Hitched Tip: Tipping Vendors

Here it is. The awkward discussion we have with every single client. Who to tip, when to tip, how much to tip. You have paid your vendors well to do their job, but a little extra can go a long way when showing your appreciation. Some tips are expected while others are a huge gesture of how much you loved working beside these professionals.

We always suggest tipping if: 1. Your vendor went above and beyond during the planning process. They made your life easier, followed through with promises, and kept your guests happy. 2. You are 100% satisficed with their services on the wedding day.

Here are our guidelines:

1. The Caterer and Waitstaff:

Check your contract on this one, as a gratuity is sometimes included in service fees but ask the catering manager how tipping works at their company. Some companies include a “service fee” that goes toward overhead, not to staff. Always tip waitstaff, bartenders, and anyone else serving your guests. Cash always!

How much: 15-18 percent of the food and service bill, or $100-$150 for the manager/cooks and $50-$75 for server.


2. DJ/ Band Tipping your wedding musicians is optional, but a nice gesture if they really provide an outstanding service and kept your guests happy!

How much: $75-$150 for a DJ, $50-$75 per musician for a band.

3. Hair & Make up Tip your hair and make up artists as if you were at a salon!

How much: 15-25 percent


4. Wedding Planner

Although we do not expect a tip, it is always a nice gesture if our overall service provided from the planning process to execution was exceptional.

How much: 10-20 percent of the planner’s fee


5. Officiant Thanking your officiant with a tip is absolutely customary.

How much: $50 to $100 for an individual, or a donation to the house of worship


6. Photographer/Videographer/Florist

These vendors don’t expect a tip, but thanking them with a monetary gift, a gift card or some other present is a nice way to show your gratitude if the service provided, including correspondence during planning, exceeded your expectations.

How much: Completely up to you, but $75 to $100 per vendor is customary. And if they got you some sneak peaks quickly, don't be afraid to Venmo or PayPal a last minute tip if you forgot on the actual night!


7. Driver

As you would with a taxi, tip your driver unless gratuity is included in your contract.

How much: $100 a driver


Bottom line, tipping is completely up to the couple. It is not mandatory, but is appreciated and will go a long way. If you picked your team correctly, they are constantly going above and beyond to keep your day perfect, so be sure to add tipping to your budget!

Laura Elizabeth Photography