One of the things we frequently educate our clients about is vendor gratuity and tipping. Many people don't realize that it is good etiquette to tip the vendors who help put your wedding together, and navigating this topic can be tricky if you don't have the right information.
And to help you figure out who expects a tip and who doesn't, we've put together today's blog post so you aren't caught off-guard by unexpected budget surprises.
Check your contracts.
Some contracts and invoices include service fees or gratuity in their bill. Make sure you go through your contracts to make sure you aren't tipping more than you should.
Reward those who go above and beyond.
As you figure out how much gratuity to give everyone, keep in mind that you are tipping someone. You are essentially rewarding behavior of those who go above and beyond. These are the tasks that make your wedding day go smoothly. Even if a vendor doesn't expect gratuity, if they went above and beyond, slipping him/her a little extra cash on the day of your wedding is a great way of saying, "Thank you. Your work doesn't go unnoticed."
When to tip:
You can give all of your vendor gratuities in labeled, sealed envelopes to your planner to distribute at the end of the wedding, or you can personally mail each vendor a thank you card and his/her tip when you get back from your honeymoon. You really don't want to wait more than 1-2 weeks to send it after your wedding, though.
Who and How Much to Tip:
Your Wedding Planner
This is the vendor you will spend the most time with - no matter which service you hire him/her for. Most planners go above and beyond for every client they have. They answer many emails, texts, and calls. They answer many etiquette and logistics questions. They help design the wedding of your dreams. They handle problems and issues throughout the planning process AND on your wedding day that you may never know about. Some will even rearrange your entire wedding day when there's a hurricane on the horizon. She's the one who takes on most of the stress of your wedding. While it's never expected, it's recommended to tip your wedding planner 15-20% of the total bill. Slip it in with a thoughtful hand-written thank you card, and either give it to her at the end of your reception...or send it when you get back from your honeymoon.
Your Photographer & Videographer
If your photographer or videographer is the ower of the company, it's typically not expected to give an additional tip; however, if they have gone above and beyond, it's always a nice gesture to tip them something. If you're stuck on how much to tip them, typically 10-15% of the total bill is the average. If there's an assistant or a second shooter, it's good etiquette to tip them $50-100 each.
Your Hair and Makeup Artist
These are one of those vendors where it's definitely expected to tip them. Just like you would tip your regular hair stylist/salon 15-20% of your bill, you want to do the same for your wedding day hair and makeup artists. You should tip him/her at the end of their services to you and your wedding party.
Your Set Up and Delivery Staff
Anyone who is delivering and setting up your wedding should typically receive a small tip for their hard work. This can be anywhere from $20-50 per person depending on the amount and extent of work they did for you.
If your Officiant is part of a church, you typically should make a donation to the church in his or her name. You can also slip him/her an extra $50-100 to personally enjoy. If your Officiant is not part of a church, a tip is not expected, but is appreciated.
Florists never expect a tip; however, if yours goes above and beyond your expectations, it's always a nice gesture to give him or her 10-15% of the total bill as a thank you.
Tips are never expected for your musicians, but if you really enjoyed working with them and they go above and beyond, you can certainly slip them a little extra. The average rates are 15-20% for a DJ and anywhere between $20-50 per member of a band.
Just like you would tip your taxi driver, limo driver, or Uber driver, it's expected for you to tip anyone who chauffeurs you, your wedding party, or your guests. Plan on tipping 15-20% of your total transportation bill.
Still need help planning your wedding? We'd love to chat!