Uh oh — the dreaded word, “tipping.” Not because you’re cheap or you don’t value a good tip, but because tipping can be SO awkward, especially when it comes to your wedding! Who do I tip? When do I tip? What do I tip? Can I tip myself?! 🙂
There are no hard concrete rules for tipping those that contribute so immensely to your big day, BUT there are some great guidelines you can apply when considering if and what to tip your vendors. I know I found this extremely helpful to research as I am in the process of planning my own wedding! (Yep, it’s me—Abbi Sudtelgte! You can read more about my wedding planning adventures here.)
First off, you will want to review each of your vendor contracts and see if gratuity is already included in the fee. Often times contracts will say “service charge”, but that is not necessarily always the same as gratuity. It is best to always touch base with the catering company and see if the “service charge” includes gratuity. If gratuity is not included in the catering fees, just ask the head of catering or venue what a typical dollar amount is to tip. You can give the coordinator the amount to be tipped, and let them distribute it evenly throughout the waitstaff and bartenders.
Before we proceed it is important to remember:
- Tipping is not expected; that is why it is a gratuity! If you’re grateful for those that went above and beyond, then tip them.
- Tipping looks different for each person. Everyone will tip differently and it depends on a multitude of things.
- Tips do not always equal cash. Often times instead of cash, a nice gift, gift card, or thank-you note will show your appreciation much more than a dollar amount.
We have done the research and compiled a list of vendors and other people that contribute to a bride and groom’s perfect day and general rules to follow when considering tipping.
Hair Stylists, Make-Up Artists, and Seamstress
- Yes, you should tip each of these contributors to your beautiful day! Anywhere from 15%-20% tip with your total payment will show your appreciation of their time and dedication to you.
Wedding Photographer and Videographer
- Tipping these vendors is optional and should be based upon your satisfaction with their service.
- Consider tipping $50-$100 or submitting a well thought-out referral or recommendation of their services and a thank-you note.
- If you do decide to tip you should do so after their services have been completed. You can mail it after you’ve see their tremendous work and feel compelled to do so.
- As mentioned previously, it is appropriate to tip unless gratuity is already included, so read those contracts!
- A 15%-20% tip to share amongst the hospitality staff at the end of the reception will be perfect.
- If it is allowed by the officiant, then it is appropriate to tip anywhere form $75-$100 for their services in assisting you in becoming husband and wife 🙂 It is best to give the tip in an envelope to the Best Man, Mother of the Bride, personal attendant, wedding planner, or another responsible party member, to deliver to the officiant.
- If it is not allowed to tip, consider donating to the church instead.
- It is completely optional to tip the musicians at the ceremony. If they are hired musicians consider tipping $25 to each member. If they are a friend, consider a meaningful gift or a thoughtful thank you note after the ceremony is completed.
Wedding DJ or Band
- Again, this is optional based upon the quality of the services they provided.
- If you want to tip the band or DJ, $25 per musician or $50-$100 for the DJ is a great token of your appreciation to them after their services are completed.
- Reception attendants can include a variety of people apart of making your day successful – (coat checkers, bartenders, bathroom attendants, etc.)
- Often times these services are included in a vendor contract and therefore the tip will depend, otherwise $25 a person after the reception will be just fine. (Plus, guests may have been tipping these staff members throughout the night)
- This is another service that you will want to review the contract for to see if gratuity is included or not.
- If not, 15%-20% tip after the last ride is completed is a great tip!
- Last but not least, the wedding planner/coordinator! Again, tipping is optional here as well.
- Many wedding coordinators (including Renee Halgerson, the wedding stylist in charge of all things wedding at Hitch Studio) prefer a nice thank you note showing your appreciation. (Her favorite thank you notes include a photo of the couple on the front!)
TIP: Any tips you wish to provide to your vendors should be organized into envelopes before the wedding day and given to someone you can trust to deliver them to the appropriate hands!
If any of this gratuity and tipping talk made you overwhelmed, consider setting up a free consultation with Hitch Studio’s Wedding Event Coordinator and Stylist, Renee Halgerson!