How To: Tip Your Wedding Vendors
Tipping your wedding vendors can feel confusing and slightly overwhelming. Who should you tip? Who already has a tip included in their cost? How much are you supposed to tip each vendor? So many questions! Today, I hope I can help answer and alleviate some of that stress that typically comes right at the end of the wedding planning process.
The first thing I want to say is that, even though sometimes it feels like it, tipping is never required, but always greatly appreciated. We will talk about other ways you can thank your vendors towards the end of this post that don’t necessarily involve money. Secondly, if you plan to tip your vendors at the conclusion of your wedding day (or their services) always remember to add this into your wedding budget early on so it doesn’t feel like a huge extra expense at the last minute that you weren’t prepared for. Lastly, as confusing as it may seem, each vendor inside the wedding industry as whole has some slightly different standards as each vendor has a different level of participation and overall time commitment. Please follow along with this little cheat sheet below as I breakdown each vendor. Again, tipping is not required, but always appreciated, especially when you love a vendor’s work, because they are surely putting their heart & souls into making this the most magical day for you and your new spouse!
Hair and/or Makeup Artists: Standard “salon” rules can apply here. 15-20% of your total bill.
Photographer and/or Videographer: $50-200 cash, or a nice gift.
Officiant: $50-100 cash, or a donation to their church, or a nice gift.
Florist: 10-15% of the total bill, or $50-150 cash, or a nice gift.
Caterer: CHECK YOUR CONTRACT FIRST. A lot of times, gratuity is already built into your contract. If it is not, 15-20% of your total bill that is distributed by the banquet manager to the wait staff & chef(s) appropriately, or $20 for each wait staff member and $50-100 for the chef(s) applies. Please remember, a “service fee” doesn’t automatically equal gratuity. These fees don’t necessarily go directly to the staff members, instead this fee is more commonly applied towards things like venue maintenance and administrative costs. So, be sure to clarify and not assume one way or another!
Wedding Planner: 10-15% of the total bill, or $100-500 cash, or a nice gift.
Rentals: $10-20 per person present during delivery and/or set up.
Baker: 10-15% of the total bill, or $50-150 cash, or a nice gift.
DJ/Band: 10-15% of the total bill, or $20-50 per musician.
Transportation: CHECK YOUR CONTRACT FIRST. Sometimes this is already built into your contract, depending on the company & how many buses you are utilizing. If it is not, 15-20% of your total bill applies.
Bartender(s): CHECK YOUR CONTRACT FIRST. This goes hand in hand with your caterer – especially if the bartender is part of the catering staff. If gratuity is not built into your contract or the bartender is independent, 15-20% of the total bill applies. At your own discretion if you feel comfortable with the bartender putting out a tip jar during the event or not. (If you plan to tip them at the end of the night it is okay to ask them to not put one out!)
If I didn’t reiterate it enough at this point, make sure to always review your contracts. And remember, there are other ways to show gratitude to your wedding vendors besides monetary tips, if it just isn’t in the cards for your budget. Send them a very nice hand-written thank you note, write them a raving 5-star review online, share your beautiful wedding photos so they can use them in their portfolio, and refer their business to all your friends and family! All these gestures truly go a long way and are also just as appreciated! At the very least, please make sure you personally say thank you to as many of your vendors at you can. I realize there are vendors who you will not see on your wedding day, however, for those you do a “Thank you for your hard work”, costs you nothing and means so much.
If you do decide to tip your vendors, the easiest way to do this is label different envelopes specific to each vendor and pass them along to your wedding planner or maid of honor (or someone trustworthy) to distribute at the conclusion of service. Sometimes that is after items are dropped off, sometimes that is at the end of the night. For the officiant, depending on your relationship, sometimes the best time is during rehearsal or rehearsal dinner the night before – especially if they plan to dip out right after the ceremony ends, when you are the busiest!
Hopefully this post is able to clear up any confusion or sleepless nights surrounding this topic! Wedding planning doesn’t have to be so stressful and something you dread, head over to my services page to learn a little more about what a wedding planner can do to ease those stressors and make this process something you look back on with fond memories!
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