As you prepare for your wedding, you must think about many things. From finding the perfect wedding venue to hold the wedding, securing the best date for your big day, hiring a photographer to capture the day’s moments, choosing the flowers and decor to set a dreamy scene, and finding your dream wedding gown—the decisions you make surrounding your wedding are essential.
And many couples wonder whether or not they should be tipping wedding vendors when setting their budget and paying deposits.
Tipping is a tradition in the salon, restaurant, and taxi industries, but it’s also used elsewhere as an act of courtesy. Tipping is a sign of appreciation if someone provides you with a service.
But should you be tipping wedding vendors? And, if so, which ones should be tipped?
Knowing when tips are expected can help you avoid any awkward moments. Here’s a list of who gets a gratuity and how much:
The Complete Guide to Tipping Wedding Vendors
Tipping some vendors for your wedding is expected. An obvious way to tell whether or not tipping is expected is to examine your vendor contracts before the big day rolls around. If there is a gratuity included in the contract, you’re covered.
Otherwise, the following vendors typically appreciate a tip:
Waitstaff and Caterer
A gratuity is often included in the catering bill. If your wedding is at a restaurant, club, or other similar location, it will typically be included, as well. Waitstaff in restaurants do not make enough of a wage to support themselves without tips; in the wedding and event business, they will be compensated for their time. However, you may still wish to tip them, so they know you appreciate their attention. If you want to be generous, $25 is the perfect amount.
Photographer and Videographer
Most wedding photographers who own their businesses aren’t tipped. If you like their work, and they bring a lot of knowledge and insight to your wedding photos, you may wish to tip them. It is customary to tip an assistant $50-$75 (on average) after they have done a fantastic job for you.
Musicians and DJ
Music can set the mood, get people onto the dance floor, and even create memories for a lifetime. Tipping your musician, band, or DJ is essential. If you have a musician supplying music during the ceremony, they also deserve a tip. It’s common to tip musicians $25-$50 (on average) on top of their fee if they didn’t include gratuity in the contract. Along with thanking the band, don’t forget to thank (and tip) the sound engineer for helping make your night enjoyable.
Tipping wedding bartenders usually depends on a couple of things. Tipping is often included in the bill at catered events and parties, and weddings are no exception. If your caterer has bartending service, make sure your contract includes tipping. However, if you hired people to be bartenders on your own, then tip 15 percent of the final bar bill, pre-taxes. It’s worth speaking to the bartenders before your event starts, so there isn’t any confusion- tips from guests should be refused.
If your officiant is a clergy member, they typically will not take a personal tip, but a nice gesture is to donate to their house of worship. If your officiant is non-clergy, they will appreciate a tip. The standard for donated and tipped amounts is between $50 and $100.
Hair and Makeup
Having hair and makeup done for your wedding is one of the most fun parts of the day. You get to see the glamming-up process take effect. As you would in a spa or hair salon, 20% of the service cost is a standard tip, but this amount can vary, depending upon what you require. If you’re paying for all of your bridesmaid’s services, you may provide this tip and include a larger tip at the end or ask your bridesmaids to pay only the tip.
Your wedding planner is probably a business owner and will likely not be expecting a tip. If you loved their work and felt you needed to show gratitude for their commitment and dedication to making your day perfect, send them a thank-you card or even a gift card that acknowledges how much they meant to you!
Florist and Baker
Like your wedding planner and photographer, the florist and baker are business owners or paid employees and are not expecting a tip either. If the baker delivers your cake to your venue and sets it up, you may want to offer a small tip of $20. If a florist goes above and beyond to deliver, set up, and do anything else unexpected, a tip of $20-50 would be appreciated.
The Best Ways To Tip Wedding Vendors Without Breaking the Bank
Wedding vendors are necessary for the wedding day, but it’s hard to know how much to tip them without breaking the bank.
One of the best things you can do to ensure you’re not stressed out on your wedding day is to include a tip for each service as part of your budget; this will guarantee the smoothest and most seamless experience.
You may also wish to appoint a trusted friend or wedding party member to be responsible for the tips on the wedding day. This can ease a significant burden but ensure that your bills are paid and the vendors are tipped.
One of the best things you can do for wedding vendors who have impressed you is to recommend them to friends and family. Reviewing online and posting photos of their work is a great way to show gratitude for a job well done when tipping isn’t appropriate.
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