Vendor Tipping Cheat Sheet

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Tipping Your Vendors

Yes, we asked it, the dreaded question. How much should I tip? Though tipping at weddings has become more of a custom, it is not mandatory or expected, even by the most experienced wedding pros. And if you're already dipping deep into your savings, gratuities can be a hard pill to swallow. But remember that tips are never obligatory, they are supposed to be expressions of gratitude for vendors who go above and beyond their contracted duties. 

Here are a few guidelines to help you navigate the process:

 

I. CHECK YOUR CONTRACT

Some vendors such as the caterer and transportation will automatically include gratuity {usually 15-20% of the total bill} within their contract. Make sure to review each contract, more than once, to avoid double-tipping.  

 

II. DON'T TIP THE OWNER

A vendor who is self-employed or is the owner of a business is generally not tipped. 

 

III. TIP THE DAY OF THE WEDDING

Ask your wedding planner or trusted ally to pass out tips towards the end of the evening. Make it personal by adding a short and sweet thank you note included within the envelope.

 

VENDOR BREAKDOWN

I. DELIVERY & SET-UP STAFF

If the delivery staff provided exemplary service, you can show appreciation by tipping $5-$10/person. 

 

II. CATERING

If your contract does not include gratuity, then a 15-20% tip of the total bill is expected. You may also tip each chef between $50-$100 and each server between $20-$50. 

 

III. VIDEOGRAPHER & PHOTOGRAPHER

Remember, if they own their own studio a tip is not required. If this is not the case, a tip between $50-%150 is a nice gesture. 

 

IV. OFFICIANT

Most officiants will not accept a tip, in which case you can make a donation to their church. If the officiant is non-denominational, you can tip them $100 for their service. 

 

V. MAKEUP ARTIST & HAIRSTYLIST

A 15-20% tip is expected, just as it would be for any salon visit. 

 

VI. BAND & DJ

The band/DJ can receive a 10-15% tip, while musicians should receive between $25-$50 for their service.

 

VII. TRANSPORTATION

If gratuity is not included within the contract, then a 15-20% tip is expected. 

REMEMBER: Tipping is not mandatory, but if you feel as though specific vendors went above and beyond you are more than welcome to show your appreciation.