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Tipping Wedding Vendors

Bride and groom kissingKnowing who you should be tipping the United State’s tipping culture can be confusing. You may have heard that you need to be tipping your wedding vendors too. Before you start getting stressed about it and worrying about the who, when, how and what, we are here to help you. Today we are sharing about tipping wedding vendors.

Should you be tipping wedding vendors?

The answer to this is yes, but there are only a few that expect it. The other vendors greatly appreciate it, but it is not expected.

Because gratuity is going to be part of your wedding expense, we highly recommend budgeting your vendor tips into your wedding budget. Tipping wedding vendors can be unexpected and stressful if you don’t prepare ahead for it.

So, let’s break it down.

Wedding vendors expecting tips

First, we will list the wedding vendors you should definitely budget tips for. These are the vendors that are expecting a gratuity for their services.

Hairstylist and makeup artist

These vendors are definitely expecting to receive a gratuity. Plan to tip between 15 and 25 percent of the service cost (just like you would in a salon). You may want to consider having a little extra on hand to tip in case they rise above the occasion. An example may be your makeup artist redoing a bridesmaid’s makeup after she expresses how much she hates it.

The time to tip your beauty stylists would be at the end of your service and before they leave.

Officiant

Your wedding ceremony officiant may expect to be tipped. This does depend on who it is though. Usually, the officiants that expect a gratuity are those affiliated with a church or synagogue. These tips are often expected in the form of a donation to their institution. If you are a member of the institution, you may be expected to donate more than if you are not. If you are being charged to use the church/synagogue space, you don’t have to donate as much.

Plan to donate $100-$500 to the institution. You can also consider tipping the officiant $50-$100 as well. Perhaps even a little more if they provided pre-marital counseling leading up to your wedding day. The donation would likely be expected prior to the wedding day. While you can enlist a responsible attendant (or your wedding planner) to give a cash envelope to the officiant at the rehearsal dinner.

Delivery and setup staff

Anyone that is delivering important items to your wedding site should receive a small gratuity. These items would include your wedding cake, flowers, sound system, etc. Those setting up chairs, tents, porta-potties and more also deserve a tip.

A tip of $5-$10 per person is appropriate. Your wedding planner or the catering manager can be entrusted with cash envelopes to distribute all the tips.

Reception staff

Your wedding reception staff will also expect to be tipped. These people include your banquet manager and on-site coordinator. Budget 15-20 percent of your food and drink cost to go towards this wedding vendor tip.

Sometimes the tip (aka service charge) is already built into the fee. Check your contract to find out. If the service fee is included in the contract, your payment will likely be upfront. If it’s not, have your assigned person hand over the cash envelope at the end of the night.

Transportation

This is another wedding vendor that may include the tip into the fee. Check your contract. If it isn’t included, you can tip based on the service. Aspects you can judge to decide on your gratuity amount can be their timeliness, if they provide a smooth ride, are fun/polite, and don’t get lost.

An appropriate tip amount is 15-20 percent of the total bill. This cash envelope will be handed to the driver at the end of the night or after the last ride.

 

Optional vendor tipping

The vendors that we are listing next do not expect to receive a tip. However, they would still greatly appreciate it. Consider setting aside some money to tip your favorite wedding vendors or anyone that has really gone above and beyond the call of duty.

Band or DJ

Tipping musicians is completely optional whether you have a single DJ or a live band, but it is preferred. You can decide if and how much to tip them based on how well they did their job and if they were willing to follow your ideal playlist.

For musicians, $25-$35 per musician is an appropriate tip. While a DJ tip can range from $50-$150. Your designated person can tip them at the end of the reception.

Photographer and videographer

As photographers and videographers ourselves, we want to be completely open with the fact that tipping us is COMPLETELY optional. Though absolutely appreciated if you so choose!

If you absolutely love your photographer and videographer and want to give them a little extra love, a $50-$200 range in tips is perfect. This can be given at the end of the reception.

Ceremony musicians

You probably don’t need to worry about tipping the church organist that is included in your venue cost. But if you hired a string quartet or worked with musicians to find or create the perfect score for you and they executed it flawlessly, a monetary show of appreciation for their talent is great.

If you want to tip your ceremony musicians, $15-$20 per musician is appropriate and should be paid at the end of the ceremony.

Wedding planner

Your wedding planner isn’t expecting a tip. However, if yours did an awesome job, was easy to work with, listened to all your dreams, a token of appreciation is wonderful. This token doesn’t have to be monetary. A small gift is also a great way to say thanks. If you do want to tip with money, 10-20 percent of the service fee (up to $500) is normal.

You can give a cash envelope at the end of the reception. Or you can send your tip or gift with a thank-you note after your honeymoon. Again, while tipping your wedding planner isn’t required, 50% of couples do tip their planners.

Reception attendants

Perhaps we should have put this under the expected section. The rules of tipping the bartenders, waitstaff, parking, bathroom and coatroom attendants is all dictated by your contract. If the service fee is included, you may consider tipping a small amount if the service was exceptional. If there is no service fee in your contract, find out before your wedding day how many attendants will be working your wedding and plan your tip amount accordingly.

10-20 percent of your final liquor and/or food bill can be budgeted for tips and split among all of the bartenders or waiters. For parking and coatroom attendants, plan to tip about $1 per guest. Traditionally tips are handed out at the end of the reception, but if you want to ensure great service, you can give the tips out at the beginning of the evening.

 

So that’s tipping wedding vendors in a nutshell. Other vendors that we didn’t mention that you may want to tip or at least send a thank you note to for exceptional service include your florist, caterer, caligrapher, or any other creatives that created personalized items for your wedding.

 

 

 

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