Who and how much should you tip at weddings?

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.

BAND/DJ 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; 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 .

CATERING MANAGER $200 – $500; tipping is optional, yet majority do tip.

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 total bill. 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 the vendor isn't tipped 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.

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

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-$200 each, tipping is optional.

WEDDING PLANNER $200 – $500; depends on how much money, time, and stress they saved you. Tipping is optional, yet majority do tip.

Kim M. Horn, MWP

MasterWedding Planner |1 of 75 in the World

2016 Couples' Choice Awards - Best Wedding Planner | Wedding Wire




January11-12, 2020 | June 7, 2020

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Posted on
January 6, 2020
Wedding Planning 101