Wedding vendors - they are the people who make your wedding happen. They visualize your wedding dreams and bring them to life. That beautiful floral wedding arch that you added to your wedding board on Pinterest will turn into a reality at your wedding - thanks to your florists! That gorgeous braided chignon that you want for your wedding would be made beautifully possible by your hairstylist. Your wedding vendors’ efforts can and should be appreciated in whichever way that’s convenient for both - them and you.
And while you decide on your wedding budget and consider everything, small and big, tipping your wedding vendors should not be missed out. And we totally understand the questions running through your minds - how much, where, when and the most important - to whom? Well, to begin with, let’s give you a heads up before we go ahead with answering all these questions. Here are some factors that should be considered before going with crafting your wedding tipping break-up.
Now, make sure you read your vendor contracts thoroughly and look for the word ‘gratuity.’ You might find it under the price quotations for venue or catering. If gratuity has been included, you don’t need to pay an extra tip for those services.
You are not required to offer a tip to the business owners. The tips are mostly made to employees who serve you.
Not a mandate
Well, whether it’s a service that’s not up to your expectations you can always skip the tips. Having said that, if your vendors have indeed provided you with exceptional service but you are not comfortable with spending any more funds, you can always convey your gratitude in other ways like a bottle of wine or a thank you note or a fab rating on their website.
Now to answer your questions, let’s take you through a detailed cheat sheet that shows how much tip you should be paying and to whom.
In case the gratuity is not included in the contract, a suggested amount of $25 for each member of the staff and $100+ per chef(s) would be perfect.
For your catering or banquet manager, we suggest around $200+ each or you could opt for a personal gift. In the case of catering, timing is debatable. At times, it may be a paradoxical situation. While most people tip their caterers after the reception when the services have been rendered, many pay them beforehand to ensure inspiration!
Your wedding planners won’t be expecting any tip so it entirely depends on you and the service they provided. If your wedding planner moved rocks to make sure you had the wedding of your dreams you might want to consider tipping as a thank you gesture. You consider tipping around 20% (or more) of their fee. And gifts are a sure-shot way of thanking your planners as they love gifts! You could offer a tip/gift to your wedding planner either after your reception or after you get back from your honeymoon.
Photographer and videographer
If they own a studio, you are not required to tip your photographers. However, if they don’t you can offer a tip of $50-$200 as a thank you gesture. A gift would also seem to be a great idea! If there are more shooters or assistants, you can give a tip of $50-$100 each. A tip to your photographer and/or videographer can be given either after your reception or after you get back from your honeymoon.
Most religious officiants don’t accept cash and officiants that come under the government might even be legally prohibited to accept one. In such cases, you could donate $100-$500 to their house of worship or their church or synagogue. However, if your officiant accepts tips, you could offer a tip of $50-$100 during the rehearsal dinner.
Makeup Artists and Hairstylists
You could apply the ‘standard salon tipping rules’ here and offer your make up artists and hairstylists a suggested amount of 20% more of the total fee. While doing so do not forget to tip all those who styled your bridesmaids’ hair and makeup as well! You could give a tip to them right after the makeup and hair have been done.
Band or DJ:
From ceremony musicians to your cocktail hour musicians, reception musicians, and DJ, the tipping amount would vary between $25 to $65 each. However, the DJ could be paid around 10-15% of the total bill as well or an amount up to $150. Ideally, all the tips should be made after their performance.
Check out for a gratuity that’s covered for transportation in the contract. If not, you can tip them around 15-20% of the cost. This can be done right after the last ride of the bridal party transportation.
Florist, Delivery, and Setup
Well, this is in addition to the delivery fee that you would have paid already. The tips are for a great service rendered by the staff delivering or setting up your tent, flowers and your bridal bouquet, wedding cake, and the likes. You could tip around $5 to $20 each after the job is completed. You could also hand over the tips, placed in envelopes, to the on-site coordinator to distribute before the wedding.
The first thing to do is to look for bartending to be covered under the gratuity in the contract. If not, you could give a tip of around 10-20% of the alcohol bill or somewhere between $25 to $65 each. The tip can be given right after the reception so that you know the exact amount of alcohol that was consumed.
Venue Attendants, Restroom and Coat Check Attendants
If their services are not included in the gratuity, then you could tip the venue attendant, restroom and coat check attendants around $1 to $2 per guest (or per car for valet attendants). Do not forget to place a sign at the valet station letting your guests know that gratuity has been taken care of.
Now that you know what all has to be covered and how there’s another piece of advice. Prior to your wedding, keep the cash ready and put each tip into a labeled envelope. You could assign the most responsible member of your bridal party to hand them out over the course of the event. That will have your tipping sorted and keep your worries distant. Doing that would let you enjoy your wedding with all your heart without taking the stress that comes with tipping your vendors.