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Tipping originated from the practice of trying to insure-prompt service. Today, prompt service is not always delivered, but tipping has become a social mainstay. Even the most budget conscientious wedding planner can overlook the substantial expense of tipping. Depending on the size and grandeur of your reception, tipping can easily inflate the cost by hundreds, if not thousands of dollars. Who and how much to tip can make easy situations turn taxing and cause headaches for both parties. Although tipping is supposed to be optional, it is almost always expected. But, the amount of tip is completely at your personal discretion. Here are some
simple guidelines to consider when tipping.

Caters and reception managers usually have gratuities of 15-20 percent figured into their contracts. These are usually paid prior to the reception. If the manager has gone out of their way for you and your guests, a tip of $1-$2 per guest will suffice. The waitstaff is customarily tipped 15-20 percent of the food bill. Tips are sometimes included but make sure to check to insure no one is slighted. Bartenders are also tipped 15-20 percent based on the bar bill. An additional 10 percent on top of the gratuity is also common. DO NOT allow the bartender to accept tips from the guests and place a sign at the bar that simply states "No Tipping Please."

Restroom, coat check or valet should be prepaid and are usually tipped $1-$2 per coat or car. Ask the staff to decline tips from the guests. Limousine drivers usually receive 15-20 percent of the bill as a tip. Anything on top of this is at the host's discretion. Musicians are tipped if their performance was exceptional, this goes for the DJ as well. Tips can start at $25 per band member or for a DJ, 15 percent of their total fee.

Florists, photographers and bakers are not usually tipped. A flat fee is paid and expected for their services. Finally, an officiant is never tipped. A religious official may accept a small donation for their organization but a civil officiant is not allowed to accept tips.

Tipping may seem like a huge ordeal but it's not. Use common sense and tip what the service was worth to you and your guests.