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Your Ultimate Wedding Vendor Tipping Guide

Expert tips on how to show your appreciation.

When you’re already digging deep into your (or your parents’) pockets for wedding expenses, setting aside room in your budget for gratuities can be a challenge. Even though service charges may be outlined in your contract, tipping wedding vendors is always appreciated for a job well done and is a kind and thoughtful gesture. So, don’t forget to include tips when planning your wedding budget.

Since some wedding vendors will expect a gratuity and others will require case-by-case consideration, here’s a guide to help you navigate. Traditionally, business owners of larger companies don’t get tipped—just their employees—but if the service exceeds expectations, tipping an owner is also a nice gesture. Small business owners should never be overlooked either, as they often run their businesses single-handedly.

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“Tips or gratuities are at the sole discretion of the couple,” says Sarah Chianese, owner, planner, and executive chef at Mangia and Enjoy!, based in New York and Colorado. “Gratuities are offered beyond obligation or voluntarily, usually for anyone in the service industry. So, is a tip required? Certainly not, but it is expected for a job well done. Although not obligatory, not tipping at a wedding, particularly if the gratuity is excluded from the pricing structure, can be seen as an insult to the love and labor poured into your experience.”

Tip wedding vendors who offer exceptional service, write thank-you notes (they’re always appreciated), and assign the responsibility of handing them out to a trusted person, such as your wedding planner, a parent, or a wedding party member. Here’s a helpful breakdown of what’s customary when it comes to tipping wedding vendors.

Wedding Photographer and Videographer

You’re not expected to tip beyond the normal fees. But if the wedding photographer or videographer doesn’t own the studio, consider tipping each person or giving a certain amount with a thank-you note to distribute to the staff.

  • Do You Tip a Wedding Photographer and Videographer? “For photographers, tips are not required or expected but are generally very much appreciated,” says Jenny DeMarco, owner of Jenny DeMarco Photography in Austin, Texas. “Tips should be for the main shooter (even if that is the business owner) and the remaining photography team members.”
  • How Much to Tip a Wedding Photographer and Videographer? Tip 5-15% of the photography contract or $50-$200 per photography team member.
  • When to Tip a Wedding Photographer and Videographer? At the end of the reception.

Wedding DJ

Wedding DJs provide music and emceeing for your event. Some DJs work solo, while others bring sound technicians who should also be tipped.

  • Do You Tip a Wedding DJ? Tipping is optional but preferred.
  • How Much to Tip a Wedding DJ? $50 to $150, depending on the total cost of service.
  • When to Tip a Wedding DJ? At the end of the reception.

Wedding Band Members

Factor in how many band members will be present on your wedding day. Include each member and any sound technicians when tipping.

  • Do You Tip a Wedding Band? Tipping is optional but preferred.
  • How Much to Tip a Wedding Band? $25–$50 per band member.
  • When to Tip a Wedding Band? At the end of the reception.

Wedding Planner

Whether full-service or month-of, your wedding planner has likely worked hard to ensure your day runs smoothly. A thoughtful gift is also appreciated.

  • Do You Tip a Wedding Planner? According to Nora Sheils, co-founder of Rock Paper Coin and founder of Bridal Bliss, “Wedding planners definitely do expect a tip.”
  • How Much to Tip a Wedding Planner? 15–20% of their total fee, or a nice gift.
  • When to Tip a Wedding Planner? At the end of the reception or send a thank-you note with a check or gift right after the honeymoon.

Wedding Hairstylist and Makeup Artist

Your beauty pros will be on-site early to make sure everyone looks picture-perfect. It’s highly recommended to give them some extra love.

  • Do You Tip a Wedding Hairstylist and Makeup Artist? Yes, as you would tip your hairstylist at a salon.
  • How Much to Tip a Wedding Hairstylist and Makeup Artist? 15 to 25 percent of the total bill, and consider giving extra if there’s a crisis requiring a last-minute redo.
  • When to Tip a Wedding Hairstylist and Makeup Artist? At the end of your service.

Wedding Delivery and Setup Staff

Consider those doing the heavy lifting during the setup and breakdown process.

  • Do You Tip Wedding Delivery and Setup Staff? Absolutely, tipping is expected.
  • How Much to Tip Wedding Delivery and Setup Staff? $10–$50 per person.
  • When to Tip Wedding Delivery and Setup Staff? Drop off cash envelopes the day before the wedding to the catering manager.

Wedding Ceremony Officiant

If your officiant is affiliated with a church or synagogue, a donation is often expected. Tipping is also appreciated.

  • Do You Tip a Wedding Officiant? Tipping is usually expected.
  • How Much to Tip a Wedding Officiant? Donate $100–$500 to the church or synagogue, and tip the officiant $50–$100.
  • When to Tip a Wedding Officiant? Most ceremony fees are required prior to the wedding. Otherwise, pass the cash envelope at the rehearsal dinner.

Wedding Ceremony Musicians

If you worked with a soloist or ensemble for your service, consider showing some monetary thanks.

  • Do You Tip Wedding Ceremony Musicians? Tipping is optional but preferred.
  • How Much to Tip Wedding Ceremony Musicians? $15–$50 per musician.
  • When to Tip Wedding Ceremony Musicians? At the end of the ceremony.

Attire Alterations Pros

While not required, tipping is a nice gesture for those who alter your wedding attire.

  • Do You Tip Attire Alterations Pros? Optional but appreciated.
  • How Much to Tip Attire Alterations Pros? $20–$30, more if major restructuring was needed.
  • When to Tip Attire Alterations Pros? At your final fitting.

Wedding Catering Team, Waitstaff & Bartenders

The rules of tipping are dictated by your contract. A service charge is almost always included, but additional gratuities are appreciated for exceptional service.

  • Do You Tip Your Wedding Catering Team, Waitstaff and Bartenders? Not if gratuities are already listed in your contract. Otherwise, consider tipping for exceptional service.
  • How Much to Tip Your Wedding Catering Team, Waitstaff and Bartenders? 15–20% of the food and drink fee to be split among the waitstaff and bartenders, $200–$300 for the maître d’.
  • When to Tip the Wedding Catering Team, Waitstaff and Bartenders? If covered in the contract, the final bill is due before the reception. Otherwise, hand the envelope to the maître d’ at the end of the reception.

Valet Parking Attendants

Couples often tip parking attendants themselves to ensure guests don’t have to.

  • Do You Tip Valet Parking Attendants? Yes, tipping is traditional.
  • How Much to Tip Valet Parking Attendants? $1–$5 per car, split between attendants.
  • When to Tip Valet Parking Attendants? Tips are typically passed out at the end of the event.

Photo Booth Attendants

Providing a tip to the attendant at the end of the night is a nice gesture.

  • Do You Tip Photo Booth Attendants? Yes, tipping is recommended.
  • How Much to Tip Photo Booth Attendants? $50–$100.
  • When to Tip Photo Booth Attendants? At the end of the reception.

Wedding Transportation Company

Check your contract, as gratuity is usually included.

  • Do You Tip Your Wedding Transportation Company? Yes, but check if it’s included in your contract.
  • How Much to Tip Transportation Company? 15–20 percent of the total bill, or $50 per driver.
  • When to Tip Transportation Company? At the end of the night or after the last ride.

Cake Baker and Florist

These vendors don’t typically receive tips, but you can tip them if they went above and beyond.

  • Do You Tip Your Cake Baker or Florist? Optional but appreciated.
  • How Much to Tip Your Cake Baker and Florist? $50 to $200, or a small gift.
  • When to Tip Cake Baker and Florist? After the big day, send a thank-you card with the tip enclosed.

General Wedding Tipping Tips

  • Read contracts closely. Some vendors may include tips as part of their contract. Highlight extra fees, gratuities, and penalties to prepare for the budget.
  • Factor tips in your budget. Don’t forget to include tips in your original budget.
  • Trust your planner. They can help organize and distribute your tip envelopes.
  • Write a review. Positive reviews help wedding pros’ businesses.
  • Learn local customs. For destination weddings, ask about local tipping customs and tip in the local currency.
  • Share photos. Share professional photos with your vendors for marketing materials.

How to Tip Your Wedding Vendors

While you can ask vendors how they prefer to receive gratuity, cash is usually a safe bet. A few days before the wedding, obtain the needed cash, and divide and organize the tips into envelopes for each vendor. Delegate this responsibility to a parent or wedding planner to ensure a smooth process.

Printable Wedding Tipping Cheat Sheet

By following these guidelines, you’ll show your appreciation for the hard work and dedication that goes into making your wedding day special.

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