Unless they've been a complete nightmare throughout the planning of your wedding, it's courteous to present each of your vendors with a gift. This includes your florist, driver, baker, caterer, wait staff and bartenders.
Preparing the tips
Tips can be placed in an envelope that has been labeled and sealed. Remember to include a thank you note.
Place someone trustworthy in charge of distributing the tips. You’ll be so busy the day of your wedding, so it’s important to ask a parent, maid of honor or the best man beforehand.
When you choose to tip vendors and creative partners is at your discretion. Here are two different options and the thinking behind each.
Before: Tip vendors before they perform their services. This can happen before the event (as incentive) or even a few minutes prior. Tipping before your event often serves as motivation to do the best job possible. If you don’t feel comfortable giving the whole tip upfront, give half prior to your wedding day with the acknowledgment that there is more to follow depending on quality of service.
After: Brides who choose to tip after are looking at how well services were performed. As a general rule of thumb, it’s recommended to tip entertainment and hair and makeup artists after services are performed.
Distribution of tips
One way of distributing gratuities is to decide on a lump sum that you can afford and divide the percentage. A second way is to get a comprehensive list of everyone working your wedding and divide portions based on performance. Another aspect to consider is the relationship you’ve developed with partners. If you have become very close with your photographer and had an amazing experience, you may want to tip them a higher percentage.
Handwritten notes are invaluable to creative partners; there’s nothing like the words of a happy client that will serve as feedback and a testimonial to their excellence.
In the end
How you choose to tip vendors is entirely up to you. Take time to decide what works best for you as a couple and for your budget. Remember, thought and sincerity holds a lot of weight when it comes to saying thank you.