Your guide to tipping each wedding vendor

 
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  Aesthetic Images

Aesthetic Images

Today we’re going to tackle the tricky subject of tipping wedding vendors. This is a topic we are asked about quite often as couples reach the final stages of planning. Here are some suggestions:

  • While it is customary to tip some vendors, deciding to tip is a personal choice and shouldn’t feel like an obligation. It’s a kind and generous gesture to those who go above and beyond for your special day.

  • Consider tipping vendors (whether they are owners of their company or employees) that are hands on at your wedding.

  • The gratuity should go to the lead person (i.e. catering supervisor, band leader, etc.) to be disbursed to their team.

  • Organize gratuity in cash envelopes prior to the wedding. Give these cash envelopes to your wedding coordinator or another responsible person to distribute according to your wishes.

  • Allot room in your budget for gratuities. If your budget doesn’t allow cash tips, consider a small personal gift or a thank you note. Writing a glowing online review or offering to be a reference means a lot!

Vendor Categories

If you choose to extend gratuities to vendors as a “thank you!” for providing exceptional service, consider these suggestions to help you plan in advance.

PHOTOGRAPHER/VIDEOGRAPHER/WEDDING PLANNER/COORDINATOR/FLORIST

Suggested amount: Tips are generally not expected by these vendors, but are a great way to appreciate their hard work and attention to detail.
5-10% of fee or a personal gift.
$25-50+ per assistant, depending on their level of involvement.
When to tip: At the end of their service

Catering wait staff/chefs/Bartenders

Be sure to check your contract to see if a gratuity has already been added to avoid double-tipping or forgetting to give staff a tip, since it’s customary.

Keep in mind a “service charge” or “operational charge” is generally NOT considered a gratuity. This should be spelled out in your contract, but ask your catering manager if you’re not sure.

Suggested amount: 15-20% of food and beverage total or $20-$50 per staff member

When to tip: It’s best to give this tip (in cash that can be easily divided up) to the catering supervisor to distribute accordingly to servers, chefs and bartenders. It can be done at the end of the event or following dinner.

event manager/BANQUET MANAGER

Suggested amount: $50-$150
When to tip: At the end of the event

catering manager/Food & Beverage Director

Suggested amount: $50-150 or a personal gift
When to tip: At the end of the event

  Jennifer Strange Photography

Jennifer Strange Photography

Hair Stylist and Makeup Artist

Suggested amount: This is one area tips are expected. Provide 15-20% of fee, just as you would for a normal hair appointment.
When to tip: After services are complete

LIVE Musicians/Band

Suggested amount: Sometimes this is included in your fee, so check your contract. $20-$50 per entertainer.
When to tip: At the end of the event

DJ

Suggested amount: $50-$100 is a nice gesture if they did a great job, especially if they had to move heavy equipment during the event.
When to tip: At the end of the event
 

  Ashley Latham Photography

Ashley Latham Photography

Officiants

Suggested amount: While it isn’t common to tip religious officiants, if you want to thank them you can make a donation to their organization or house of worship. A $75 to $100 donation would be appropriate. It’s also a nice gesture to invite them to stay as a guest for dinner.
When to tip: At the rehearsal or before
the ceremony

Delivery/setup STAFF

Suggested amount: $5-$20 for each person, depending on how much labor they provide.
When to tip: At the completion of delivery


SECURITY

Suggested amount: $20-$50 per person
When to tip: At the end of the event

TRANSPORTATION DRIVERS

Suggested amount: Check your contract, as gratuity may already be included here. Otherwise, $50-$100 per driver is appropriate.
When to tip: After services are complete

VALET/COAT CHECK

Suggested amount: $.50-$2 per guest. This total would be split among the workers.
When to tip: After services are complete

Gratuities are a great way to show your appreciation and let vendors know they’ve done an outstanding job on your wedding day.