When it comes to following proper wedding etiquette, a recurring question is: to tip or not to tip vendors? For the videographer who is filming your precious memories, it’s nice to err on the side of tipping. However, how much you decide to tip videographer companies or individuals is based on your experience and the requirements of what is being filmed. In general, tipping is appreciated, but not necessary.
Consider how much you want to tip individual vendors as part of your overall wedding budget. The tip for a videographer could range anywhere from $50 to $100, and even more if there is an assistant involved or, in the instance where it may be part of the contract fees, when working with a larger company. If you’re uncertain whether you need to budget in a tip or not, you can always wait until the final product is received, and then send a gift or a gratuity after the wedding is over.
To give you an idea of what may constitute tipping, here are a few questions to ask yourself, plus considerations to keep in mind to help you make a decision. In the end, though, tipping is discretionary. This guide will help you feel confident with your decision either way.
Do you tip videographers? It’s likely that people’s answers are split down the middle. When signing a videographer for your wedding, read through everything that’s included, such as hours, assistants, special lighting, edited footage, and any extras—since there are different types of videographers. Professional videographers will schedule a consultation to take a look at the venue where you’ll be getting married, show up early, and check with you before they leave to ensure there’s nothing else that needs to be captured. When available, they’ll stay past the allotted time for an extra fee.
However, if they go above and beyond their contracted deal, consider including a tip. This may involve bringing an extra assistant to get key shots, going overtime to get any final footage without charging you a fee, or putting together a video that’s beyond what you could have possibly imagined. Whatever the case may be, when you love a person’s work, tips are always appreciated. You can have a tip ready to hand out the day of the wedding or send one later with a thank-you card.
One thing to keep in mind is if the videographer works solo, for a company, or for a third-party referral agency or website, as policies may vary. You’ll want to ensure that the tip goes directly to the person you enjoyed working with, rather than the company as a whole.
Your wedding video is a keepsake you’ll get to cherish forever. After the ceremony and reception, your videographer will look over hours of footage and edit it down to a few minutes. This takes time and talent, especially if music or other special effects are added. Ask in advance the estimated duration of the wedding video, because there are likely payment tiers for videos based on minute increments.
While every videographer should aim for customer satisfaction, if a wedding video impresses you, then add on a tip. Or, if wedding videography is one of the top priorities of your wedding, budget more for the tip for the person(s) filming it as part of the initial cost. The more you can plan ahead of time for which vendors you’re going to tip, the less of a sticker shock you’ll feel as they add up for the various people who are helping to make your day special.
Is there anything outside the scope of the contract that the videographer provided that helped make your day even more special? This may include additional, complimentary consultations or working in unexpected weather and/or venue conditions. As professionals, their job is to be versatile and adaptable, but if you feel like your videographer went above and beyond, while also capturing the necessary shots and communicating well with you when needed, you may consider giving them a tip.
Some couples get lucky and have a friend or family member who can handle a camera competently and produce a simple, yet beautiful video of your wedding day. If you’re wanting to save on videographer costs and you understand the quality of footage you may receive, definitely consider adding on a tip or a gift of gratitude if someone steps in as a favor. If the person is giving up their time for free, a token of appreciation is a nice gesture.
Even if the person is an amateur videographer, it may be just what you need to capture the big day. You can hire a professional editor later down the road if you’d like special treatment of the raw footage that’s captured. Either way, if you’re confident moving forward with the referral of someone close to you and want to thank them for being “on duty” during your big day, send a tip and a thank-you note their way, since you were able to save on videographer fees from a professional.
If you choose not to leave a videographer tip, wedding etiquette offers other ways to show gratitude to your vendors that could help them with their business in the future. These alternatives include writing an online review, recording a testimonial, referring the business to friends, or sending a gift. Anything that shows how much you appreciate their work is valuable.
When wedding planning, nearly everyone goes online to research vendors and set up consultations. If you’re pleased with the work of your wedding videographer, a five-star review can go a long way. Head to their business website or the wedding website where they’re listed to leave your feedback so that future couples will consider hiring them. This affirmation on a public forum gives them credibility and can help expand their business.
Offer to record a video testimonial for the videographer to put on their website or social media. Or, record your own and share on your social channels and tag them accordingly. Either way, it gives people an idea of how much you liked the service and why you would recommend them. If they want a testimonial for their website, it gives them an extra opportunity to showcase their work and show people the kind of service they’ll receive when hired.
If you have a friend, family member, or co-worker who is getting married and looking for their own videographer, make an introduction. It’ll help everyone across the board, and could be a perfect match. Many independent videographers get their business by word-of-mouth referrals, so it helps them to expand their network if you share their service offerings with your loved ones.
Rather than a cash tip, send a token of appreciation, such as a bottle of wine, gift card, or another small gift, with a note of thanks. This lets the videographer know that they’ve done an excellent job and that you’re very appreciative of their services. Allocating these kinds of gifts can also feel more personal if you’ve worked closely during your wedding planning.
Tipping comes at the end of the reception, unless you only require their services for the ceremony. Parcel out tips in labeled envelopes and pass them out as the reception winds down. It gives you a chance to thank your professional videographer in person. Of course, be discreet if you’re only handing out tips to some of your vendors and not all. Knowing in advance how you want to handle this will help you to avoid any awkward moments or miscommunication.
However, if you can, task this to your maid of honor or best man as one of their duties so that it’s taken care of without taking you away from your wedding guests. If you don’t end up tipping at the wedding and want to after you’ve seen the video, you can always send one after you return from your honeymoon.
Tipping is customary for certain vendors, such as musicians and wedding waitstaff, and appreciated, but not necessary for others, such as videographers and photographers. Each wedding vendor receives a slightly different tip amount, but the total can easily add up to several hundred dollars that you may not have been previously accounting for. If you work a wedding videographer into your budget as you begin your wedding planning, you’ll be left with fewer surprises down the road.
It’s all about the gesture when it comes to tipping. There’s no pressure to tip, and it should only be offered up if you’re comfortable with it. Vendors, especially videographers, are happy to have your business regardless of if you tip or not. Each video they film is another project that they can add to their portfolio and promote in the future.
For more information on setting up your videographer for your wedding, see our resources below: