You are a savvy couple with a specified folder in your inbox to capture every last vendor email and a color-coded budget spreadsheet to detail every last expense. While you may be on top of it all and that spreadsheet may cover every expense you have incurred or thought of, it probably doesn’t account for everything. In addition to the line items you’ve planned for, don’t forget about adding a row for tips. Tipping your wedding vendors is not only encouraged but often expected. Tips serve as a “Thank You” to your wedding planner and wedding vendors who helped bring your vision to life. But, do you tip everyone? And do you tip a wedding coordinator?
A wedding coordinator should be at the top of your list for tipping. These individuals help significantly in the planning process and make sure your event runs as smoothly as possible. They steered the ship, captained all other wedding vendors, and (hopefully) got you down the aisle and into your getaway car without any major hiccups. Plus, they likely put the most amount of time and energy into your wedding day, apart from you. Their help deserves a big “Thank You” or a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. But, if you don’t have the power to get their prints in concrete, a tip is the next best thing.
While it’s encouraged to tip your wedding coordinator, it is not required. Before adding a wedding coordinator tip to your budget spreadsheet, consider these Dos and Don’ts:
Read your paperwork thoroughly, not only for your wedding coordinator but for all of your vendors, to see if gratuity is or is not included before deciding whether or not to add your own tip. While it’s more common for other vendors such as caterers and venue staff to include gratuity, some coordinators also include a tip in their contracts, while others leave the amount up to you.
A tip should be a reward for a job well done. If you feel uncomfortable tipping your wedding coordinator because you were unhappy with the service they provided on your big day, don’t tip them! You should not feel pressured to leave a tip when the service you receive doesn’t warrant it.
When it comes to tipping your wedding coordinator, including a thank-you note along with the gratuity is essential. You have built a relationship with this person, likely over the course of many months, so a note of appreciation is equally as important, if not more than, the tip itself.
If you hired your wedding planner or coordinator outright and he or she is the only one you have worked with since the beginning, that is the person to tip. However, it may be more complicated than that. Here’s how to figure out who to tip in other common scenarios:
Tips for business-owners are usually not expected. These professionals have dictated what they think are the appropriate fees for the services they provide. However, if your wedding coordinator went above and beyond, a tip is a great way to show your appreciation, even if they own the business.
It is common that your planner or coordinator is the owner of the business, however, this isn’t always the case. Sometimes, your personal coordinator is not the owner or the person you hired. If your coordinator was assigned to you by a larger wedding planning organization or wedding venue, you should tip the coordinator you worked with directly. A good rule-of-thumb is to tip the person who worked with you most often one-on-one and who provided you with the most service.
Wedding planners and coordinators often work with a team of people or a couple of assistants on the day of the wedding. If the wedding coordinator had assistants or other members of their team that were especially helpful, it is appropriate to tip them.
If you are getting married at a hotel or well-established venue that specializes in weddings, you’ll likely work with a venue coordinator. This person may be simply a liaison between you and your venue, a day-of coordinator, a catering manager, or all of the above and should be tipped accordingly. The amount you tip them will vary depending on the level of service they provided and the amount of time you worked with them, which can be anywhere from a few days to a few months.
When tipping most vendors, you should prepare tips in advance and pass them out on the day of the wedding. Before your wedding day, pull out cash and put it into specified envelopes for each vendor you plan to tip. You can entrust the task of passing out tips to your wedding coordinator or to another responsible party, such as your Maid of Honor or Best Man.
If you don’t feel comfortable passing out an envelope of cash at the reception, you can always tip your wedding coordinator when you return from your honeymoon. You can send the tip in the mail along with a thank-you note or gift. In this case, your wedding coordinator is the exception. This isn’t the best practice for other vendors, or even venue coordinators and wedding planning assistants, as you can’t ensure the funds get into the correct hands.
Now that you’ve determined whether or not you want to tip your wedding coordinators, and who specifically to tip, you have to decide on the amount.
For your main wedding coordinator, a 10-20% tip on the total wedding coordinator cost is a good range. The amount is ultimately up to you and the level of service you feel you received. If your coordinator outdid themselves and went above and beyond their contractual obligations, a 20% tip on their rate is appropriate. If they really left their mark, consider other ways to show your appreciation in addition to a tip.
For wedding coordinator assistants, you can tip them between $50 and $150 depending on the level of service they provided.
For venue coordinators or site managers that are extremely helpful, a $250-500 tip is appropriate.
A wedding coordinator tip is not required and should never feel forced. But, if you were happy with the service your coordinator provided, a 10-20% tip is a great way to show your appreciation.
While tipping your wedding coordinator is good etiquette, the point is to show your gratitude for their hard work and exceptional service. An envelope of cash is great and all, but you can also show your gratitude in other ways that can often be even more meaningful.
Don’t underestimate the power of a good thank-you note. Snail mail is still one of the most thoughtful ways to show appreciation. While you’re busy sending thank-you cards to your guests, add your coordinator’s name to the list. Do this even if you’ve already shared a tip in person—the extra step will mean a lot.
By the time your wedding day arrives, you’ve spent enough time with your wedding coordinator or wedding planner to know their personality and a few of their favorite things. A gift is a thoughtful way to show your appreciation for all the help. This could be a box of yummy treats, a favorite flower arrangement, or a pretty candle for the home or office. If you are drawing a blank, there are plenty of companies that create beautiful gift boxes packed full of versatile goodies.
Offering to write an accolade for your coordinator’s website or a glowing review on a wedding website can be invaluable. A public endorsement will help your coordinator book future couples and bolster their reputation within the industry.
Word-of-mouth recommendations are bread and butter for wedding professionals. One of the best ways to show your appreciation for your wedding coordinator is by referring them to a friend, family member, or even an acquaintance. It is not only a sincere way to say “Thank You” but also shows them just how happy you were with their service.
So, do you tip a wedding coordinator? Ultimately, it’s up to you! Tipping is just one way to acknowledge their work and your appreciation for it. But, if tipping your wedding coordinator and their team isn’t in the budget, don’t fret. You can show your gratitude for their services in another way. However you show it, show it with care and it will surely be appreciated.