Tips should be given just before your vendor leaves. you will then be able to judge how much to give, according to the level of sevice they have given. All vendors would love a thank you card. It is a great reminder of happy clients and they will display it to help them obtain new clients.
THE VENDORS THAT SHOULD BE TIPPIED
Church Altar Servers - $10 - $15 each
Limousine Drivers - 10-15% of the limousine bill, given at the end of his/her service. (Some companies add this tip into your contract, so be careful of double tipping)
Valet Parking Attendants - $1.00 per car, prearrange this amount with the venue manager based on your estimate of how many cars will be arriving. A sign should be posted outside for guests that the gratuity has been taken care of and that they do not feel obligated to tip additional money.
Disc Jockey - If there is 1 DJ, $25-50.00. If you have 2 DJs (DJ & MC), give each person $50.00 in separate envelopes. More is appropriate if the DJ/MC does things over and above his/her normal duties. When your guests rave about your reception, remember it was the DJ made the fun.
Wait staff - The gratuity is usually included the contract already. (If there is a member of the staff that did an exceptional job for you, or your guests, then 10-15% of the total catering bill is usual.) Remember that the wait staff are the hardest workers of the day.
Bartenders - 10% of the total liquor bill divided equally among the total number of bartenders who worked the full evening. Make sure that a tip hasn't already been added to your contract. Each guest might give an additional tip of $1-$2 per drink.
Makeup Artist or Hair Stylist - You don't have to tip them if they come to your house or hotel room and they are freelance artists or stylists. If you go to the salon or if someone from the salon comes to your house, then you should tip them 15%. Remember the salon makes the money, not the individual in this case.
Ceremony Musicians - $5-$6 per hour per person, in one lump sum given to the person in charge. Don't forget to include any rehersal time in your calculations.
Banquet or catering manager - doesn't need to be tipped unless they've thrown in extras or saved you a few hundred dollars on your bill. Then the tip would be between $25-$50. Some catering halls include a tip of about 2-3% of your total catering invoice in your contract.
Photographer and Videographers - If these vendors own the company, then the tip is optional. If they are employees, 10-15% of the package price would go to the main photographer and he/she can give a split to the assistant.
Officiant - To tip them is extremely bad etiquette. Generally you pay your fee and that's it. If you wish to make a contribution to the church, you can do that separately but the minimum should be $75.00. All decorations that you decorate the church with, should also to be donated to the church.
Florist - You don't need to tip the florist for making your arrangements but you should tip them about $5.00 per delivery location (3 locations=$15.00) for set-up and delivery.
A WORD OF ADVICE......
Giving vendors a tip is ultimately up to the couple and how much they can afford.
All tips should be given in cash. If the person serving you is an employee of the company, their tip should be in a separate envelope. No one-single person should get more than $100.00.
But 10-15% of the total bill is usual and adequate.
This should help give you some guidelines on the etiquette
for tipping at your wedding.
Remeber it is different in different cities and towns.
Don't forget to add this to your budget.
The amounts above are only guidelines and should not be taken as set in stone.
Good luck and enjoy your special day.