I wanted to do this particular post because I saw in a Facebook group how uniformed some people are in regards to tipping wedding vendors. Me personally as a wedding and event planner, I don't expect to be tipped, even though a lot of my clients do.......... because I do a great job for them and go above and beyond for them. tipping your vendors is not a requirement and you don't have to do it. In all honesty I would prefer an amazing review for a job well done. Don't get me wrong I do appreciate the tips too, but a review goes a long way for other potential clients that might want to hire me for their weddings or other events.
So let's get down to the bare bones on tipping your wedding vendors, unlike tipping at a restaurant, it is not so clear on how to go about tipping your wedding vendors. The standard 15% to 20% but the rule do not apply in this case. We broke down all of the tipping etiquette and suggestions below! First and foremost, before you start handing out envelopes of cash, be sure to read each and every vendor contract thoroughly. There are many times that gratuity is already added. Some vendors will even make a note to let you know the gratuity had not been added especially with catering, be very clear on asking about what services charges are. I worked in catering and a service charge is typically the gratuity in most cases. The key to figuring out if it's been included in the cost of the vendors services is to read the contract and if you are not sure ask, hopefully the vendor is honest enough to let you know if its included or not.
So as a Wedding Planner here is the typical break down of what you should be tipping your wedding vendors, if "YOU" choose to:
Hair and Makeup 15%-20% of the total
Hair and make tipping mirrors how you would tip at a salon or store. If you bridesmaids are planning on paying for their dos, it is courteous to pass along the tipping etiquette. If they do not plan on tipping, you might want to consider adding a tip from everyone based on the total amount.
Delivery and Set-Up Crew $5 – $20 a person There is a ton of individuals coming and going to help set up your wedding. It is easiest to ask the vendor directly how many people they plan to have helped with the setup and breakdown. The vendors who normally have a delivery crew would be the florist, baker, and any rentals you have coming. Ceremony Officiant $50 – $200 Take a good look at the contract for this tipping number. If you are getting married by and in a religious institution, the tipping and gratuity are typically mentioned in the contract. Sometimes a tip is not allowed, but you can make a donation. Ceremony Musicians $20 – $50 a person When tipping wedding vendors, remember to ask the vendors how many people are in their “crew.” For ceremony or cocktail musicians, that number can vary, and they may also have a person help with the setup and delivery of the instruments and equipment. It is always better to ask and be prepared than embarrassed. Photographer and Videographer $50 – $200 If you have been pleased with the photographer and videographer, show your gratitude with a little tip! Remember, when the wedding is over, you will still be working with both vendors to get your final product. It will only benefit you if they begin editing the work with a lovely memory of you. Band $20 – $30 a person Again, be sure to ask the band how many people they have in their group. You will need to know about the vendor meals, but also for tipping wedding vendors. Bands will have more people than who are on stage. There need to be people to help with the setup and breakdown as well as people behind the scenes working on the sounds and lighting. DJ $50 – $150 The DJ tip will include their delivery and set up the tip. Keep in mind all of the equipment the DJ has to carry around and set up and sometimes even move around during the ceremony and reception. If you are pleased with your DJ, show that with the money! It will go a long way. Wedding planner $50-$200 Think about how much work your wedding planner has done for your wedding and now reflect on all of the extra miles they went to ensure your wedding went on smoothly. Especially if there was a big disaster or problem they helped fixed, that was them going above and beyond. Transportation 15%-20% of the total Transportation tips are generally already added in the contract or at least mentioned in the contract. You can even have a tip added automatically to your bill. Tipping transportation is similar to tipping a taxi or Uber, so make sure to take care of your driver (who has most likely been dealing with your drunk relatives all night). Catering and Event Managers $100 – $200 Waitstaff and Bartenders $20 – $40 a person The catering tip is typically added to the bill. Take a very close look at the final invoice to determine if the tip is included. I’m sure every person would love to be double tipped, but let’s make sure you are smart with your money and budget. If you have any trouble reading the contract, just as the caterer directly if the tip is already included and what past clients have typically done. Valet $2 per car Coat Check $1 per coat Both the valet and coach check tips are usually added to the final invoice as well. As stated before, when tipping wedding vendors, always check the contract first! Everyone is here working hard to make sure your wedding is perfect, and people are doing more than what they are contracted to do just to be sure you are pleased and happy! Remember tipping your wedding vendors is not a requirement and most of us aren't expecting one, the choice is always yours!!!!