Which vendors should I tip at my wedding?
Today we're talking about the yucky stuff...money. Usually our blogs are about the funsies and picking out the pretty stuff or yummy cakes, but today is all about the moolah. Most of our clients are usually pretty in the dark about who to tip at the wedding and thus end up asking us. So we figured it was about time to get a blog up on that subject! Keep in mind tips are always optional but several vendors will expect them. Make sure you give the envelopes to the planner or the best man before the event to be given out at the end of the night and/or service performed.
Firstly let's talk about tipping your planner, and no, this is NOT a plug for us to get more money out of you!
Sure, a tip is AMAZING and always very appreciated, but something a bit more personal for the gal (or gent) you've spent tons of time planning this special day with is probably in order. I'd suggest getting her a generous gift card for a restaurant you know she loves or a gift card for a pair of Tieks (anyone who spends hours on their feet should totally own a pair...or four!) or a gift basket filled with her favorite wines and cheeses would be divine! Whatever you do get her, make sure it's personal and well thought out and you'll certainly make her feel loved! Side note, I would suggest tipping her staff individually. $50-100 per person is perfect.
Should I tip the wedding photographer?
Photographers don't expect to be tipped if they own the company, but if they only work for the company we suggest tipping them anywhere from $50-200 per person. Same rule applies to their second shooters, we suggest tipping them as well. As for a nice thank you for the photographer, try to send them something well thought out and personal.
Should I tip the wedding hair and makeup artist?
Hair and makeup artists are definitely expecting to be tipped. We usually suggest 15-25% of the total at the end of the appointment.
Should I tip the officant?
Officiants usually expect to be tipped as well but it's a bit of a gray area as to how much. Some people feel that if they're charging you to officiate then that's good enough, but we usually suggest tipping them 10-15% of the total, and if you're only asked to make a donation it should be at least $200.
Which other vendors should we tip?
If you've used a larger choir for the service and they haven't charged you a large fee, we'd recommend making a donation to their church for a small amount (around $100 is good) and giving them some cupcakes or cookies when the ceremony ends.
Definitely plan to tip anyone playing an instrument for the ceremony. Whether they're playing as a group or a soloist, we suggest between $50-100 per person.
Check directly with the caterer when it comes to tipping the catering staff. They typically have their gratuity and/or service fees built into the contract so ask them if that goes to the staff. If the gratuity isn't given right to the staff, we recommend tipping each of them. We suggest 2-5% of the total bill, and have your wedding planner give it to the banquet captain or catering manager at the end of the night.
Bartenders should be tipped if they didn't have a tip jar out for the guests to tip them. We suggest $150-200 each.
Another person that will expect a tip is the transportation driver. We suggest 15-20% of the total.
Reception musicians and/or DJ
The band or DJ are technically optional tips, but usually recommended. If they've done an especially good job and really kept the party on its feet, we suggest $50-100 per musician and at least $200 for a great DJ.
We always suggest tipping the rental delivery/set up staff. Usually about $20-30+ per person is perfect for them. They don't expect it, but if they're delivering a ton of stuff, moving things multiple times or coming back for a super late pick-up it's a very nice touch.
We suggest generously tipping anyone who falls into one of the more specialized categories below:
- Cake or specialty dessert vendor
- Photo booth operators
- Live wedding painters
- Henna artists
We hope this helped clear up the great tipping questions we're sure you all have!