When planning a wedding, there are so many pieces of the puzzle to consider. After all, there aren’t many step-by-step manuals tailored to guide you through the nitty-gritty your special day. So, aside from needing to be extremely detailed oriented with your requests, you also need to have an acute understanding on where to spend your money and where not to spend your money. Tipping wedding vendors, is an easy piece of the puzzle to overlook. These wedding vendors ensure that your wedding day is in fact special, and their gratuity should always be factored into your budget when planning your wedding expenses.

There are usually many questions around this subject like: What is the appropriate amount to tip your wedding vendors? Do all wedding vendors need to be tipped? Are their exceptions to the rule? Well, we have come up with a simple guide to tipping your wedding vendors that should alleviate some of the confusion when addressing this topic!

How To Tip Your Wedding Vendors

Certain wedding vendors are more likely to expect gratuity than others. If any of your vendors exceeds your expectations, a tip and a thank you card should be included in their service fee whether or not it is customary to tip this particular vendor or not. Traditionally, owners of larger companies do not need to receive gratuity, but their employees who are providing the in-person service surely do. Small business owners on the other hand should always be considered as they are usually running with a smaller staff and likely giving your wedding special attention.

When handing out the proper payment for each vendor, remember to include a ‘thank you’ card. If you are not handing out the tips, make sure to leave the task in the hands of a trusted person within your wedding party or your wedding coordinator. You don’t want this extra wedding expense to be misplaced!

1. The Wedding Planner

The wedding planner is not customarily someone that needs to be tipped. However, considering that your wedding was left carefully in their hands, a thoughtful gift or tip would be appreciated. A nice gift idea might be a pen with their named engraved on it. Alternatively, a small compilation of professional photos of your ceremony for your wedding planner’s portfolio is a wonderful gift, if you need to save money on the gratuity.

  • Tip: 10-20% (or small gift)
  • When to tip: An envelope given at the wedding along with the other gratuities for them to distribute

2.  Wedding Hair Stylist and Makeup Artist

Vendors who work in customer service are certainly going to expect a tip in the form of cash. So, don’t forget to set aside a budget for your hair and makeup that includes gratuity for this area of your expenses. Depending on the hair style and how minimal or “all out” your make up is will determine the amount of gratuity that should be given.

  • Tip: 15-20%
  • When to Tip: Directly after your hair and makeup are done

3. Wedding Delivery and Setup Staff

Tipping these individual staff members isn’t as much of a priority because there will most likely be a lot of people involved. The main people you need to focus on are: the cake, flower and sound system deliverers. If there are lots of props that need to be set up, consider asking friends or family to come early to help rather than making the staff stay to do so!

  • Tip: $5- $10 per person
  •  When to Tip: At the time of delivery or immediately after set up

4. Wedding Photographer and Videographer

Wedding photographers or videographers are an extra expense that normally are not tipped. However, if they did an exceptional job at making you feel comfortable in front of the camera or delivering beautiful portraits, a tip and a thank you card is always a nice touch! You can also always go out of your way to recommend new clients for them after the wedding. This will go a lot farther than a tip!

  • Tip: $50- $100
  • When to Tip: At the end of the reception

5. Wedding Ceremony Officiant

The wedding officiant should be considered and tipped appropriately, but there are a few exceptions depending on whether you are getting married by a member of the church or by a friend or family member. The latter should be tipped generously, but you can figure that out between you and your partner depending on the circumstance. If you are being married by the church, a small donation to the institution as well as a tip is appreciated and usually expected.

  • Tip: $100- $500 to institution (if in the church) and $50-$100 for the officiant
  • When to Tip: A ceremony fee is usually required if in the church and that will be collected before the wedding. For the tip, deliver an envelope at the wedding rehearsal to your officiant.

6. Wedding Ceremony/ Reception Musicians

Musicians are most likely expecting a tip, if not from you directly, then from your party and attendants at the wedding. Remember that most all musicians play for cash and unless you are having someone in the church play a quick tune for you during your ceremony, expect to tip.

  • Tip: $20 per musician (the rest of your party will likely throw them some dollar bills during the reception) or $50-$100 for DJ’s
  • When to Tip: At the end of the ceremony or reception

7. Wedding Reception Service Attendants

Bartenders, wait staff, and parking attendants will expect a tip. This gratuity is usually discussed before the wedding because it will most likely be included in your service fee. However, you can always scope out a few people who you feel went out of their way during your reception to give a few extra dollars to.

  • Tip: 20% of total bill including alcohol sales to wait and bar staff & $1 per guest to your parking attendants
  • When to Tip: At the end of the wedding if not already included in the contract

Just like anything that lasts, or is worthwhile, it takes an army – and your wedding day is no exception. To show your gratitude to everyone for their important services, a small token in the form of cash is always appreciated. If you are on a strict budget don’t feel too much pressure to give anything that you are not comfortable with; instead try to get creative with thoughtful gifts. At the end of the day, a well thought out ‘thank you’ card should suffice depending on the service given. After all, this is your wedding day, and stress about money should be the last thing on your mind. We hope that this guide helps you when planning ad budgeting for your wedding.

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