Tipping Your Event Vendors

Tipping can be a tough topic to navigate. Below we help clarify the matter, broken down by category of vendor.

Helpful Tips

Most wedding/event professionals do not expect a tip even though it is becoming customary to tip all service providers. The only one that normally expect tips is the catering staff and the salon staff.

Catering

There are 3 ways to handle tipping the catering staff.

  1. Put it in the contract (some caterers do this, so read before you tip)
  2. Tip 15% – 20% of the bill
  3. Find out how many chefs and servers will be working your event and tip $50 – $100 per chef and $20 – $50 per server.

Wedding planner

Tipping your wedding planner is not necessary. If they gave you a large discount or went above and beyond their contracted services giving a 10-20% tip is a nice gesture, up to $500. Also, if you have professional photos of your wedding for the planner’s portfolio, that can be a great way to say thank you as well. Both a monetary tip and photos can be mailed in a thank you card after the honeymoon.

Photographer and videographer

If your photographer and/or videographer own the studio, there is no need to tip. However, if they do not, giving $50 – $100 per photographer/videographer is a nice gesture at the end of the reception but it is not required.

Ceremony staff and reception staff

Often gratuity is built into your contract for the venue staff. If it is not included below is a general guideline.

  • $200 – $300 for the maître d’
  • $20 – $50 for ceremony staff, reception staff and delivery staff
  • 10 – 20 % of liquor or food bill to be split among bartenders or waiters
  • $1 per guest for coatroom
  • $1 per car for parking attendants

These tips are usually given at the end of the event.

Officiant

A lot of times officiants do not accept tips but offering $50 – $100 is a nice gesture. If they are affiliated with a church of synagogue, make a donation to them.

The best time for this tip if the rehearsal dinner if the officiant is there. If not, after the ceremony is acceptable.

Hair and makeup artist

A tip of 15  to 25 % is expected just like if you went for your regular visit. It is a good idea to have extra just in case someone has a meltdown and the up-do needs to be redone. Tip your beauty stylists at the end of your service.

Band or DJ

Offering a 10 to 15 percent tip is a nice gesture to your band or DJ, especially if they have to carry a lot of heavy equipment from one location to the next. For musicians, a $25 to $50 tip per band member is appropriate or $50 to $150 per DJ at the end of the reception.

Tipping musicians is completely optional, depending on the quality of the job and how willing they were to follow your ideal playlist. Don’t forget about any sound technicians they bring with them too.

Transportation

A 15 percent tip is optional if it isn’t included in the contract. Tip transportation pros at the end of the night or after the last ride. If you used a separate company for the guest buses, designate a bus captain to hand the driver a tip.

Florist

The florist doesn’t expect a tip. However, if they do an outstanding job, you can consider giving them a 10 to 15 percent tip after services are rendered.

No matter who and what you decide to tip, make sure you budget for this expense so that you can keep tabs on it and aren’t scrambling at the last minute to get money where it is supposed to go.

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