October 10, 2020

How to Tip your Wedding Vendors

There are so many different people involved in your wedding day that you may forget to even think about who to tip, how much, and when to do it! For some vendors it’s expected and others are optional, so I’ve come up with a list of who you should tip and some rough guidelines on how much to give! As a general guideline, think about if you worked closely with a small business owner or a large business’ employees. Def spend some time before your wedding to look over contracts, because a few of these depend on service fees that may or may not be in your contract! Either way, it’s always nice to send a thank you note and write positive online reviews for vendors you loved! 

Wedding planner

About 50 percent of couples tip their wedding planner so it is definitely optional, but if you really loved your planner, it’s nice to give about 10-20% of the total bill up to $500. You can either give this at the end of the reception or mail it with a card or a gift afterwards. Another way you can thank your planner (and some of the other vendors below) is by sharing photos for them to use in their portfolio! 

Photographers and videographers

Typically tipping photographers and videographers is optional, but it’s nice to tip them since they are with you and your wedding party for 8+ hours during the day making sure things run smoothly and you have a great time! Between $50-$150 per staff member is the norm to give at the end of the reception or in a thank you note sent home! I gotta say, personally being a photographer, this is such a compliment but an even bigger compliment is a raving review! 

Fall wedding party being silly and fun for wedding party portraits

Officiant

Plan on gifting something to the officiant, whether it be a $50-100 tip, or a donation to the church or synagogue, or both! If your officiant is affiliated with a church or synagogue, it’s normally expected to make a donation to the institution. Think about how much time you spent with the officiant leading up to the ceremony and if you are a member at the institution or plan on being after your wedding when deciding how much to tip. This is usually paid when paying for the ceremony service fee before the wedding or after the rehearsal. 

chicago wedding ceremony at the little goat diner in the west loop

Ceremony musicians

Tipping the ceremony musicians is typically optional, but think about how complex the equipment, setup and performance is. If you worked closely with the musicians to plan every detail throughout the ceremony, consider tipping more than if it were just a church staff member that was chosen to be there. If you choose to tip, $15-20 per musician is a good amount at the end of the ceremony. 

 

Wedding band or DJ

While it is optional to tip your reception band or DJ, think about how pleased you were with their performance, their attitude throughout the night and the responsiveness leading up to the wedding and throughout the reception. If you choose to tip, $20-25 per musician in a band or $50-150 for the DJ is a good amount. 

guitarist playing on top of a piano at a wedding reception

Wedding venue or catering coordinator

Tipping your vendor and/or catering coordinator is pretty normal and expected, but check your contract to see if a service fee is included! Tips typically range from $250-500 or 15-20% of the food and drink bill. 

Reception waitstaff

Check to see if a service fee is included in your contract, but if not, tipping waitstaff is a good idea! If you do want to tip your waitstaff (especially if they provided great service), tip about 15-20% of labor costs on your food and drink bill. 

Bartender

If a service fee isn’t included, tipping your bartender is optional! Some of your guests will likely already be tipping throughout the night, but if you want to tip on top of cash tips or a service fee, consider tipping 10% of the total liquor bill.

Wedding reception bar full of liquor for an open bar.

Cake, rentals, florals, sound system, etc. delivery personnel and other setup staff

It’s usually expected to tip delivery and setup personnel, and may be helpful to leave cash tips in envelopes with your catering coordinator (or someone else on site early in the day during setup) to distribute the tips, since you will clearly be busy 🙂 Usually $5-10 per person is a nice tip!

moody black and gold wedding cake

Cake designed by @uncommonconfections

Florist

It’s usually not expected to tip your florist, but if you choose to, 10-15% of your total floral bill is the norm. If you really loved the work your florist did, you can send a tip as a separate check with the final invoice or mail it later on. 

Hair and makeup artists

Tipping your hair and makeup artist is expected and should be tipped just as if you were at a salon! 15-20% at the end of the services is expected, but consider tipping more or giving them a gift if they went above and beyond for you and your wedding party!

Transportation

If it’s not already included in your contract, it is usually expected to tip your transportation staff 15-20%. 

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  1. […] all coming at different times throughout the day. Not sure who to tip and how much? Check out my blog post about tipping wedding […]

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