The Social Connection


We always want to show appreciation for services rendered to us, especially if the service given was particularly excellent. One gesture of appreciation is by giving monetary gratuity immediately after we received the service. This is called "Tipping" of which the original purpose was "To Insure Prompt Service" or TIPS. It is always a puzzle for most people on whether one should give a tip or not. But it has become a social norm, and most service providers somehow expect to be given a tip. The proper amount to tip is often a source of confusion. Below are some basic guidelines which hopefully will help in knowing how, what and to whom to give tips.

Food and Drink

  • Restaurants
    Almost all restaurants, except for a very few, already incorporates a "Service Charge" equivalent to 10% of the bill. However, this should not stop you from giving an additional amount if your waiter provided a good service wherein you may add 3-5% of the total bill. A larger tip may be considered if you are with a party of 10 or more persons. Tipping is all the more expected by waiters in establishments which do not incorporate any service charge. About 10-15% of the bill is appropriate.
  • Caterers
    All caterers, including hotel banquet services, add 10% service charge to the bill. The amount goes into a pool, and divided among everyone working in the establishment.
  • Waiters & Waitresses
    Since there is already a service charge included in the bill, tipping is optional. If you are satisfied with their service during the reception you might want to give a tip of P20-P30 per guest. Another guideline is to ask for the total number of waiters and waitresses, and give P100-P150 each. The F&B Supervisor and the Captain Waiter may be given P500 each.
  • Bartender
    Depending on the complication and on the number of the drinks you ordered, tips to bartenders range between 5-10% of the total bill.


The standard tip for bellhops averages P10 per luggage. Give more if you have particularly large or heavy bags. The room service waiter, housekeeper, and the doorman will expect P20-P50 each for their services.


The string ensemble and the band do not normally expect any tip, but if their performance is exceptional, you might want to give them P100-P200 per member.

Other Event Service Providers

The hair & make-up artist, DJ, emcee, wedding coordinator and the limousine driver may be given 5-10% of their fee to thank them for making your day special. Food delivery boys may be given P50, and more for large orders.

Officiating Minister

Wedding etiquette books say that the Officiant should not be tipped. Most churches include the services of a priest in their charges. If you get your own priest, they are given a stipend or a donation to their organization. Pastors and Judges, likewise, accept donations as fees for their services. The amount ranges between P10,000 - P15,000.

In a Catholic wedding with more than one priest, you can split the amount with the main celebrant getting the greater share. Of course you may give more if you feel donating more to their organization, as these are normally used for their mission.

The following suppliers are paid a fixed amount for their services, so they do not normally expect any tip, unless they gave an extraordinary service, in which case you could give around 3-5% of their bill. Likewise, if a particular employee did something special for you, a few bucks is appreciated

  • Designer
  • Florists or Event Stylist
  • Photographers and Videographers
  • Cake Makers
  • Ceremony venue
  • Reception venue
  • Printer

The amounts and percentages stated above are just suggestions. It is wise to include the tips as part of the wedding budget because the amount may be quite substantial, depending on the size of the affair. The concept of tipping should be based on your personal feeling of satisfaction on the services you received and, ultimately, its up to you to decide on the amount you may want to give. Tipping is your concrete way of saying "thank you" to those who went out of their way to ensure that your special day was a memorable event.

This article was published in the 10th Anniversary issue of METRO WEDDINGS magazine issued in July, 2010 (Vol. 10 No.1)

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