My clients always ask me about protocol and etiquette when tipping their wedding vendors. It's never clear and it can be a sticky issue. First, there are three major rules to remember:
1. Gratuities are always at your discretion and while they may be expected, poor service should not be the case. Of course, if you have received an excellent service, it should be rewarded.
2. Tips are generally reserved for professionals who do not own the company you hired. Cake bakers, photographers, make up artists & hair stylists, florists, DJs, musicians, and coordinators often fall into this category.
3. Check your contracts before determining gratuities. Some companies include a tip in their total bill, usually caterers.
You may wish to prepare envelopes in advance and have your coordinator or close friend hand them out to the appropriate vendor on the wedding day.