When in Rome …
Every country has their own way of showing appreciation and when you get superb service at your destination wedding in Italy, that’s amore!
Here are some guidelines on who to thank and how much, plus how to go about actually giving out gratuities at Italian weddings.
BRIDE HAIR AND MAKE UP STYLISTS
Just like at the salon, a tip is in store for the staff who powder you up and get you photoshoot ready for the day. Styling is not cheap anywhere (see our budget guide here) but a small thank you in the amount of around €20-30 goes a long way in convincing beauticians to stick around until the ceremony is over for a final touch up for your newlywed portraits.
How to: Have your maid of honor take care of slipping the bills to the head beautician, no envelope necessary.
Taking off after the ceremony for those drop-dead Italy backdrop newlywed portraits? Be sure to tip your chauffeur who most likely will double park, fend off gawkers, and offer you a chilled bottle of mineral water each time you hop back in the car … sometimes, even a prosecco. Depending how long you’re out galavanting around, from €20 to €50 is a sure sign of appreciation.
How to: The groom takes care of nonchalantly slipping the bills to the driver upon arrival back at the wedding venue, no envelope necessary. If you have several shuttles taking guests around, designate tipping to the best man or father of the bride/groom.
This is the person who directs your wait staff during the wedding meal keeping them on time and in line with serving the finest Italian food. This is the one who has the list of food allergies and a chart of where those guests are seated, keeping an eye on them all night. This is the one who checks in with you periodically to make sure you have everything you need and then some. This is the person who will pick up belongings at the end of the night and make sure they get delivered to location staff for a safe return in the morning.
If your reception works like clockwork and your guests throw kudos all over you for the great meal and service, this is the person to tip for it. And as every true altruist would, the tip is split with service personnel and kitchen staff totaling most likely over 15 people, so if you are happy with your Italian wedding reception, be generous here. From €100 up, depending on the number of guests.
How to: Have gratuities in an envelope which is handed to the Maître by the groom, his father, or the father of the bride.
ENTERTAINMENT AND MUSIC
While you may never see the musicians playing during your wedding ceremony, the ones accompanying your welcome cocktails, wedding reception, and after dinner dancing will make or break the swing of things. If your party is hopping, be sure to thank them.
The one who definitely deserves recognition is the DJ who more often than not, works waaay overtime, is able to slip impromptu song requests from guests into your playlist genre, and a DJ who does the job well is able to read the crowd to know when to pump up the volume and when to put on a slow dance, keeping the dance floor populated at all times. Gratuities start at €50 depending on how long the party lasts – or if it ever ended!
How to: Have gratuity in an envelope, bride and groom do the hand off here.
When your wedding planner does a great job and at the end of the day you had the BEST ITALIAN WEDDING EVER, you should offer a token of your appreciation to the person who pulled the whole thing off after months of hard work. Any monetary gratuity will most likely be shared with wedding coordinators working on the day, depending on how many guests they are managing, how many vendors, and how complicated your Italy wedding venue is: from €50 for small weddings (20-30 guests) up to €500 (over 100 guests).
How to: Have your gratuity in an envelope, bride and groom call the planner aside, hugs and kisses welcome ♥
A special gift is another way to thank your wedding planner PERSONALLY, after all, you know each other like BFF’s from working so long together on such an important day in your life and most of the time, you keep in touch for years – your planner sends you anniversary wishes, you send baby pictures, yada yada yada. A great friendship 🙂
Gift ideas: Think personal if you love the work your Italian wedding planner did for you – something evergreen like jewelry or a signature mug or tea set, a crystal knick knack, or a personal care gift you know will be appreciated.
How to: Any non-monetary gift should be sent to your planners office or home, with a handwritten card expressing your gratitude.
Contrary to a recent post seen on The Knot, your wedding photographs are NOT a gift for your wedding planner – they are business. Most likely your contract already gives your planner the right to use any images for professional portfolio purposes and if not, since images ultimately belong to the photographer, that is where they will come from.
There are many other vendors who work on your wedding in Italy and tipping them is optional but always appreciated.
How to: If you would like to spread the love to all the fabulous local Italian wedding vendors who partake in your wedding, designate a friend of the groom or the best man to make the rounds.