Should you tip your wedding vendor? It depends. Tips are meant to show you appreciate the level of service you received. Tips are also important for those who merely receive an hourly wage yet offer amazing service (think of waitstaff serving your food); the tip is truly their money rather than the business owner. Tipping is never obligatory, but often expected so it is good to know the rules.
It is difficult to put an exact percentage or amount on tipping any service provider since costs vary from city to city and service quality varies. Some vendors have the tip included in their contract so check for that before you put cash in an envelope for them.
Speaking of envelopes, it is wise to have any tips you plan to give placed in envelopes and clearly marked with the name of the vendor a week before the wedding. If you plan to do this you don’t to be in a rush and get things confused. Also, designate a responsible person to pass these out the day of your ceremony. Some vendors drop off things then leave before the ceremony (think cake and flowers) some leave following the ceremony (officiant) and others will leave following the reception (DJ). These are details the bride and groom do NOT need to be worrying about.
Tipping really should be determined by your desire to show gratitude (hence the term gratuity) to those who make your wedding dreams come true. If a vendor shows up late (without a very good reason) or doesn’t deliver the service or product expected, do NOT feel obligated to tip. You have already paid them for their service, the tip is meant to be a compliment to them, a way to say they exceeded your expectation and you thank them for making your day great!