Should you give a gratuity to your wedding officiant? Here are some tips on tips.

Yesterday the bride handed me a tip after the wedding ceremony. As a wedding officiant, I do not expect tips. I build all my costs into my fee, and I know the couple is having to put out so much money for wedding expenses, that it is unreasonable to expect more money via a tip. I accepted the tip yesterday because it would have been ungracious to not accept it, and I received it as it was meant: a high compliment from the bride and groom.

One time the father of the bride did not realize I had already been paid in full and handed me a $100 tip. This was at an area chapel. I gave that tip to the chapel for their ministry.

I’ve never seen officiants on a bridal tip list. Usually an officiant receives a fee or honorarium. If it is your pastor, or priest, the honorarium should be at least $100 – $150. Fifty dollars may have been sufficient 30 years ago, but face it, gasoline costs more than twice as much as then. If you are not a member of the church, the honorarium should be $200 or more.

Build tips into your budget planning. If you are choosing vendors who charge premium fees, then a tip may not be expected nor appropriate. But, if you get extra-ordinary service from a vendor (your wedding photographer, DJ, florist, coordinator, chauffeur, bartender, caterer and catering staff, etc.), then be prepared to acknowledge their efforts to make your wedding harmonious.

Check the contract for each of your wedding vendors to see if the gratuity is already included in the fee. This would especially be a possibility for food and beverage service, and even possibly for the reception hall and their staff.

Kindness is always appreciated, and expressing your kindness in cash will brighten the day of a hardworking wedding professional.

Contributed by Pastor Dan Jenkins of Heaven’s Touch Weddings.

Photo by Diane Maxwell Photography of Pittsburgh