Wedding Vendor Tips: An Easy Guide of Who To Tip, How Much and When

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Figuring our your wedding vendor tips will be one of the last to-do’s on your wedding planning checklist, but a tricky task to figure out nonetheless.

Use this Wedding Vendor Tips guide to determine who you need to tip, how much and when you should give them a tip. Complete with some helpful, expert tips below.

Wedding Vendor Tips: A guide to who, what, when and how much

photo by Swoon Over It Photography

WEDDING VENDOR TIPS

Hair Stylist, Makeup Artist & Other Beauty Technicians

If you ARE NOT paying for your wedding party’s beauty services, I recommend reminding them to include a fair tip when they are paying. If you ARE paying for their services, you can ask your wedding party to just provide the tip (a suggested amount will be helpful) or choose to pay the tip yourself.

HOW MUCH: 

10%-20% of the cost of services

WHEN TO TIP: 

After services are complete on the wedding day

Drivers for any Limos, Shuttles, Buses, Trolleys, etc.

The total tip amount depends on the extent of which they are driving you and/or your guests. It’s my opinion that a driver working several hours and making several trips should be tipped slightly more than the driver just making one trip. Either way, it’s important not to forget to say “thank you” for their professionalism.

HOW MUCH: 

$50-$100 per driver

WHEN TO TIP: 

Ideally, once they’re done providing the service.

Ceremony Participants

This includes altar servers as well as ceremony musicians and should be given before the ceremony begins (they tend to disappear quickly after the ceremony).

HOW MUCH: 

$20-$40 per person*

WHEN TO TIP: 

At the ceremony rehearsal or before the ceremony begins

*You do not need to tip friends or family members who you’ve asked to give a reading or bring up the gifts for communion.

Any Servers and Wait Staff

This is very possibly something that is already included in your caterer or venue contract. Look this over carefully PRIOR to the wedding day to avoid double-tipping or forgetting to give them a tip. If it is not clear whether a tip is provided or how many staff members there will be, be sure to ask your contact with that company. Also, keep in mind that a “service charge” is often different than a tip.

HOW MUCH: 

$15-$30 per staff member

WHEN TO TIP: 

It’s best to give this tip to the Maître D’ or venue coordinator with it clearly labeled for the wait staff (they should be tipped separately) and they can distribute accordingly. It can be done at the end of the night or directly following dinner.

Bartenders

You may wish to have a “tip jar” out on the bar where your guests can choose to tip their bartenders. I’m not a huge fan of this, but it’s a personal preference. Just remember if you do not wish to have a tip jar out, that you should then take care of a tip for the bartenders on your guests’ behalf (if it’s not included in your contract)

HOW MUCH: 

$40-$75 per bartender

WHEN TO TIP: 

At the end of the night and given directly to the bartenders

Maître D’ or Venue Coordinator

If your venue or catering company has a “Captain” or banquet manager position, it is customary to tip them based on the total number of guests in attendance. Again, this tip may already be included in your total agreement with the catering company and/or venue. Be sure to check first.

HOW MUCH: 

$1 – $2 per guest

WHEN TO TIP: 

The same time you give them the tip for the rest of their staff

Valets, Coat Check and Bathroom Attendants

For these roles, you should tip them based on the number of guests per station to be split amongst them. For example, if there are 100 guests, you can tip your valet parkers $100 and they will split that amongst themselves (not $100 per valet parker).

HOW MUCH: 

$.50 – $2 per guest, to be split

WHEN TO TIP: 

At the end of their service

DJ and Emcees

It is not “required” to tip your DJ/Emcee, but if you feel they did a great job, then it’s a great way to say “thank you!” for keeping our guests happy and entertained.

HOW MUCH: 

10%-15% of the cost of services

WHEN TO TIP: 

At the end of their service

Bands, Live Musicians and Entertainers

If you are having musicians, band, or any other type of live entertainment, a tip for each member is customary, especially if you booked them through an agency.

HOW MUCH: 

$20-$50 per entertainer

WHEN TO TIP: 

At the end of their service

Photographers, Cinematographers/Videographers, and Planners/Coordinators

It is not “required” to tip these individuals, but it is obviously very appreciated. These pros will often be spending the most time with you throughout the day and it’s important to appreciate their hard work and attention to detail. If they will be having any assistants, you can also extend an optional tip to them.

HOW MUCH: 

5% – 10% of the cost of services

$25-$50+ per assistant, depending on their level of involvement

WHEN TO TIP: 

At the end of their service

Officiants

A tip is not common for officiants, but a donation to a church (if applicable) is a nice gesture. It’s also a nice gesture to invite them to stay as a guest for dinner.

HOW MUCH: 

$100 donation

WHEN TO TIP: 

At the rehearsal or before the ceremony

Delivery Persons for Florist, Rentals, Cake, etc.

It is not “required” or common to tip these individuals, but a small gratuity is always a nice touch.

HOW MUCH: 

$5 – $20 per person, depending on much heavy-lifting they’re doing

WHEN TO TIP: 

At the end of their service

The Myth About Not Tipping Owners

It is not uncommon to read articles that tell you that IF the individual providing the service is also the owner of the company, you do not technically need to tip them.

Here is my take on that:

If you were to go out to eat, you would not tip the owner of the restaurant, right? BUT, if the owner was also the person taking your order, making sure you’re taken care of, bringing your food and topping of your drinks, then YES, you would absolutely give them a tip, right?

It’s my opinion that it works the same for your wedding pros.

For example, if you are using a DJ who is subcontracted to work for a company, you would tip the DJ, not the owner. But if the owner was also the DJ working with you throughout the process AND their playing some killer tunes on your wedding day and keeping all of your guests on the dance floor all night long, then it’s a great idea to pass along a tip to them.

How You Should Give Wedding Vendor Tips

It’s most ideal to pass along your wedding vendor tips once the person has completed providing their service. That said, it’s often much easier to distribute any tips towards the beginning of the day — otherwise, it can be forgotten in the excitement of the night.

I recommend using small envelopes with the person’s name and/or role written on it with pre-determined cash placed inside. (Cash is always recommended over check)

Who Should Hand Out Wedding Vendor Tips

It’s always nice for the couple to give the tip directly, however not always realistic. With the exception of the hair/makeup artist, I recommend giving all tips to your wedding planner/coordinator to distribute. If you do not have a coordinator, it’s traditional for the Best Man (or Father of the Bride) to pass along the tips. That said, do what works best for you.

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2017-06-16T20:32:16+00:00

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