Wedding Vendors 101 - Your Ultimate Guide to Tipping
With so many wedding expenses to keep track of, forgetting to include gratuities in your budget can be a costly mistake. So it's important to factor in your vendors expectations early on. And while tipping is always optional, it's a thoughtful gesture that goes a long way. After all, these are the people who are making all of your wedding dreams possible. And some of your vendors will expect the additional compensation.
As a general rule, you'll want to tip those vendors who truly exceeded your expectations. Write them individual thank you notes for their services and designate a member of your bridal party, your planner, or your parents, to deliver them on the day of your wedding. So how much do you tip? And who does (or doesn't) need one? Follow our guide below for all of your tipping questions, answered.
While your wedding planner will likely not expect a tip, it's important to recognize all of their hard work in creating your wedding vision. If you do want to show your appreciation in the form of gratuity, the industry standard is 10-20% of their service fees, up to $500. However, we think a thoughtful gift, like a selection of your professional photos to use for their portfolio, is a great way to say thank you. Hand off your final check and thank you note at the end of the reception - or mail it, along with your gift, in the week or two following.
Your florist will not expect a tip, but that doesn't mean they don't deserve a thank you card! And if they go above and beyond and you want to send them a little something extra, include some professional shots of your flowers for their website.
Hair and Makeup Artist
Your stylist and makeup crew will definitely expect a tip, just as you would for a routine salon appointment. Tip between 15-25%, depending on the quality of service. Gratuities and final payment are expected after the completion of your services. So have your thank you's and envelopes ready.
If your officiant is associated with a particular church or synagogue, you will usually give a monetary donation to that institution. Typically between $100 and $500, depending on your relationship to the organization. However, if you're having your ceremony in the space and are paying to rent it out, you can donate a smaller amount. An additional cash tip to the officiant, around $50, is always appreciated but not expected.
Day of Delivery Crew
Slip a $5-$10 tip to anyone in charge of delivering cake, flowers, or decor to the venue. Leave the cash with your wedding planner, so they can distribute it to your vendors as items arrive.
Check your contract first, as many transportation companies will have the gratuities built into their service fees. If they do not, slip your driver a 10-20% tip after the final ride.
The Band or DJ
Tipping your musicians is entirely optional - but always appreciated. Especially if they spent extra time creating a perfect playlist or set for your big day. If you do want to show a little extra love give $25-$50 per musician or $75-$150 to your DJ - depending on quality of service. Have a member of your bridal party tip them at the end of the evening.
Again, check your contract, as most venues will include a service fee for the waitstaff in your overall cost. You can always tip a few extra dollars to staff members who go above the call of duty, but that is entirely up to you. If your vendor contract does not include a service fee, plan on tipping the standard 10-20% of your food and liquor bill.
Your photographer will not expect a tip. But a thank you card is always a nice gesture. Include a note with their final payment to thank them for their service.