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Wedding Vendors Tipping Guide: How Much Should You Tip?

bride giving tip

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Together with your wedding partner, you’ve completed the difficult part of wedding planning; itemizing your entire wedding cost down to the last penny. But with the belief that everything is now in order, the two of you might actually be forgetting what most to-be couples forget: tipping vendors!

Like any other service industry out there, vendor tipping on your special day is something you need to accord some thought. If anything, high standard services mustn’t go unheeded, and take it or leave it, you’ll be surprised to discover many tips you need to give out as you craft your flawless, dream wedding.

Plenty of soon-to-be couples find it confusing on how much to tip wedding vendors, which vendors to tip, and when to tip them. We understand that this can be confusing, a reason why we’ve gone an extra mile to marshal what we believe to be a helpful handy-dandy guide designed to help you on how to tip your vendors.

What to consider before tipping wedding vendors

  1. Examine your wedding contracts carefully and thoroughly – Take time go through your wedding contracts to discover if gratuity is necessary. In most cases, such would be covered based on your wedding venue, transportation, and even catering contracts. If that’s the case, no extra tipping is necessary.
  2. Service charges don’t necessarily translate to gratuities – The extra fees that you might be charged don’t actually go directly to employee pockets. They can translate to anything from administrative fee costs to venue maintenance costs. Therefore, you may be required to tip, unless the word “gratuity” is clearly mentioned on your final bill.
  3. Business owners shouldn’t be on the list of people to tip – In theory, you only need to tip the company employees, but not the owner. Such is justified by the fact that you are already paying the company owner what they consider a fair price for their services. But you are welcome to disregard this idea, though, if they truly amaze you.
  4. Prepare your tips a month before your wedding – A month before your wedding, pull out funds meant for tipping. Make sure to put each tip inside labeled envelopes to avoid confusion. Once done, look at your bridal party list and pick out the most responsible person in charge of handing them over the course of your wedding.
  5. Tipping isn’t necessary, unless you find it built in your contract – If you are somehow on a budget or lack other funds spend on tipping, there are other ways to express your expression. For instance, you can give your vendors 5-star ratings online, handwritten thank-you notes, or allowing your vendors to use several stunning photos of your wedding to build their portfolio are other ways to appreciate them.

Now let’s get started right away… Check our wedding vendor tips guide that we arrange on which vendor to tip, how much to tip them, and finally the best time to tip these vendors.

Wedding Vendor tipping Guide: Who to tip, how much should you tip and when?

1. Delivery & Setup Vendors

Even though you might have already handled “delivery fee costs,” customarily, it’s civil to tip the persons who’ll deliver and/or set up your tent, flowers, wedding cake, seat arrangements, etc. These are the actual people on the ground doing everything, and it would be considerate to tip them.

Costs? $5-$20 per individual, most depending on how much intricate or sophisticated the setup is.

When? While most people would do the tipping immediately after delivery, we suggest doing the tipping after the setup is over, unless you have different people meant for the setup. Ensure that the envelope is handed to the on-site manager so s/he can distribute them.

2. Your Wedding Officiant:

While this tip is undoubtedly necessary, take note that it actually doesn’t have to be monetary in nature. In fact, it’s uncommon for religious officiants to accept monetary cash tips, with those in governments mostly legally prohibited from accepting tips in cash. To bypass this, you can do this:

Costs: how much you should tip a wedding officiant?

  • $50-$100 tip or a $100-$500 contribution to the mosque, synagogue, church, or house of worship.

When? Preferably, during the rehearsal dinner or after the ceremony is over.

3. The Hairstylists / Makeup Artists:

Normal “salon visit” tipping rules do apply. In fact, it’s generous to tip the stylists that do your entire bridal party’s hair in addition to makeup as well. You’d want to tip the hairstylists, as they work as team members and not always the owner working on the bridal party.

Costs: how much you should tip wedding make up artist?

  • 15-20%

When? Of course after getting your and hair and makeup done.

4. Bartenders / Mixologists:

Should your bartenders or mixologists be a package deal alongside your venue, in most cases, the chances of gratuity being included are high. For instance, if you choose to use a bartending firm, check if they require a small gratuity for their employees.

Costs: how much you should tip wedding bartender?

  • 10-20 of the entire alcohol bill (it has to be shared among them) in case gratuity wasn’t included.

When? The tip should definitely be handed over at the reception, a good time to be aware the amount of alcohol your invites consumed.

5. Food Runner / Catering Staff

While their gratuity has to be included in your catering and/or venue contract, if not then below is how you should do things:

Costs: how much you should tip wedding caterer?

  • 15-20% of the entire food & beverage bill. It might also be worthwhile to offer cash tips as highlighted below:
  • Banquet Manager and the Head Waiter: $100-$300 each
  • Head: Chef: $50-$100
  • Kitchen and Wait Staff: $20 each

When? It depends; you can do so at the end of the reception, or at the beginning to inspire a fabulous service.

6. Transportation

It goes without saying that you and your spouse will require a practical means of transportation to and from the ceremony and celebration. When it comes to tipping, in most cases, transportation firms will have gratuity included in their contract. However, if yours doesn’t, below is how to tip of on-time arrivals for the bridal party and guest shuttles transportation.

Costs? 15-20%

When? Immediately upon pickup or after completing the last ride.

7. Venue Attendants

Venue attendants play a very special role during weddings. They include parking valets, restroom attendants, coat check attendants, etc. Again, the inclusion of gratuity to these people is highly considerate. But if not, consider the following:

Costs: how much you should tip wedding venue attendants?

  • $1-$2 per guest or per car for the parking valets.

When? It’s highly advisable to tip the venue attendants prior to the start of your wedding, thus they can inform well-meaning invites that the hosts have taken care of all gratuities!

8. Your Wedding Planner

 In most cases, your wedding planner actually doesn’t expect a tip as such. However, it’s generous to offer a tip, especially if s/he went over and above for you.

Costs: how much you should tip a wedding planner?

  • 15-20% of their fee. A proper gift would be up to around $500 in cash.

When? For this one, it depends. It could be at the end of the reception, or once you come back from your honeymoon.

9. Musicians / DJ

If wedding DJ or musicians at your wedding lives up to your expectations, you and your new spouse should surely tip them at the end of the ceremony.

Costs? Below is a general guideline on how much you should tip a wedding DJ:

  • DJ: 10-15% of the entire bill or $50-$150.
  • Ceremony Musicians/Artists: 15% of the entire ceremony music charges ($16-$25 per artist/musician).
  • Reception Band: $25-%50 for every musician.

When? Definitely after the performance

10. Floral Designer

From design to installation, your floral designer will stop at nothing to make sure your wedding flowers are flawless. Giving them a gratuity is a great way to thank them for their hard work!

Costs: how much you should tip a wedding floral designer?

  • An ideal figure is 10-15% of the total bill, a gift, or $50-$150 cash.

When? The tip should be handed over either upon delivery and/or setup, or at the end of the reception.

11. Photo Booth Attendant

Without photo booth attendants, some of the photos from your wedding might appear dull. Along with interacting with the children, they are encouraging people to “say cheese” and passing out props. Should they have performed exceptionally well, you might also want to tip them.

Cost? $50 – $100, mostly depending on the reception’s duration, alongside the number of guests.

When? Once the ceremony ends.

12. Videographer + Photographer

Wedding photographer play a key role in helping you reminisce you wedding moments months after your wedding. If the wedding photographer lived up to your expectations you may want to tip them.

Cost: how much should you tip a wedding photographer?

  • $50-$200 each would be a wonderful gift.

When? at the end of the reception.

Wrap Up

Wedding vendor tipping etiquette is a crucial part of showing gratitude to the experts who help to make your big day unforgettable. With our guide on how much to tip wedding vendors, now you have a clue on a tentative amount you should be prepared to tip each vendor. The right amount varies according to the vendor, from a little token for delivery staff to larger tips for officiants and photographers.

In the end, leaving tips for wedding vendors is a heartfelt way to thank people who are instrumental in making your ideal wedding a reality.

I am Megan Nova, a wedding planner and Author based in New York City. My vast exposure in the wedding planning trade and my passion for storytelling has inspired me to share expert advice and creativity on this blog.

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