How Much To Tip Wedding Vendors

Confused on how much to tip wedding vendors, which vendors to tip, and when to distribute tips? Fear not: explore our guide for tipping wedding vendors.

You’ve signed the last check, paid the last deposit, purchased the final items, and settled up all the remaining balances…your wedding has been paid for! Or—has it? In the grand scheme of budgeting for your wedding, don’t forget to factor in funds for tipping wedding vendors. While not all vendors expect to be tipped for their services—instead choosing to make their prices reflect all the payment they feel they need—for some it’s an expectation to follow tipping etiquette in the wedding industry. Confused on which vendors to tip, how much you should tip each type of vendor, and when to distribute tips? Fear not: here’s a guide on tipping vendors.

Wedding Vendor Tipping Pointers

  1. Tips are a great way to show vendors your appreciation for their hard work at your wedding and may even be an unexpected surprise. You can also tip when you feel you’ve received extraordinary service.
  2. Check your contracts to be sure that gratuity has not already been included in the price.
  3. Generally speaking, you do not need to tip the owners of large businesses (just their employees). Small business owners, on the other hand, should be considered for tipping based on the quality of service you feel you’ve received.
  4. Tip or no tip, writing a thank you note to vendors who provided you with great service is always a thoughtful gesture and highly appreciated—as is leaving them positive reviews on wedding planning websites like Zola for Vendors.

Who's responsible for tipping?

When it comes to tipping wedding vendors, the responsibility for providing the tip can sometimes be a point of confusion, especially if someone else is covering the cost of the wedding. In the scenario where the bride's parents or another party are paying for the wedding, it is generally considered thoughtful and appropriate for your as the couple to handle the tipping on their own.

Tipping vendors is a gesture of appreciation for their hard work and dedication in making the wedding day special. Even if someone else is funding the event, you've likely been involved in selecting and working with the vendors throughout the planning process, making it fitting that they express their gratitude through tipping. By taking on this responsibility, you can ensure that the vendors who contributed to your big day are properly acknowledged and thanked for their efforts.

How Much to Tip Wedding Vendors (by Vendor Type)

While your tip should depend on your wedding budget and level of satisfaction & a few other factors, here are some quick guidelines on how to tip your wedding vendors, with additional protocol & tips below:

  • Photographers & Videographers: 10% of the total package cost if opting for a percentage, or $50-$100 per person
  • Wedding coordinator/planners: 10-20% of the total bill (up to $500)
  • Wedding Venue Coordinator/Catering Captain: $250-500, or 15-20% of the food and drink bill
  • Officiant: $50-$100
  • Ceremony Musicians: $15-$20 per musician
  • Florist: $50-100
  • Hairstylist & Makeup Artist: 15-20% of total
  • Transportation: 15-20%
  • Wedding Band: $25-$50 per musician
  • Wedding DJ: 10-20% of total
  • Reception Waitstaff: 15-20% of labor costs on food & drink bill
  • Reception Bartender: 10% of the total bill
  • Delivery Personnel: $5-$10 per person

Wedding Photographer(s) and Videographer(s)

  • Protocol: Optional; consider tipping second shooters or staff beyond the business owner(s).
  • Amount: Although not required, consider tipping wedding photographers and videographers 10% of the packgae cost or $50-$100 per person. You could also provide a good review as another nice gesture for their photography services.
  • Timing: At the end of the reception.

Wedding Planner

  • Protocol: Optional; about 50% of couples tip.
  • Amount: Although wedding planners don’t expect a tip, if you’d like to show your appreciation for examples of exceptional service, consider offering a tip that’s 10-20% of the total bill (up to $500).
  • Timing: At the end of the reception, or mail it after the honeymoon.

Wedding Venue Coordinator/Catering Captain

  • Protocol: Expected, based on contract. If service fee is not included, tip according to below.
  • Amount: Wedding venue coordinators and catering captains should be tipped $250-500, or 15-20% of the food and drink bill.
  • Timing: If included in the contract, the final bill is due before the wedding. If not, at the end of the reception.

Officiant

  • Protocol: Expected, depending on officiant. If s/he works for a church or synagogue, you might consider making a donation to that institution additionally.
  • Amount: A wedding officiant should be tipped around $50-100 for the officiant alone, depending on how much time they’ve spent with you pre-ceremony. Consider a $100-500 donation to the religious institution.
  • Timing: Prior to the wedding (when paying the ceremony service fee), or after the rehearsal.

Ceremony Musicians

  • Protocol: Optional; consider the complexity of their setup and/or performance.
  • Amount: Consider tipping each ceremony musicians $15-20 per musician.
  • Timing: At the end of the wedding ceremony.

Florist

  • Protocol: Optional or not expected, unless you really loved their work and service.
  • Amount: Consider tipping your wedding florist $50-$100 of your total floral bill.
  • Timing: Include a separate check with the final invoice, or mail it after the -honeymoon.

Hair & Make-up Artist(s)

  • Protocol: Expected
  • Amount: Wedding hair and make-up artists should be tipped 15-20% of your total charge (just like at a salon!). You can discuss with your wedding party whether on not you plan to cover this cost or if they're expected to.
  • Timing: At the end of their service.

Transportation

  • Protocol: Expected (but may be already included in the contract).
  • Amount: Wedding transportation staff should be tipped 15-20% of your total bill.
  • Timing: At the end of the night or after the final ride.

Wedding Band

  • Protocol: Optional; consider their overall performance and responsiveness to your requests.
  • Amount: Consider tipping your wedding band $25-$50 per musician
  • Timing: At the end of the reception.

Wedding DJ

  • Protocol: Optional; consider their overall quality and responsiveness to your requests.
  • Amount: Although not required, consider tipping your wedding DJ 10-20%.
  • Timing: At the end of the reception.

Reception Waitstaff

  • Protocol: Optional, based on contract (check to see if a service fee is included). Tip on top of service fee only for exceptional service.
  • Amount: Consider tipping your wedding reception waitstaff 15-20% of labor costs on your food and drink bill. Reach out to the your lead caterer or catering captain to determine the best way to ensure each person you plan to give a tip recieves theirs.
  • Timing: At the end of the reception (or during set-up, to encourage great service).

Reception Bartender

  • Protocol: Optional, based on contract (check to see if a service fee is included). Tip on top of service fee only for exceptional service.
  • Amount: Consider tipping your wedding reception bartender 10% of the total liquor bill.
  • Timing: At the end of the reception (or during set-up, to encourage great service).

Delivery Personnel (Wedding Cake, Rentals, Flowers, Etc.)

  • Protocol: Expected
  • Amount: Wedding delivery personnel should be tipped $5-$10 per person
  • Timing: Leave cash envelopes with the coordinator or catering manager (whomever will be on site overseeing delivery and setup) to distribute the tip(s).

How to Deliver Tips

It is essential to consider streamlining the process, especially amidst the bustling activities of the big day. One solution to designate a member of the wedding party, such as the best man or maid of honor, to take charge of distributing tips. This delegation allows the couple to fully immerse themselves in the joyous occasion, free from concerns about managing tipping logistics. This arrangement becomes particularly advantageous if the couple plans a grand exit, as they won't be burdened with carrying envelopes while making their departure. By entrusting a trusted individual with the task, the vendors' hard work receives the appropriate appreciation, contributing to a harmonious and memorable celebration for all involved parties.

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