What do I tip my wedding vendors?
Are you struggling with the decision on which vendors to tip and if so how much? Tipping is not mandatory, however it is the standard to give a gratuity to a vendor for a job well done. It is important to figure the logistics of this ahead of time and have all cash put into sealed envelopes with the vendors name and if you wanted a little thank you note inside. It's also a smart idea to review your contracts and check to see if a gratuity is already included with your package. You may see this often at the venue for some of their staff (maître d', waiters, bartenders etc.) and in that case no extra tip is required unless you so desire. Traditionally, it is not necessary to tip a business owner who is working your wedding themselves, but they do appreciate a tip for their staff and assistants. Small business owners should not be overlooked however, since they are typically running it themselves and would appreciate a tip for exceptional service. Here is a list of what is considered a healthy customary tip for excellent service at your wedding:
Officiant- $300 is a standard donation if a set denomination has not been asked from your house of worship by a clergy member or pastor, a $50 tip if you are married by a judge or clerk.
DJ- $100 to the MC and DJ, $25 to any assistants
Band- Since this tends to be a large number of people you can give a total amount and have them divide it up, $25-$50 per person is standard
Photographer/Videographer- $150 for the lead shooter and $75 for the second shooter. Don't forget both of these vendors are spending the entire day with you and what they produce is what you will look back on in years to come.
Hair/Make-up- 20% of the total bill, if you are paying for your attendants hair and make-up it is proper etiquette that they tip the hair/make-up team themselves but have this discussion with your bridal party ahead of time.
Transportation- 2%0 of the total bill which can be spilt for each driver
Wedding Planner- $250-$500 depending on the size of your wedding. Almost 50% of couples tip their wedding planner, although most planners wont except it for themselves they usually split it amongst their assistants for the day.
If your venue does not include gratuity to its staff use the below tipping guidelines, to make things easier you can label all of your envelopes (bartenders, waiters, etc.) and hand them to the catering manager to divide up amongst his staff.
Maitre d'- 15% of the total food and drink fee
Catering Manager- $250
Bartenders- $20 per bartender
Wait Staff- $20 per waiter
Coat check/valet - $2 per guest
Deliveries and set up- $5-$10 per person
Most gratuities are handed out upon completion of services as a way to say thank you for there hard work.