How To Tip Your Wedding Vendors

How much should you tip your wedding vendor dream team?

Wedding couple wondering how much to tip their wedding vendors

ingrid bonne photography

You've itemized your wedding budget down to the last cent. But with all the numbers tallied up you might be forgetting a costly, but necessary, expense: Tips!

Your wedding vendors are instrumental to the success of your big day, and if they meet—or exceed—your expectations you're going to want to reward them! But which vendors should you tip? And how much? And when? We know it's confusing, so we've put together a handy-dandy guide to tipping your vendors.

A joyful Indian wedding ceremony | How To Tip Wedding Vendors

Anaïs Event Planning and Design

A few things before we dive in:

1. First take a good, hard look at your wedding contracts.
Read through them to see if a gratuity is included. It's pretty standard for it to be covered in your venue, catering, and even transportation contracts. When it is, no additional tipping is required.

2. A "service charge" is not necessarily a gratuity.
Whyyy are contracts so confusing? Okay, here's the deal: A "service charge" is a mandatory fee that gets added to your venue and/or catering contract. Service charges don't necessarily go directly to employees, so you'll need to ask how that money is being used. This extra fee can be applied to anything from venue maintenance to administrative costs, so unless you see the word "gratuity" spelled out on your final bill, you may still need to tip.

3. You're not required to tip business owners.
Technically you don't need to tip the owner of a business—just their employees. The thought process behind this is that you're already paying what the business owner has deemed an adequate price for their service. However, feel free to ignore this rule if they rock your socks off.

4. Prep tips in advance.
Go to the bank before your wedding, pull out cash, and put each tip into a labeled envelope. Then assign the most responsible member of your bridal party to hand them out over the course of the event.

5. And finally, unless it's built into your contract, tipping is never mandatory.
If you simply don't have funds to spare, you can express your appreciation in other ways. Write your vendors a rave 5-star review online, let them use some stunning photos from your wedding for their portfolio, give them a big bottle of wine, or send them a handwritten thank-you note. They'll feel all the warm fuzzies from your thoughtful gesture.

Newlyweds kiss at end of aisle | How To Tip Your Wedding Vendors

Epic Imagery | Montage Beverly Hills

Now without further ado... Behold our Wedding Vendor Tipping Guide organized by whether tips are expected, included, or optional, and then in alphabetical order by vendor. (We're just a little Type-A.)


Expected Tips:

Delivery + Setup
Sure, you may have already paid a "delivery fee", but it's customary to tip the people delivering and/or setting up your wedding cake, flowers, tent, or larger rentals.

Officiant
Even though this tip is in the "expected" category, it doesn't need to be cash. Actually, many religious officiants won't accept a cash tip. And officiants within the government, such as a judge, may be legally prohibited from accepting one! Here's how to handle this:

Makeup Artists / Hairstylists
Standard "salon visit" tip rules apply. You'll want to tip the stylists that do the bridal party's hair and makeup as well.

A blushing bride with her mom and MOH | How To Tip Your Wedding Vendors

Alycia Moore Photography + Videography

"Check Your Contract First" Tips:

Bartenders
If your bartenders are a package deal with your venue, then the gratuity will most likely be included. If you're using a bartending company, see if they require an additional gratuity for their staff. Note: wedding guests shouldn't be asked to tip, so just say no to bar tip jars.

Catering Staff
Their gratuity should be included in your venue and/or catering contract, but if not:

Transportation
Oftentimes transportation companies will include the gratuity in their contract. But if yours doesn't, here's what you can tip for an on-time arrival for the bridal party transportation, as well as any guest shuttles!

Venue Attendants
This could include parking valets, coat check attendants, or restroom attendants. Again, a gratuity should be included, but if it isn't:

Newlyweds with a sparkler exit | How To Tip Your Wedding Vendors

Del'avant Event Center | The Scobeys

Optional Tips:

Coordinator / Wedding Planner
Although your wedding planner doesn't expect a tip, you can always provide one if she or he went above and beyond for you!

DJ / Musicians
Consider tipping your ceremony, cocktail hour, reception musicians, and/or DJ for a job well done. And don't forget about the sound technicians, if applicable.

Floral Designer
Your floral designer bends over backwards to ensure your wedding flowers are perfect—from design to installation. A tip is a wonderful way to express your gratitude for their hard work!

Photo Booth Attendant
They're handing out props, encouraging people to "say cheese", and interacting with the kiddos. If they've done a stand-up job, you may want to include them in the tip count.

Photographer + Videographer
If the photographer/videographer owns their business, a tip isn't mandatory; but again, you may want to give one as a token of your appreciation. And if there are any second shooters or assistants, it's considerate to tip them as well.


Need a cheat sheet? Pin this!

How To Tip Your Wedding Vendors | Cheat Sheet




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