How Much Should You Tip Wedding Vendors? — Tipping Cheat Sheet

Should I Tip my Wedding Vendors?
When you’ve already paid a lot of money for your wedding services, having to dig deeper in your pocket to come up with a tip could blow your wedding budget. In some cases a gratuity is included in your contract price (for example–limousine service, waitstaff, bartender, etc.). Other vendors may not expect a tip, however if they go above and beyond it’s a nice gesture to tip them at the end of the day. So you might ask, “How Much Should You Tip Wedding Vendors?”

You should always try to include tips for wedding vendors in your wedding budget if possible, but knowing how much depends on a number of factors, such as level of service, cost of service, and your service contract. Planning out your tips ahead of time will help you avoid unexpected costs and minimize confusion on the wedding day. Put each tip in a marked envelope. Designate someone to give the tips to the wedding vendors, whether it’s the best man, father of the bride, or wedding coordinator.

Here is a cheat sheet with common tip amounts for various wedding services:

Wedding Deliveries (Cake, flowers, rentals, etc)
Tip?: Yes
Amount: $5 – $10 per person
When: Drop off cash envelopes with wedding planner or venue manager to disperse as deliveries are made.

Wedding Hair and Makeup
Tip?: Yes
Amount: 20% of service price (give or take depending on quality of service)
When: At the end of your service

Wedding Reception Staff
Tip?: Yes (usually included in contract price)
Amount: 15 – 20 percent of the food and drink fee (based on labor, not the cost).
When: If it’s included in the contract, the final bill is due before the reception. Otherwise, have the father of the bride or best man hand the envelope to the maitre d’ at the end of the reception since you will need to know the final tab to calculate the percentage.

Wedding Ceremony Officiant
Tip?: Yes
Amount: Tip of $50 – $100 or donation to the church/synagogue
When: at the rehearsal or before

Wedding Ceremony Musicians
Tip?: Optional (If the musicians learned a special song for your ceremony or made other custom accommodation then yes)
Amount: $15 – $20 per musician
When: At the end of the ceremony.

Wedding Reception Band or DJ
Tip?: Optional/Expected
Amount: $20 – $25 per musician; $50 – $150 for DJs
When: At the end of the reception

Wedding Transportation
Tip?: Yes (usually included in contract price)
Amount: 15 – 20 percent of the total cost
When: If included, due when contract is signed. Otherwise have someone give the driver an envelope.

Wedding Photographer/Videographer
Tip?: Optional
Amount: $50 – $200 per vendor
When: At the end of the reception.

Wedding Reception Attendants
(parking, bathroom, coat room, etc)

Note: Tip ahead of the event and ask that the attendants refuse tips from guests, put away tip jars, etc. You don’t want your guests to feel obligated to tip.
Tip?: Yes (often included in contract price for the venue)
Amount: $50-$100 depending on the number of guests
When: Have the father of the bride or best man deliver tips at the beginning of the evening

Wedding Planner
Tip?: Optional
Amount: Up to $500
When: at the end of the reception, or with a thank-you note after the event.

 

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