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Tipping Wedding Vendors: The Only Guide You’ll Need

Planning Tips

July 11, 2022

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 Welcome to the Soiree 99 blog, a journal about all things hosting, design, wedding planning and anything else that makes my heart flutter.

Hi, I'm BRITTANY.

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tipping your wedding vendors
Photography By Orange Photographie

One of the top questions that I get as a wedding planner is about tipping wedding vendors.

Should you tip? Who do you tip? And how much?

It can be understandably confusing and can add a bit to your budget so it’s always good to plan ahead for your tipping. 

There also isn’t a lot of great information out there about tipping wedding vendors so I pulled together this information to help you know what is expected for each type of wedding vendor.

Why Should You Tip?

First, let’s chat about why you should tip. 

Like tipping or not, tipping is a part of our culture in the United States and it is here to stay. Tipping is so integrated that many service providers are paid at a lower scale knowing that they will be tipped, including some of your wedding vendors (but not all of them). 

And tipping isn’t a bad thing for you. 

When a service provider depends on tips, they are more likely to work harder to earn those tips, giving you a better experience. 

This shows clearly in restaurants. If you have ever eaten at a restaurant in a country where tipping is not relied on, you know the service is usually slower and not as efficient. But if the server is depending on those tips, your service is generally (not always, but usually) more apt to make an effort to give you a better experience. 

And tipping wedding vendors is just appreciated and generous, especially if your vendor has gone above and beyond to help you execute your dream wedding. Tipping shows you appreciate and understand everyone’s hard work. 

Tipping Wedding Vendors: Who and How Much?

So, we have established why you tip some of your wedding vendors but let’s talk a bit more about exactly which vendors rely on tips and how much you tip.

First, my best advice is that you should tip who you tip outside of the wedding world.  So if you generally tip your server (you should), you need to tip them at the wedding. Same with hair and makeup – you always tip your hairdresser, so you need to tip the day of your wedding too. 

Let’s dive in a bit deeper to each type of wedding vendor and get a bit into more specifics. And also, just know these amounts are what we normally see but it can vary. This is just a starting spot. 

tipping your wedding vendors
Photography By Orange Photographie

Hair and Makeup

To Tip or Not To Tip: Yes

Amount: 15%-25% is considered acceptable, just like you would at a salon or esthetician. 

Special Considerations: As always, if your vendor goes above and beyond, consider tipping extra. 

Caterers 

To Tip or Not To Tip: Yes

Amount: 15-20% of your bill 

Special Considerations: Make sure you read the contract in case gratuity is already included. 

Wait Staff

To Tip or Not To Tip: Yes

Amount: The amount can vary depending on type of service, etc, but anywhere from $20 per wait staff to 10-20% of the bill to divide between the staff is acceptable.

Special Considerations: Make sure you read the contract in case gratuity is already included. 

Wedding Attendants (Coatroom, Valet, Etc)

To Tip or Not To Tip: Yes

Amount: $1 per coat or $1 per car is a good way to calculate this gratuity

Delivery and Setup Crew

To Tip or Not To Tip: Yes

Amount: $5-$10 per person

Special Considerations: If no one is available to meet the delivery people have someone drop the tip off before the wedding preparations begin.

Officiant

To Tip or Not To Tip: Yes

Amount: $50-$100 for the officiant.

Special Considerations: If you are getting married at a place of worship like a church or synagogue, an additional donation may be expected or appreciated. This is generally between $100-$500. 

Musicians, Band or DJ

To Tip or Not To Tip: Optional, but appreciated.

Amount: $25-$50 per musician, $50-$150 for the dj

Wedding Photographer and Videographer

To Tip or Not To Tip: Not expected, but appreciated

Amount: $100-$200

Special Considerations: If your photographer or videographer is an employee or subcontractor of a larger company (IE: NOT the owner of the company), consider throwing a little their way. And also, don’t forget about the second shooter or assistant. 

Wedding Planner

To Tip or Not To Tip: Not expected, but appreciated

Amount: $200-$500

Special Considerations: If your wedding planner needs to bring along assistants to flawlessly execute your dream wedding, consider tipping each of them between $50-$100.

Alterations

To Tip or Not To Tip: Optional

Amount: $20-$30

Florist

To Tip or Not To Tip: Not expected, but appreciated

Amount: $50-$100

Special Considerations: Don’t forget to tip the delivery people! 

Cake

To Tip or Not To Tip: Not expected, but appreciated

Amount: $50-$100

Special Considerations: Don’t forget the delivery people!

Transportation Company/Drivers

To Tip or Not To Tip: Yes

Amount: 15%-20% of the bill

Special Considerations: Make sure you read the contract in case gratuity is already included. 

couple with mountain view
Photography By Orange Photographie

Procedure For Tipping Wedding Vendors

*As mentioned above, make sure you read your contract with each vendor to see what their tipping policy is and to make sure a service charge isn’t already included. 

*Be prepared with tips before the wedding. Have envelopes with names of vendors. Or, if you don’t know their names, like the wait staff or drivers, find out how many people there will be and come prepared with the correct amount.

*Put someone in charge of distributing the tips, don’t try to do it yourself. You can have your maid of honor do this or your wedding planner (if it is within their contract). 

*If you are having a destination wedding, make sure you follow the local procedures. And always tip in the local currency, unless the USD is widely accepted in your location. In the case of a destination wedding, it is always a good idea to check with your local venue coordinator or wedding planner to see what is expected. 

If You Don’t Tip Your Wedding Vendors

If you aren’t giving a tip to your “optional” vendors, just remember that a review goes a long way in showing your appreciation. Wedding vendors are always looking for new clients and so any help in getting future clients is usually much appreciated. 

Want to read more about planning the wedding of your dream? Start with this blog on your marriage license!

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I'm Brittany and I'm so happy you're here. This blog is a journal about all things hosting, design, wedding planning and anything else that makes my heart flutter.

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