How Much Should You Tip Wedding Vendors?

Posted on
January 6, 2020

“Who and how much should I tip?” 

With all the details, many seem to overlook the important task (and etiquette) of tipping.

Below is a go-to guide on tipping wedding vendors. Tipping isn’t required, unless a service charge is spelled out in your contract. 

Tipping is a voluntary and customary expression of appreciation for exceptional service.

The golden rule is to check your vendor list to make sure you don’t forget to tip someone.

Tipping Guidelines

1). Use the guidelines below, and write a check, venmo, or place cash into an envelope with their name on the outside of the envelope.  Always carry additional cash and bring your check book for possibility of overtime charges or other incidentals.

2). Personalize a thank-you note to the vendors with a few details on how they helped you throughout the planning process.

3). Give your wedding planner all the envelopes at your wedding rehearsal. The wedding planner will discreetly pass out your envelopes to your vendors.

ALTERATIONS $20-$40 is optional for alterations on your wedding gown, yet depends on how much you paid for alterations, and if you feel they went over and above.

BAND/DJ/CEREMONY MUSICIANS Ceremony Musicians $20-$50 each; Band leader $100-$250; DJ $50 – $200. Optional to tip, yet majority do tip. Need # of Band Members

BARTENDER $20-$25 per bartender; or 10% - 15% of the bar bill; Expected to tip, read contract to see if included or if you need to pay separately. Need # of Bartenders and if they are assigned exclusive to your wedding, or are split in other areas.

BELLMAN $10 – $20 each; Tipping expected, check contract to see if included or extra. See if they are able to help move your gifts to a secured area .

CATERER 15% - 20% of the food bill; tipping is optional, yet majority do tip, make sure tipping is not already included in the catering bill (so you don't tip twice).

CHEF $150 – $200 per chef; tipping is optional, yet majority do tip.

FLORISTS Depends on contract. Tipping is optional, depends on if they already charge you for delivery, setup, strike, and moving sets.

GIFT BAG DELIVERY Avg. of $2 – $3 per bag for bellman to deliver to room. Front Desks normally have too much going on to hand out at check-in. Make sure you have specific details (1 bag per room, vs. 2 bags per room, etc.). Names on bags help bellman identify bag(s) per room or guest, yet would need the same name as check-in to be the same as the gift bag.  Ask the Manager on Duty for a rooming list so you know check-in dates for accurate delivery to guests.

HAIRSTYLIST/MAKEUP ARTIST/NAIL  TECH 15%-20% of their fee. Tipping is expected. If you're tipping for services received by your wedding party, let the wedding party know if you are tipping, or if they are expected to pay/tip so you don't tip twice.

HEAD CAPTAIN or BANQUET CAPTAIN $1 – $5 per guest; Tipping is expected, yet check your contract to see if service charge goes to the staff vs. catering company vs. resort.

OFFICIANT If member of church, donate $500+ to church; Non-denominational $50-$100 depending on fee they charge. Tips or money to the church is expected.

PHOTOGRAPHER $50-$200 each, depending on if they are the owners of the studio, or employees, tipping is optional.

SERVING STAFF 15%-25% (Normally service charge or admin charges are in your contract, yet many times Servers don’t receive all of this). Ask your Catering Manager for the number of servers, and ask if the serving staff gets tipped directly from your contract, so you don't tip twice.

TRANSPORTATION 15% – 20% (Normally % is stated in contract). Tipping is expected, yet check contract to make sure it isn’t already included in fee, so you aren't tipping twice.

VALET $1-$2 per car. Tipping is expected, yet read your contract to see if included so you don't tip twice.  Let your guests know you have tipped (so they aren't tipped twice).

VIDEOGRAPHER $50-$100 each, tipping is optional.

WAIT STAFF (See Head Capt./Banquet Capt. above) $20 or more per server, depending on how much they did, and how long they were at your individual event. (sometimes they are split between multiple events at the same site, so not in the "area" with your event at all times).

WEDDING PLANNER 15% - 20%; depends on how much money, time, and stress they saved you. Tipping is optional, yet majority do tip.

Kim M. Horn, MWP

Master Wedding Planner | 1 of 75 in the World

2016 Couples’ Choice Wedding Planner | WeddingWire



June 7, 2020 & January 9-10, 2021

Phoenix Convention Center | South Building

O 480.921.7891

Call | Text 602.418.9089

F 480.829.6292


Mailing Address:

Post Office Box 50622

Phoenix, Arizona 85076-0622


As seen on:

Arizona State Coordinator | Assoc. of BridalConsultants | 5/2003 – 3/2012

ABC 2010 Conference Chair | Worked with David Tutera | 350+ Attendees from 6 Continents were Wedding Planners


Posted on
January 6, 2020
Wedding Planning 101