I have signed multiple contracts at this point. Many of them say that there is a “service fee” which they say is not to be confused with gratuity. But then they also say gratuity is optional. Is it just me or are they trying to say it’s optional, even though everyone knows it isn’t. Especially for people like hair and catering.
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I think when it comes to photographer, just give them a flat rate tip. For us, we tipped $50 for our engagement photo shoot and $300 for our wedding. It would have been insane to tip $1200 on top of the cost of our photos.
For drivers, our bridal party transportation included the gratuity so make sure it isn’t already included in your cost breakdown— we wouldn’t have realized it if we didn’t go through each line item. My husband actually forgot and tipped him anyway. 🤦🏻♀️ For our wedding guest buses, gratuity wasn’t included so we tipped each driver $50 each way. So for two buses, it was $100 per bus. Officiants— if it’s a pastor, they’ll usually take a donation for their church. Otherwise I think depending on how much the officiant works you beforehand, I would do $50-100.
Service fee is not gratuity. Saying gratuity is “optional” is the same as how it’s “optional” to tip your waiter at a restaurant. The amount you choose to tip is up to you and can be based on the quality of their service, and while technically you are under no contractual obligation to tip them....... you’re a pretty crappy person if you don’t 😂