“What should we tip our vendors?”
As a wedding planner, this is a question I get asked frequently by my brides and grooms. Typically on the night of the wedding, as everything is winding down and they’re getting ready to drive off into the night they suddenly wonder “How much are we supposed to tip our vendors?”
I wanted to create this as a resource so you’ll have all the information you need leading up to the ceremony and have one less thing to worry or stress about as you’re preparing for your big getaway. (Wedding gratuity guide here)
When deciding who should receive gratuity at your wedding, think beyond the caterers and the hair and makeup prep. All of your vendors are working long and hard to make sure you have an unforgettable day and they should be appreciated! If any vendor does an exceptional job at your wedding and they go above and beyond to make the evening unforgettable, then you’ll definitely want to make sure they are tipped before the event is over.
This’ll give you an idea of the ideal gratuity for vendors: For ceremony musicians, $20-50 each, for the DJ, $50-100. If you have a band at the reception, consider tipping $25-50 for each band member. For a florist, $100-200. Photographer and videographer, $100-300. Hair and makeup is typically a standard 20%. Wedding planners should receive a minimum of $350 and wedding coordinators should receive a minimum of $100. For bartenders, consider $50-100 per person unless there is a tip jar. Typically, there is no need for an additional tip if they have a tip jar (unless, of course, they did an amazing job!) Lastly, the catering service staff is usually tipped 10-20% of the cost of the food.
It’s important to note the difference between a service fee and a gratuity. The service fee covers the cost of the business and goes directly to the business owner(s). The gratuity is given to and remains with the wedding day staff.
Of course, this decision is ultimately up to you and your new spouse, but I find it’s helpful to have a guide or starting point, especially when you already have a million other things on your mind. Cash is typically the preferred method of tipping, but I’ve also seen Venmo used as well. Ask the vendor what they prefer! If using cash, put it in an envelope and seal it, making sure to write the vendor’s name on the outside. Feel free to give them to us at the rehearsal or any time before the ceremony and we’ll make sure they get to where they need to go.
Lastly, a heartfelt way to go a step farther and show how truly appreciative you are of your amazing vendors is to write handwritten notes to include with the tip. This isn’t something you need to scramble to do at the ceremony, but rather something you can put together prior to the event.
Notes of appreciation, gratuity, reviews and referrals are an amazing way to affirm your vendors and support their business!
I consider it my job to help with every detail of your special day so if you have any questions, feel free to reach out and let’s chat about it!