Let’s be real: You tackle a seemingly endless list of things to do before, during, and after your wedding. Tipping vendors, unfortunately, can fall to the wayside for busy couples. While tipping is not always required (sometimes it’s written into contracts), it’s likely very much appreciated. Tipping is an important way to show vendors how much you appreciate the wonderful work they provide. So, we recommend factoring it into your budget from the start.
Even if you remember to tip some of the bigger vendors at your wedding (think: planner, florist, and photographer, a few may slip your mind. Here’s are some often-forgotten wedding vendors or staff members you might forget to tip.
Many officiants, including rabbis, priests, and ministers, don’t require direct compensation, but rather they ask for payment, or donation, to the house of worship. It’s a gesture of thanks for the time he or she (and the church, synagogue, or other place of worship) spent to prepare you and your spouse for your ceremony. You can make this donation ahead of your wedding or mail it with a letter of thanks afterwards—be sure to tell your officiant to expect it if it’s coming later.
Suggested Tip: $100-$500
You probably know to tip your catering staff, but might not remember to tip your bartenders. In some cases, their fee is not included in the catering cost itself. Since most bartenders are paid hourly—and may also receive tips from your wedding guests—there’s no reason to go crazy when it comes to end-of-the-evening tips from you. An easy way to gauge how much to tip bar staff is to tack on about 15-20 percent of the total cost of hiring them. Don’t forget to tip each bartender individually (just divide the tip cost between the bartenders you hired).
Suggested Tip: 15-20% of total cost to hire
This can include valet attendants, party bus drivers, the driver of the vehicle you exit your venue to, or any other staff helping to get you and your wedding guests to and from your various locations safely. Be sure to scan your contracts for any added gratuities as they are often written in ahead of time. However, if they aren’t already included, be sure to set aside enough cash to pay each of them individually.
Suggested Tip: 15-20% of total bill (divided evenly among staff for specific service)
You tip the take out delivery guy so you should probably tip the wedding services delivery guy, too. Any employee dropping off wedding-related items to your venue deserves at least a few dollars. This includes the person hired by your actual vendor to deliver the goods, including your floral arrangements, furniture or upholstery rentals, your wedding cake, food for your wedding party while you’re getting ready, and more. Don’t assume that their tip will be covered already—and ask if you’re not positive.
Suggested Tip: $5-$25 each (depending on size of delivery)
Although they're likely hired by your venue, it’s customary to give a tip to the people who man the inside of the bathroom and coatrooms during your ceremony and reception. Like bartenders, they may also receive tips throughout the night from your guests if there’s an allocated tip jar nearby. It’s still nice to slip them an end-of-the-evening thank you, though, no matter what.
Suggested Tip: $0.50 per attending wedding guest
You may have a tip prepared for your wedding cake creator, but maybe not. That’s because traditionally these vendors don’t require tip. Their charges are typically factored into one cost that you pay in two parts–one deposit and a day-of delivery fee. However, a tip is most appreciated for exceptional service. If you have a baker—or any vendor for that matter—who goes above and beyond (friendly service, timeliness, helpful recommendations, etc.). Check your contracts for gratuity, but you may still feel like throwing in something extra anyway if you truly loved your experience.
Suggested Tip: 10%-15% of total cost
Wedding bands and wedding DJs usually collect their tip at the end of the night. However, if you hired separate entertainment for your ceremony, you may forget—or not get the chance—to slip them a tip. These musicians usually leave directly from your ceremony so if you’re caught up afterward (you will be!), it’s easy to miss the opportunity. Ask someone you trust like your wedding planner or a member of your wedding party to pass the tip on to your ceremony musicians before they take off.
Suggested Tip: 15%-20% of total cost
While tipping is customary, it’s also completely up to your discretion. If, for some reason, you don’t feel that a vendor deserves a generous tip then, at the end of the day, it’s up to you how to best handle the situation. Any vendor or staff member that does their job at a quality level deserves a show of gratitude—even if it’s a small one.