The Etiquette of Wedding Vendor Gratuity
Wedding vendors do an unbelievable job at making your wedding day everything you have dreamed of. To show appreciation for their work, it is lovely to budget money for their tips. Determining how much exactly can be a bit more complex so let us walk through some best practices for tipping!
Just a few things to remember before we get into how much:
• It is essential to note that gratuity amounts vary based on location and the cost of your wedding vendors. The more high-end the wedding, the less percentages play a role in computing a tip.
• You or your wedding planner should look through your vendor contracts for a gratuity fee. The gratuity fee is specifically for employees, not the company owner. Not to be confused with the service fees that companies charge as well.
• Gratuity is a very personal choice for couples, and you should only do it if you feel that you have received remarkable service. After all, not all vendors expect a tip.
• Tip or no tip, a good old fashion thank you note to vendors is a must. There is nothing better than getting a heartfelt note from a couple expressing gratitude for all the hard work to create their dream day. Vendors cherish those notes!
• Tipping vendors usually occurs on the day of your wedding towards the end of the night or after the last job for that particular vendor is complete.
**Expert Note: We always tell our clients to have gratuity for each vendor in a labeled, sealed envelope for the wedding planner or a trusted person to distribute.
So How Much Are You Expected To Tip?
Here are some general guidelines to follow...
Hair and Makeup: Gratuity Expected
You wouldn’t go to your local salon and get your makeup or hair done without tipping your stylist or makeup artist. It's the same for your wedding stylists. A typical amount would be 15% to 20% of the total cost.
Ceremony Officiant: Gratuity Expected
The wedding ceremony officiant should receive $50 to $100. Consider donating to the religious institution they are affiliated with as well.
Delivery/Set up Personnel: Gratuity Expected
The delivery staff should receive a tip ranging from $5 to $20 per person for setting up cake, pipe & drape, tables, chairs, etc.
Venue Coordinator: Gratuity Expected
The venue coordinator ensures that the venue and staff are running seamlessly for your event and traditionally is tipped 15% to 20% of the food and drink bill.
Wedding Waitstaff: Gratuity Optional
Consider tipping your waitstaff $15 to $20 per person to show appreciation. It is important to remember that your wedding waitstaff is not depending on tips as your typical restaurant waitstaff would.
Bartenders: Gratuity Expected
We can't forget about the bartender, who is pouring beverage after beverage for your guests. Bartenders usually receive about 10% to 15% of the total bar tab.
**Expert Note: Unless you have a cash bar, we NEVER suggest putting a tip jar out. It downgrades the experience for your guests. Plus, it is not the most sophisticated look.
Transportation: Gratuity Expected
Transportation staff is typically tipped in the range of 15% to 20% of your total bill.
Wedding Band/DJ/Musicians: Gratuity Optional
It is key to consider their setup, performance, and responsiveness to the crowd. If they went above and beyond consider tipping $20 to $30 per musician or $100 to $300 for your DJ.
Florist: Gratuity Optional
Flowers are show stoppers at any wedding. The florists usually have a team putting your event together flower by flower, however, florists are not traditionally tipped. If you love their work and they went above and beyond, consider tipping in the range of 5% to 10% of your total floral bill.
Photographer and Videographer: Gratuity Optional
Although a tip is not expected, it would be a great way to thank them for the lifelong memories they have captured. A recommended tip would be in the range of $100 to $200.
Wedding Planner: Gratuity Optional
If you feel they went above and beyond the call of duty, consider tipping their assistants anywhere from $50 to $150 per assistant.