Ask the Weddings Editor: Vendor Tips & Bridesmaid Woes
Nov 29, 2011 06:19PM ● Published by Anonymous
A. As with any other service you’ve received in your life, tipping your wedding vendors rests on if you think they’ve done a service above and beyond their duties. In some cases, as with your catering or venue staff, gratuity is automatically included in your final bill. In other cases, a little bit extra might be appropriate. Ask the best man or maid of honor to be in charge of paying out the tips, and follow this guide:
Hair and makeup artists: 15 to 25 percent, given at the end of your service.
Officiant: If you’re getting married in a house of worship, donate to the church or synagogue. If you’re hiring an officiant separately, no tip is mandatory.
Ceremony musicians: $15–20 per musician, paid at the end of the ceremony.
Photographer/videographer: If the vendor owns his or her own studio, no tip is necessary because they earn all the profit. If they do not own the studio, $50 to $200 is appropriate, given at the end of the reception.
DJ or Band: It’s optional, but preferred to tip the musicians at the end of the reception, especially if they really made your party a hit. For a band, tip approximately $25 per musician and anywhere from $50 to $200 for a DJ.
Transportation: A tip might be included in the contract, but if it isn’t, tip the driver 15 to 20 percent of the total bill at the end of the last ride.
Q. Right after I got engaged, I was so excited that I immediately asked three of my closest friends to be bridesmaids. Since then, one of the girls has become really distant and just doesn’t seem to care about my wedding. Is there a way I can ask her to step down from the wedding party, and I can add someone like my fiance’s sister instead?
A. Weddings can do funny things to a friendship. Emotions (and tensions) run high when a bride-to-be thinks her attendants aren’t as into her wedding as she is, and the initial thought might just be to cut her out entirely—but you shouldn’t. First, try to get to the reasoning as to why the bridesmaid doesn’t seem psyched about your nuptials. If it’s serious—say, she doesn’t like your fiancé and doesn’t think you should marry him—then perhaps she’s not the right person to stand next to you. In that case, you should amicably agree to part ways (for the wedding, at least). However, that’s probably not the case. She might have a lot going on in her life, and she’s a little offended that you seem more interested in color swatches and cake samples than what’s ailing her. Sit her down and ask for the honest truth—and be prepared for the honest answer. From there, make your decision. And as for your fiance’s sister, go ahead and ask her anyway! It will make her feel included and get things off on the right foot. Don’t be too concerned with matching groomsmen and bridesmaids one-for-one—symmetry is so overrated.