Should we tip our wedding vendors? My fiance says that it seems crazy since we're already paying so much for their services, but at the same time, I know they're working really hard and I don't want us to seem impolite.
Tipping isn't mandatory -- a tip is an added reward for service well done. That said, unless one of your vendors really botches something, they’ll probably expect at least a small amount of gratuity. Before you start forking over the dough, be sure you check with your reception site to see whether they have any policies regarding tips (same goes for your limo or other transportation). If, for example, they already have a gratuity or service charge built into your fee, you shouldn't feel compelled to add anything onto that. Otherwise, you should probably plan on tipping your hair and makeup pros (15-20%, just like at the salon); delivery people (about $5-$10 each); parking, coat check, or restroom attendants ($1 per car or per guest), waitstaff ($20 per staff member, plus more for the manager and/or headwaiter); and bartenders ($20 for each). As for your officiant, you should expect to tip a nondenominational officiant between $50-$100. Or, if you're an active member, plan to donate $500 or more to your officiant's church, synagogue, or temple. The good news: Your bridal salon, cake baker, stationer, and party rental company will not be expecting tips. To make it easier, designate someone (a bridesmaid, groomsman, or family member) to be in charge of tipping. Set aside a predetermined amount for each vendor, and place tips in sealed, labeled envelopes (you can even include a little note as well). That way, you won't have to worry about counting out cash when you should be dashing off to your honeymoon destination.
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