Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Tipping, How much should you tip?

Here is a tip for those who are wondering about tipping. Now that was a mouthful, wasn't it? : )

Tipping is a personal expression of gratitude for service given and appreciated. The question of tipping those persons responsible for assisting you in your wedding planning is one you should remember and be aware of.

Gratuities are almost always added into the final bill, whether you have hired a private catering company or are using a catered facilitie. The question: "Is it proper to tip the servers, when I have already paid a gratuity in my contracted price?" The answer is, of course, "tipping has always been a personal expression of gratitude for service given and appreciated." For instance, if a particular server has spent his/her evening providing you service, over and above your expectations, and you choose to give that individual a "tip," that choice is up to you. It should be given for extra special services only. It is not required, as the gratuity has, as noted, already been paid. The customary amount would be up to 15%.

Other people you can tip include the catering managers, hotel banquet managers, waiters, waitresses, bartenders and bridal consultants. Tipping a hostess or captain would fall into the 1% to 2% range. Remember, this has already been added to your final bill and additional tipping is just that. Additional tipping! It is not mandatory!

A good rule of thumb: Always think 15% : ) Here are some other people you may wish to remember:

Coat Room Attendants: It is customary to give fifty cents per guest. However, you can also pay them a flat fee if you wish.

Limousine Driver: A tip of 15% is the appropriate amount to be given to your limo driver. Be sure to read your contract, as the tip has often already been added into the final bill.

Florists, Photographers, Bakers, Musicians: Tipping only for extra special services, up to 15%.

Civil Ceremony Officials: (Judge, Justice of the Peace, City Clerk) In years gone by, it was considered improper to "ask" a set fee for services rendered. However, today, you may find a "suggested" donation for those in public service. In a recent survey, it was found the average gratuity was between $50 and $75. If travel is involved, an additional gratuity is expected.

Clergymen, Rabbis, Priests: No less than a $75 donation is considered proper and it is rare to find anyone giving less than a $100 gratuity for the wedding officiant. This donation should be given to the best man prior to the ceremony. Following the proceedings, he will then give it to the officiant. If travel is involved, an additional gratuity is appreciated.

Organist and Musician: Fees for church organists and musicians are often included in the rental fee for the church. When this is not the case, a gratuity of no less than $35 is appropriate, but in a recent survey, the average was $50 for each person. When the organist and musician (soloist) are close friends of the couple or family, the gratuity averaged $75.