You day has come. It’s wedding time. You’re excited, you’re ready, you’re in love. Here comes the groom, here comes the bride, here comes the bill?
by Hannah Holbrook
On your big day, the last thing you want to think about is bills. You want to focus on your breathing, your vows, your spouse to be, but certainly not your bills. Unfortunately, that is not reality. According to The Knot, the average wedding in the United States costs $31,213. Which means, whether you like it or not, bills play an intricate role in your wedding. If you have a question concerning billing, we have answers. From brides who are unsure of when to pay, to maids of honor who aren’t sure whether or not they are expected to tip, here at Brazos Valley Bride, we want to answer all your questions concerning proper vendor payment.
Tip #1 for Avoiding Payment Awkwardness: Checks
Whenever money is involved, things can get awkward. The last thing you want is someone asking you for a check as you prepare to walk down the isle. To avoid situations like these have checks for your vendors written in advance. Entrust the Maid of Honor or the Mother of the Bride with envelopes containing the checks. On each envelope indicate the name of the individual receiving the check as well as the service they provide. All payment related questions should be steered towards the person in charge of the checks, not the bride.
Tip #2 for Avoiding Payment Awkwardness: Gratuities
Just as you would tip a good waitress or waiter, a 10-20 percent tip for each service vendor is both considerate and appreciated. Tips should not be obligatory, rather they should express your gratitude for good service. Many catering contracts and transportation companies include gratuity in their contract. Read carefully to ensure that you don’t accidentally tip twice.
Gratuity Cheat Sheet:
- Officiants: A typical tip amount is $75 to $100
- Catering Staff: Estimate paying around 15 to 20 percent of the full amount.
- Makeup Artists and Stylists: Many people tip what they would for a regular appointment: 15 to 20 percent.
- Florists, Videographers, and Photographers: For individuals that own their own businesses, tipping is not required. Many have already negotiated their fees and are expecting the agreed upon amount. However, excellent service can always be recognized with a tip and a card.
- Wedding Planner: Typically wedding planners don’t expect a tip. If your wedding planner goes far above and beyond what is expected, offering a tip of 10 to 20 percent is a nice way of saying “thank you” for the excellent work.
- Note: If you are not in the place financially where you can shell out thousands of dollars in gratuity, there are still some things that you can do to show your appreciation to your wedding vendors. Posting a complementary review on their website, sending a hand written thank-you note, leaving a review on WeddingWire, Yelp or some other wedding site, or referring a friend, can sometimes do far more than a cash tip.
Tip #3 for Avoiding Payment Awkwardness: Receipts
Be sure to keep clear, organized records when it comes to wedding vendor receipts. In this digital age, receipts, emails and payments can easily get lost or misplaced. Keep a file of printed receipts to ensure that both you and your vendors are on the same page.