At first look, weddings cost a whole lot more than an arm and a leg which would make tipping your wedding vendors seem like spending another extra limb. On the wedding day itself, however, expectations might be exceeded, vendors over-deliver, and even the couple themselves might just feel extra grateful to every single person who made the day possible. This brings us back to the question, to tip or not to tip? How much should you tip?
Before getting into the details, there is a general rule when it comes to tipping wedding vendors – for businesses owned by the actual vendors themselves or a one-man operating wedding supplier, there is no need to tip because they know how much is agreed upon in the contract and the money goes straight to their pockets. On the other hand, giving them a little extra as a token of gratuity is also highly appreciated.
Here’s a quick list of the different wedding vendors and suppliers and a low down on how much would be appropriate for tipping each vendor.
Makeup Artist and Stylist.
These are to be tipped as you would when you go to a salon appointment, giving them 15-20% of their rate as tips. For other support staff, like those who blow dry or do the shampooing, giving them $3 to 5 is great.
The photographers and videographers may be from separate companies and if they operate as a one-man team, they already know how much to expect. However, if right after receiving the flash drive full of photos or seeing your wedding video online and you feel like you want to thank them personally, giving them an additional 10% of the total price is acceptable. If the studio or company has sent in their staff, you handing them anywhere from $30 to 50 right after they finish with the coverage is a nice gesture.
The flowers, the wedding cake, and rentals are all important elements that are delivered on the day of. If you feel like you would want to extend your gratitude, you can send in 15% of the total price as a tip.
For religious ministers, priests, and pastors, making a donation to their church is a great way of showing gratuity. For civil celebrants, however, they are paid a flat rate per ceremony and are not allowed to accept any gifts or tips so giving them a heartfelt thank you note would be great.
Read the contract carefully. If gratuity is already included in the total contract price, you may give 15% to 20% of the amount to the manager as a tip. Another way of computing it is to go by staff members, giving $100 to the catering manager, $50 to the chefs, and $20 to the waiters and staff.
From bands to DJs, these entertainers can be given a tip especially if they have gone above and beyond your expectations, like extending their show for another set or playing your favorite song even if it’s not in their repertoire. If there were booked via an agency, you can freely give them a tip of about $20 to $25 per member. For DJs and one-man musicians, an additional 15% is perfect.
Since they become part of the wedding team earlier compared to any other supplier, couples always want to show their appreciation by giving a tip. The additional 10% tip still applies, especially if you feel that they have exceeded all expectations.
All tips are to be placed inside an envelope and ideally are to be handed out to the vendors on the wedding day itself, so make sure to prepare these in advance and delegate the task of handing them out to a trusted person who also knows the different suppliers as well. It could be the bride’s mother or it could also be the maid of honor or a bridesmaid. Aside from money, another way to show your appreciation is through gifts and tokens that your suppliers could enjoy or keep right after the wedding madness, like a bottle of good wine or gift certificates to a day spa or a really great restaurant.