Ask Martha: Wedding Budget Questions
First, make sure gratuities weren’t included in fees you’ll already pay, then follow this standard tipping protocol:
Waitstaff (in lump sum) and Driver: 15 to 20 percent
Makeup Artist and Hairstylist: 15 to 20 percent
Catering Manager: 1 to 2 percent
Bathroom Attendants: $1 per guest
Coat Checker: $1 to $2 per guest
Valets: $1 to $5 per guest
Bartenders: $200 to $400 each
Ceremony Musicians (optional): $50 each, or 10 percent of total fee to split
DJ: 10 to 20 percent of fee
Bandleader: at least $200, plus $50 per band member
Officiant: $100, a thoughtful present, or a donation to their house of worship
You do not tip business owners (say, your florist), so if you love their work, give them the greatest gift of all: a rave review online.
Not at all. Fridays may not be as easy for some people to swing as Saturdays, but any date you choose will inconvenience someone. Before you book it, check with your nearest and dearest (immediate family, close friends) to make sure they are able to attend. Then go ahead with your invites, and remember to be understanding of anyone who decides not to come because of the timing.
While traditionally the father of the bride foots the bill, if her mother is willing and able to help, she can and should. If the parents of the groom also want to pitch in, that’s wonderful as well. Have each contributor cover a part of the event they’re particularly passionate about. A music lover could pay for the DJ or band, while a vinophile might pick up the wine tab. That way, everyone has a say in how their money is spent.
Before assigning a task to your planner, request an hour-spent estimate or a flat fee. Some projects (stuffing envelopes, assembling gift bags) are time-sucking vortices, so if your costs are creeping up, do them yourselves. Set a time limit on the total amount you’re willing to spend so you and your planner can agree on how best to allocate her time and your cash.
Traditionally, the bride and her parents are responsible for planning expenses, the bride’s attire, all floral arrangements, wedding-day transportation, photo and video fees, the officiant's travel and lodging, bridesmaids' lodging, and all the reception expenses. The bride pays for her attendants' flowers and gifts, the groom’s ring, and a present for him. The groom’s family is responsible for the corsages and boutonnieres for immediate members of both families, the groom’s attendants' lodging, and the rehearsal dinner costs. The groom pays for the marriage license, the officiant’s fees, and the bride's bouquet, as well as her engagement and wedding rings, a gift, and classically the honeymoon expenses.
- Loading the next gallery...