WE HEAR YOU. (Loud and clear) there is a need for a tipping guide- and we are here to do just that! Of all the expenses that come with planning a wedding, gratuity for vendors is one of the most confusing. While many say tipping is at the newlyweds’ discretion, showing some extra love to the people who made your big day a reality — in the form of cold, hard cash — is usually expected.
WHO TO TIP
Basically, everyone. Some vendors will include a gratuity or service charge in their contracts, but those who don't will likely be expecting a tip for their work. This goes for your planner, hair and makeup artists, bartenders, drivers — anyone who worked your wedding.
WHAT TO TIP
Cash is king. It also ensures gratuity gets divided among waiters, bartenders, drivers and other vendors when multiple people work as a team. For example, if you make a check out to a catering company for the gratuity, the individual waiters may never see their share.
There may also be some unofficial vendors you'll want to thank — people who made your wedding special but for whom a cash tip wouldn't be appropriate (or expected). For instance, maybe an event coordinator at your reception site assisted throughout the planning process. For someone like this, sending flowers or a handwritten note can be a nice gesture to show your appreciation.
HOW MUCH TO TIP
A good rule of thumb is to devote 5 to 10 percent of your overall wedding budget to gratuity. Some vendors will be tipped based on the total invoice and others per person.
Beauty Services (hair, makeup, nails): 15-20 % of their total balance
Delivery and service staff (like floral and rentals staff members, catering staff and bartenders): $10 to $20 per person
Catering (if it's not included in the contract): Expected; 15-20% of the total bill
Bartenders (if it's not included in the contract): Expected; 10-15% of total liquor bill or $2-300 to split at the end of the night
Venue Coordinator: Optional; $100-200
Ceremony Musician: Optional; $25-50
DJ: Optional; 10-15% of the total fee or $50-100
Band: Optional; $25-50 per band member or 10-15% of the total fee
Florist: Optional; 10-15% of your total floral bill
Wedding Planner: Optional; 10-20% or a personal gift.
Photographer: Optional; $50-100
Videography: Optional; $50-100
Officiant: Optional; $50-100 or you could make a small donation to their religious institution
Transportation (if it's not included in the contract): Expected; $15-20%
Any ceremony readers: Optional; A personal gift is a nice touch
WHEN TO TIP
Tips should be distributed by your planner or a designated member of the family or bridal party during the wedding festivities or just after! When gratuity is distributed during the service, people tend to go over and beyond in their responsibilities because you've spent a few extra dollars showing your appreciation (pro tip!). Putting the cash in sealed envelopes addressed to each vendor makes the process seamless!
Of course, any vendors who didn't fulfill their obligations or made the planning process difficult may not deserve a tip. If planning and preparation with a vendor has been a challenge and their attitude could use improvement, you can reconsider tipping.