Wedding Vendor Tip Cheat Sheet

March 27, 2018

Whenever the topic of money comes up, everyone in the room tends to become a little uncomfortable. This is elevated when working with another family to plan (and pay for) a wedding. Sometimes, it can get difficult to decide how much (and who) to tip when it comes to your wedding vendors. Below I have included who and how much is typically expected when it comes to the tip. I hope it helps alleviate some stress when it comes to money!

Wedding Planner

Typically, wedding planners won’t really expect anything but if yours did a FABULOUS job you can always offer a token of appreciation. About 50% of couples do tip their planners.

 

 

Tip: Optional

Typically: 10-20%, up to $500 or a nice gift. A great review can go a long way as well!

When To Do It: At the end of the reception or send a check right after the honeymoon or send a thank-you note with photos.

Setup Staff

You can always give a few dollars to anyone delivering important items such as flowers, the sound system or the wedding cake.

 

Tip: Expected

Typically: $5-$10 per person

When To Do It: You can drop off the envelopes before the wedding to the catering manager so the person who is accepting the deliveries can distribute the tip.

Hair And Makeup

You should definitely be giving gratuity to your hair and makeup stylist. Sometimes, they’re waking up early (like 3AM) to get your location on time to ensure you look flawless for your big day. You would typically tip like you would when going to the salon– 15 to 25%.

 

Tip: Expected

Typically: 15-25%, depending on the quality of the service.

When To Do It: Envelopes should be given at the end of the service.

Wedding Officiant

If you have an officiant that is associated with a church, synagogue, temple or mosque it is often expected that you would make a donation to that institution. If you attend that institution, you should probably give a larger amount. However, if you are using their space and paying to use the space you can give a smaller amount.

 

Tip: Expected

Typically: $100-$500 to the organization and another optional tip of $50-$100

When To Do It: Most fees are required before the actually wedding. If not, have someone you trust give the cash envelope.

Photographer & Videographer

Beyond the actual fees, you are not expected to give any money. However, if the photographer or videographer is not the owner of the studio, consider giving a certain amount with a thank-you note.

 

Tip: Optional

Typically: $50-$200 per vendor

When To Do It: At the end of the reception

Reception Staff:

The “reception staff” includes people like the on-site coordinator, banquet manager, and the maitre’d. There is almost always a service charge built into your fees so make sure check your contract! 

 

Tip: Expected

Typically: 15-20% of the food/drink fee or $200-$300 to the maitre’d

When To Do It: If it is covered in the contract, it is typically due before the reception. If it isn’t, have a parent or trustworthy member of the bridal party give the envelope to the maitre’d at the end of the reception since you’ll need to know the final costs to calculate the total tip.

The DJ

The tip to the DJ or wedding band is optional, depending on the quality of the job and how willing they were to follow your outline.

 

Tip: Optional, but preferred

Typically: $20-$25 per musician; $50-$150 for DJs

When To Do It: Tip should be given at the end of the reception by an attendant or parent.

Transportation

This tip can be given at the end of the service. If gratuity isn’t already included in the fees mentioned in your contract. If you have transportation for guests, dedicate someone who will be traveling on the transportation to hand the driver a tip otherwise use an attendant.

 

Tip: Expected

Typically: 15-20% of the total bill

When To Do It: At the end of the ride.

Waitstaff and Bartenders

The rules of tipping are typically in your contract. If the service fee is already included, consider giving an additional amount if the service is exceptional. If it is not included in your contract, make sure to ask ahead of time how many people will be working that night so you can calculate how much to give per person.

 

Tip: Expected, based on contract

Typically: 10-20% of the bill to split among the staff, $1 per guest for coatroom and $1 per car for parking attendants.

When To Do It: Typically given at the end of the night but you can also give the tip ahead of time to (hopefully) encourage better service.

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