Plus, how to get those gratuities distributed.

Your wedding day will be happy and hectic, so get as much done as possible ahead of time. That includes figuring out any tips you're planning on giving your vendors. While you may think a tip is expected, it's not: A gratuity to a wedding vendor should only be given to someone who went over and above what you paid for. And keep in mind that vendors who own their own business, like many photographers, don't expect a gratuity (although they'll appreciate one just as much as any other pro!). But between getting ready and cutting loose on the dance floor, when are you supposed to hang these tips over to the pros?

When to Tip

The right time to offer a tip to a vendor depends on when you'll interact with them on the wedding day. For example, give your hair stylist the tip when she's finished working on you; hand a tip over to the caterer at the reception's end. If you don't have a chance to see your vendor before the party is over, it's absolutely acceptable to mail it later. Many couples like to send their photographers or wedding planners a little thank-you gift following the wedding. Don't forget that a nice note is always appreciated.

How to Distribute Tips

Before your big day, put each tip in an envelope with a thank-you note. Clearly label each envelope and ask someone you trust-your dad, another family member, or a close friend friend-hand them out at the appropriate time on the wedding day. If you've hired a wedding planner, he or she can help you with this, too.


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