Tipping Wedding Vendors 101

So, you are getting closer to your wedding day (or maybe you are super organized and are planning your budget ahead of time) and you are not so sure about this whole tipping thing. Which vendors do you tip? How much tip do you leave? Is it rude to not leave a tip? Is it rude to leave a tip that is “too small”?

Party Girls Catering team ready to serve a delicious meal. pc Brooke Miller Photography

Party Girls Catering team ready to serve a delicious meal. pc Brooke Miller Photography

You have questions and we have answers! Since we are a wedding venue, we cannot speak for all vendors…so we did some research. We sent out a quick and anonymous survey to local wedding pros to get all of the nitty gritty details on tipping, because we want to help you. Then we sifted through their answers and compiled the overview below to give you a comprehensive guide to tipping vendors. 

  1. Full Service Caterer: You should definitely tip your caterer. If you were going to a restaurant you would leave a tip (we hope! If you wouldn’t then that is a whole different conversation), and this is no different. The standard amount is 15%-20% of the bill total and should be distributed among their staff at the end of the night. This can get a little tricky if your caterer is not full service and you hire additional staff to serve food and bus tables through a different company or your venue. If they are not a part of you catering company, the best best is to leave individual tips. $20-$50 per person is a perfect amount to show your appreciation.

    Many times full service caterers will include gratuity in your total. Check you contract and make sure you don’t double tip! Sometimes there will be a “service fee” that is NOT gratuity. If you have any questions make sure you ask your caterer!

  2. Wedding Cake: Generally you do not need to leave a tip for your baker but if you feel they did an amazing job and want to, then go for it! $25-$50 is a great amount.

  3. Bartender: Similar to caterer serving staff, you need to tip your bartender! 15-20% of their fee is a customary tip. If you are comfortable with the idea, you can also leave a tip jar on the bar for guests to leave cash tips. 

  4. Hair and Makeup: Once again, YES! Plan for at least 15%-20% of the total cost of their services. 

  5. Transportation: You guessed it…yep! If you hire a driver to whisk you and your newly betrothed away after the reception, then you should leave them a tip. Again, 15%-20% is perfect.

  6. Photographer: The consensus with photographers was that they don’t expect a tip, but it is always appreciated! The photographers we polled estimated that approximately 10% of their clients tip them. They agreed that $50-$100 was a great amount. 

  7. Videographer: Similarly to photographer, the videographers who took our survey do not expect a tip and usually only receive one from a small percentage of their clients. But if you feel they were amazing a tip would absolutely be appreciated. Ideally $50-$100. 

  8. Florist: Your florist probably does not expect a tip but leaving one will absolutely make their day! $50-$100 is fair.

  9. Officiant: Many officiants will not take a tip due to their religious affiliation. If that is the case then consider making a donation to their church in lieu of a tip. If you have hired a professional officiant or a judge who is not affiliated with a church then a $25-$50 is appropriate, but not required. 

  10. Wedding Coordinator: While your PSB wedding coordinator never expects a tip, your wedding coordinator is a service provider who traditionally you should plan to tip. $50-$100 is a good amount.

  11. DJ: Your DJ is another vendor who may not expect a tip, but leaving one is actually customary! 10%-15% of their total fee is a great amount. 

So there you have it! A go-to guide for tipping your wedding vendors. An easy way to summarize the list is if they are providing a service (not just a product) they need a tip! If they are providing a product you are not expected to tip, but if you think they did an amazing job then leaving a tip is a wonderful way to show your thanks!

Our “tip” for you:

If you are not able to tip we are willing to bet people such as your photographer and florist would appreciate a sweet thank you card almost as much. Little gestures can go such a long way! 

The people who are the photography and video magic happen! pc Megan Hobbs Photography (pictured Connor Price Videography)

The people who are the photography and video magic happen! pc Megan Hobbs Photography (pictured Connor Price Videography)

While we think we covered most major wedding vendors there are definitely other services that couples may choose to hire for their wedding day. Do you have questions about tipping other wedding vendors? Let us know below and we will be happy to help!