Etiquette Q&A: "How Much Do We Need to Tip Our Vendors?"

Join us every Friday for our Q&A column, where editor-in-chief Diane Forden answers one reader's biggest etiquette question.

wedding singerQ. Are there any particular guidelines for tipping wedding professionals? I am not sure whom to tip or how much I will need to give them.

A: Tipping depends somewhat on where you live and, in some cases, is included in your overall fee (especially when dealing with caterers or banquet halls). You should clarify this when you sign your contract. An additional tip of 15 to 20% is generally expected for your maitre d' or banquet manager. Limo drivers also expect to receive a 15% tip, as do many wedding consultants. It is not necessary to tip musicians, florists, bakers or photographers, however, unless they perform an extra-special service. Clergy members are generally given a small "gift" (ask what's typical for your congregation), while civil officiants charge only a flat fee. Other possible people you will need to tip: ceremony assistants (altar boys or girls), organists, powder and coat room attendants and parking valets. Again, many of these gratuities will be included in your overall fee, so be sure to ask.

—Diane Forden

Photo Credit: Susan Baker Photography