Your vendors work hard to make sure your wedding dreams come true. Let us help you figure out how much you need to set aside for vendor tips on your big day.
Not every kind of vendor will expect a tip, but some types of vendors will. So who should you tip and who is considered optional?
We've researched the averages that are out there as well as conducted polls in our Facebook group to help you get an idea of what others have done!
Makeup/ Hair Stylists: These vendors should be tipped for both wedding day services and your trial services. Standard would be 15-25% of your bill.
If your trial is included as part of your package tip on 1/3-1/2 of your full package cost and tip the remaining amount on the actual wedding day.
The majority of those who responded to our poll on Facebook tipped 20% for their wedding day hair and makeup.
Day of transport: If you've hired a party bus, limo, car or otherwise, you should absolutely tip the driver on your wedding day. Do check your contract first to see if gratuity is already added into your total cost. If not, the expected tip is 15-20% of the cost.
The majority of those who answered our poll planned to tip 20%.
Ceremony Space: If religious (i.e. Church or Synagogue) a donation to the space or the pastor is standard practice. If you are not being charged to use the space, a larger donation is expected. Typically $100-500.
The majority of those who answered our poll planned to tip $250 or less to their religious ceremony space/pastor.
Catering/Reception staff: This may be included in your catering bill, so be sure to clarify what the additional fees are and who they go to. If gratuity for the serving staff is not included in your bill, plan to tip 15-20%.
Bartenders: Expect to tip the bartenders in some capacity, but there are many ways you can accomplish this.
Standard would be a 10-20% tip on the total alcohol bill.
There are so many ways you can do a bar: fully hosted, partially hosted, or just a cash bar. Take this into consideration when you decide how much to tip. If you do not plan to have a tip jar out for guests to tip the bartenders, plan to tip closer to 20% as a couple. If you will be having a tip jar out for the bartenders closer to 10% from the couple would be okay. It is perfectly expected as a guest to need to tip the bartenders for your drinks, so do not feel bad about having a tip jar out. Plus they will probably make more from your guests anyway - especially if you have a hosted bar!
Photographer/Videographer: These people are usually with you all dang day! So if they make your day fun, awesome and organized... they deserve a tip of some kind! You can do so in the form of a nice gift or cash. If you choose to tip, somewhere between $50-200 is acceptable.
Per our Facebook poll, most planned to tip between $100-150 for their photographer and $50-100 for their videographer.
Musicians: If your musicians did a great job for your ceremony and/or reception, give them a tip! For live music at the ceremony average would be $15-20 per musician, for live music at the reception average would be $25-50 per musician.
Most people who responded to our polls planned to tip the standards above for their live musicians.
DJ: Again, if they did a great job and kept the party going you can give a tip! Average would be $50-150.
Per our poll majority planned to tip $50-100 for their DJ.
Delivery or Set up Staff: This one actually can go either way on if its expected or optional. We'd say if they are setting up for you or going above and beyond, a tip would be expected. If they are just dropping off items, it's up to you if you tip the delivery person or not. If you do, $5-20 per person is totally fine. This may be dessert delivery, rentals, floral, etc.
Officiant (Non-Denominational): It is totally optional to tip your hired officiant. Average would be a nice gift or a cash tip of $50-100
Per our Facebook poll, the majority of respondents actually planned to tip higher than the standard at $100-150.
Wedding Planner or Day of Coordinator: Optional to tip. If they were very involved in your planning or went above and beyond your expectation you may want to tip a higher amount. Generally if you do tip standard would be a nice gift, 15% of their cost, or up to $500 cash.
Photo Booth Attendant: Optional, $25-50 per attendant
Alterations: Uncommon to tip this vendor, but you certainly can if you feel so inclined.
Have all of your tips set aside and ready to go for the wedding day. Best practice would be to put each vendors tip into a labeled envelop for your day of coordinator, maid of honor, or best man to distribute throughout the day. For "optional" vendors or vendors you plan to decide based off the service provided day of, it is acceptable to send a tip & thank you card after the wedding/when you return from your honeymoon.
There seems to be an assumption that you don't need to tip a vendor if they are the owner of their own business. We want to set the record straight that this isn't true. If they provided you with exceptional service, tipping is still a nice gesture.
We have also heard of people thinking that providing a vendor a meal can count as a tip. It does not. If a vendor is going to be there the whole day with you please provide them a meal and do not take the price of this out of their "tip". More often than not vendors will get a different meal than your standard guest plates that are cheaper anyway.