wouldn't leave a restaurant without tipping, right? The same applies to weddings: It is customary to show your appreciation by tipping many of the people involved in making yours a success. But before you start doling out the cash, be sure to carefully check all of your vendor contracts to see if gratuity charges are already included in your fee; if so, then you shouldn't feel obligated to add anything onto that. Also, your cake baker, stationer, and florist — basically, any wedding vendor who's self-employed or is the owner of a business — will not be expecting tips. For the rest of your wedding pros, here is our handy tipping guide.
Hair/makeup pros: 15 to 20 percent of the total bill
Musicians: $25 to $50 each
Officiant: $50 if you're married by a judge or clerk; clergy members, in general, don't accept tips, so instead, make a donation ($100 on average) to the appropriate house of worship.
Wedding planners: $0; however, their more junior staffers should be tipped $50 to $100 each.
Photographers/videographers: $100 to $200 if the pro is part of a larger outfit or agency (but not the owner). Second shooters should receive $50 to $75.
Catering manager: $250 to $500
Waitstaff: 15 percent of the total pre-tax food bill, which should be given to the catering manager or "captain" to distribute.
Bartenders: 10 to 15 percent of the total pre-tax bar bill, which should be split among the bartenders. Inform the bartenders of your intent to tip after the reception, and request that they refuse tips from guests.
Reception band/DJ: $25 to $50 per person
Chauffeur/driver: 15 to 20 percent of the total bill, which is typically presented at the end of the day.
Valets: $1 to $2 per car, given to the supervisor in advance, to be split among staff. Display a sign at the valet station stating that gratuities have been taken care of. The valets should also be instructed to refuse any tips offered by guests.
Restroom/coat-check attendants: $.50 to $2 per guest; calculate this total in advance and give to your reception site manager to distribute.
Delivery people: $5 to $20 per person for deliveries arriving from your florist, baker, rental company, and other vendors. These staffers may also be doing the heavy lifting, on-site setup, and hauling away that come with producing your wedding — so tip accordingly.