One of the questions that we are always asked by our brides and grooms is who we tip and how much. You are already purchasing all these services for your wedding, you spent thousands of dollars on a venue, do we really need to tip on top of all that money spent? The answer might surprise you.
When planning your wedding budget, it is proper wedding etiquette to allocate a percentage to the side for tipping those vendors that provide a service the day of your wedding. Rule of thumb is to allocate 10-20% for tipping for services. Determining who you tip and when, well that all will depend on the service.
Let’s go down the list of vendors and remember, at the end of the day, though it isn’t expected, it is proper to tip!
The owner of the venue doesn’t expect to get tipped. However, if the venue provides staff to maintain the venue clean throughout your event, you can tip the staff. Same goes for the catering company staff who is serving your food and is bartending. They are there to provide your guests with an experience, so providing a tip for the catering company to distribute among the staff is a wonderful gesture of appreciation.
Day off services like hair and makeup, transportation, florists, and officiant should be tipped following the 10-20% rule of thumb. Since their services normally are conducted for a short amount of time and they aren’t there with you all day, we recommend having envelopes with the tip already prepared the day off and handing them to your Wedding Coordinator or a designated family member who will make sure they vendors will get their tip.
For the vendors who provide entertainment, are setting up ambiance, or have been providing services like planning and event design, the industry standard is $50-$200. This includes DJs, photographers, videographers, live musicians, wedding planners, and day of coordinators.
When should you tip? At the end of each service provided. For example, make sure the hair and makeup stylist leave your bridal suite with their tip. At the end of the night, have your wedding coordinator or designated family member give the tip to the DJ. As you are signing your wedding license, give the officiant their envelope. This way you ensure everyone get their tip once their services are provided.
Remember, tipping is not expected but its appreciated. Vendors love receiving thank you notes, a photo of your wedding day, and above all, reviews. Make sure that after the wedding is done, you leave your vendors google reviews and wedding wire reviews. That will mean more to your vendors than anything else.
Lastly, if you aren’t getting married in the United States, make sure you get acquainted with how things are done in the country you are getting married. In some countries it's actually an insult to tip!