With all the expenses involved in wedding planning, gratuity might fall under the radar, but it’s an important thing to keep in mind. As a couple getting ready to celebrate your wedding, you might be confused as to whom to tip and what amount is appropriate. Most professionals in the wedding industry do not expect tips, but it’s always a nice gesture, especially if the service was above and beyond. Always check your contracts for a gratuity charge before shelling out more cash. If there is a gratuity fee, don’t worry about tipping extra, unless there is an individual you really want to give a little extra to. If there is no gratuity fee in the contract, it is up to you whether or not extra money gets doled out to vendors and individuals. Here’s a cheat sheet to help you decide.
Tipping a wedding planner is optional. If yours did an exceptional job or offered you a great price on her services. Consider tipping 15-20%.
Hair and Makeup Artist
Treat your wedding hair and makeup artists just as you would your regular stylist; it’s not mandatory to tip them, but you usually do when you go to the salon. Consider giving 15-25%.
Many times, a gratuity fee will be added to the overall catering fee, so double check before you tip. If the service was exceptional and you want to tip extra, consider giving 15-20% of the total bill or $50 to each chef.
Set up Staff
For those who are delivering items or setting up items like tents, chairs, lighting, etc., a tip is expected. $5-10 per person is adequate.
Officiants hardly ever expect tips and will often kindly turn them down, but a donation to the church or synagogue the officiant is affiliated with is appreciated. A $100 donation is a good amount to give.
Whether it’s a DJ or a string quartet, consider giving $20-60 per person, depending on the size of the band.
A solo photographer who owns her own business will not expect anything over her normal fees, but a photographer who works for a company (does not own business) will greatly appreciate a few extra dollars. $50-100 per photographer/videographer is a good place to start.
Tipping wait staff and bartenders will often be dictated by your contract, so check there before you decide on an amount. Generally, $20-60 per bartender and waiter is acceptable.
Your limo/taxi/shuttle drivers will usually expect a tip. If it’s not already laid out in the contract, consider giving $20-40 per driver.
If your florist did an outstanding job and you want to show your gratitude through a tip, consider giving a 10-15% gratuity after services are rendered.
Keep in mind that tipping does not have to be in cash form. Wedding vendors are aware of the amount of money that goes into a wedding and understand if a couple can’t continue to shell out loads of extra cash. With that being said, everyone appreciates a token of appreciation, whether it’s a handwritten thank-you note, a glowing review, a recommendation, or a small gift. Any kind of “tip” is a nice surprise.