- Are we obligated to tip?
- Which vendors do we tip?
- What percentage of their fee do we tip?
- "Heck no, you don't tip anyone, that's their job. You are paying good money for their services, that's enough!"
- "You only tip the employees, not people who own their own businesses."
- "You tip (A, B, C type) vendors, but never tip (X, Y, Z type) vendors.
- "You should tip everyone involved in your wedding."
Take a deep breath and let go of tipping as a requirement. Gratuities are an expression of gratitude and should come from the heart. They are a lovely gesture for anyone, employee or business owner (many of us are sole proprietors), who exceeds your expectations. Gratuities are an excellent way to express your appreciation to an individual who does something that makes your wedding day particularly special, or solves a problem averting a disaster.
Gratuities needn't be distributed the day of the wedding. If someone has particularly impressed you prior to the wedding, than by all means have a tip for them handy and give it to him or her on the spot. But as you cannot anticipate what the day will be like, it is perfectly acceptable to send a gratuity later. If it had not been for the DJ and his wife, my own wedding reception would have been an utter catastrophe. We sent them a gift we had picked out especially for them on our honeymoon shortly after we returned home. As an officiant, I have received gratuities anywhere from the day of the rehearsal to a one year anniversary. Every single one was a nice surprise, not an expected payment.
Don't think of gratuities in terms of customary amounts or as a percentage of the wedding professional's original fee. Any gesture, large or small, is sincerely and deeply appreciated. It is a tangible way of letting them know their efforts to go above and beyond were both noticed and sincerely appreciated. Here are examples of some things I have received as "gratuities."
| || || || |
Photo Attribute: Available on-line with no known provenance.