I’m often asked which vendors should be tipped and how much. While this may be a personal decision determined by the couple, here are some basic guidelines I recommend: (1) Wait staff and bartenders should receive between 18-20% of the total bill. Don’t confuse this with the service charge most caterers add to the bill! In most cases, this goes to the company to pay a higher hourly wage to the staff. Ask how it’s applied and, if this is the case, a 10% gratuity is sufficient. (2) Valet, coat check, hairstylist, and transportation drivers all fall in the same gratuity range of 18-20%. I’m not a proponent of tipping professionals, such as the photographer, musicians, videographer, florist, cake and wedding planner. Personally, as a wedding planner myself, I would prefer a thank you note, referral, or favorable review. Remember, tipping isn’t mandatory…it’s an expression of gratitude for a service well done.
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