How Much to Tip Your Wedding Vendors
26 Jul 2018 •3 min read
Tipping in the wedding industry isn't mandatory, but as with any other service provider, it's a generous gesture to give thanks for a job well done! When it comes to the big day, it's customary to tip the waitstaff, bartenders, behind-the-scenes attendants (such as valets), and hair and makeup artists, but couples often choose to tip the rest of their dream team too. So, don't forget to work gratuities into your wedding budget. And keep in mind that tips are sometimes built into service agreements -- such as food and drink contracts, location fees and on-site staff fees. If you'd like to offer a little something extra, here is a suggested guide to tipping your oh-so-talented vendors.
- How much: 10-20% of the planner's fee.
- When to tip: Hand the planner an envelope after the reception, or send a check or photos after the honeymoon.
Though wedding planners don't expect a tip, it can be a nice gesture if the service provided was exceptional (or you received a large discount). Alternatively, sending your planner a thoughtful note along with few professional wedding photographs that can be added to his or her portfolio is a nice way to show your appreciation.
- How much: $50 to $100 for an individual, or a donation to the house of worship.
- When to tip: Include the tip when you pay your ceremony fees before the wedding.
Thanking your officiant with a tip for performing one of the most important jobs of the day is customary.
Hair and Makeup Artists
- How much: 15-25% (tip on the higher end if there's a look that requires many touchups or service is exceptional).
- When to tip: After the service is complete.
Tip your hair and makeup artists as you would if you were getting yourself done up at the salon.
Photographer, Videographer, Site Coordinator, and Florist
- How much: Completely up to you, but $50 to $100 or 10% per vendor is a guideline.
- When to tip: At the end of the reception (for the photographer/videographer) or send a thank you note and tip after the honeymoon.
These vendors don't expect a tip, but thanking them with a monetary gift, a gift card or some other present is a nice way to show your gratitude if the service provided exceeded your expectations. (Make sure to secure meals for these vendors during your wedding as well!).
Set-Up and Delivery Staff
- How much: $5 to $10 per person.
- When to tip: The day before your wedding, leave envelopes with the person who will be receiving deliveries.
Thank these staff as you would anyone else making a delivery to your home or business. Expect the florist, cake baker, and rental companies to send delivery or set-up staff.
- How much: 15-20% of the total bill, or $50 to $100 for the manager and $20 to $30 for each cook or server.
- When to tip: At the end of your reception.
Check your contract on this one as a gratuity is often included in service fees (but ask the catering manager how tipping works at their company: Some companies include a "service fee" that goes toward overhead, not to staff). Always tip waitstaff, bartenders, and anyone else serving your guests.
- How much: $50 to $150 for a DJ, $20 to $25 per musician for a band.
- When to tip: Ask one of your attendants to give the musicians an envelope after the reception, or send the tip along with a thank-you card after the honeymoon.
Tipping your wedding musicians is optional, but a nice gesture if they really provide outstanding service. You could also send video from the ceremony or reception, featuring their performance.
- How much: $1 to $2 per guest for each attendant.
- When to tip: Before or after the wedding — your choice.
This includes parking attendants, coat checkers, powder room staff, bartenders (unless they're hired by the catering company), and anyone else serving your guests.
- How much: 15-20%
- When to tip: After the last ride of the night has been given.
As you would with a taxi, tip your driver unless gratuity is included in your contract.
Remember that sending a heartfelt thank you note and a token of your appreciation after the wedding can go a long way towards making your vendors feel appreciated. Positive thoughtful reviews on popular wedding sites and personal referrals will mean a whole lot, too!
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