To Tip or Not to Tip... That is the question
Your wedding vendors don’t expect to be tipped, but it’s a nice gesture.
We are asked all the time about tipping… to tip or not to tip? How much to tip? How to tip? The questions pile up. But the honest truth is, there are no rules. Tipping is simply a way to show your appreciation to your vendors. And how much you tip is honestly entirely up to you. It’s not like when you go to a restaurant and you know 20% is given for excellent service… there are no real ”guidelines”. Now, we know thats not the most helpful information in the world… so we’ve searched the internet for some ideas and recommendations for tipping certain vendors. Just remember… these are just suggestions.
Most wedding planners won’t expect any sort of tip for the services they provide, they are in fact charging you for their services. If you feel as if your wedding planner exceeded your expectations, you can always offer a token of your appreciation. Approximately 50 percent of couples do tip their planners. Since this is not a standard protocol, tipping is optional. If you do decide to tip your planner or coordinator $100-$500 or a nice gift to show your appreciation.
Wedding Hair Stylist and Makeup Artist
This is a vendor of yours that gratuity is definitely expected. You should tip between 15-20% and consider giving a little extra if a difficult situation arises that causes a hair/makeup redo at the last minute. You should tip these vendors at the end of your service.
Wedding Delivery and Set-up Staff
You could always slip a few dollars to your delivery and set up staff bringing important items to your wedding site (including wedding cakes, sounds systems, flowers, etc.) It is also courteous to tip those bringing in a lot of extra supplies to your site. These staff should be tipped and the standard is usually around $5-$10 per person. You should tip these vendors with cash in envelopes at the end of the reception or your wedding planner to distribute the tips.
Wedding Ceremony Officiant
If your officiant is affiliated with a church or a synagogue, it is common to make a donation to that institution. If you are a member you might want to give a larger amount than if you’re not. Keep in mind if they are charging your for the space you can give them a smaller donation. If you are using a nondenominational officiant, no tip is required because they will charge you for their time. If you choose to tip, depending on the officiant, $500 to the church or synagogue would be appropriate or for a nondenominational officiant, you can tip $50-$100. You can tip at the rehearsal (if they are attending) or the day of your wedding.
Wedding Ceremony Musicians
If you are working with a mini orchestra, for example, and they do a flawless job, you can consider tipping. $15-$20 per musician at the end of the ceremony and is optional. Or if you have one musician, $40-$50 would be a nice token of appreciation.
Suggested amount is $50-$200 per vendor depending on how many hours they spent with you, and how much they provided for you.
Wedding Reception Staff
This staff includes banquet manager, maitre d’, and on-site coordinator. There is almost always a service charge included in your food and drink fee so review your contract beforehand. If gratuity is not included consider the following for a tipping guideline. 15-20% of the food and drink fee total, or $200-$300 for the maitre d’ to divide at the end of the reception since calculating the final tab is necessary before providing the appropriate tip.
Wedding Reception Attendants
This area includes bartenders, waitstaff, bathroom, coat-room, parking, etc. The rules of tipping here follow the contractual agreement you have signed. If your service is completely outstanding, you can consider extending a further tip. If the tip is not included, ask ahead of time how many attendants will be working that day and calculate the tip on a per person basis. This is optional and is suggested $20-25 per bartender or waiter, $1 per guests for coat room and parking attendants $1 per car. It is common for these tips to be passed out at the end of the reception by your planner.
Wedding Reception Band or DJ
Tipping your rockin’ band or cool and suave DJ is optional. If they do an exceptional job and keep your guests on the dance floor, you can consider tipping (also keep in mind any sound techs they bring with them!). The standard is $20-$25 per musician or $50-$200 for DJ’s. Tipping is done at the end of the reception and your planner can distribute this tip.
Here you should check your contract as gratuity is almost always included. If it is not, plan to tip for the service they provide. This is usually 15-20% of the bill. The wedding planner can disperse this tip when you are dropped off or picked up.
I know they have been slightly mentioned above, but this is a subject we want to address directly. If you do not desire that your guests pull out any money at your wedding, then consider tipping your bartenders before the event begins. We aren't huge fans of tip jars at weddings, and so we try and educate our clients about tipping the bartenders. We suggest tipping the bartender(s) $100 each depending on the number of guests. One bartender for a wedding of 100 guests could make $200+ tending bar at a wedding and you want them to feel appreciated too. So if your desire is to forgo the “need to tip the bartender” at your wedding, we recommend tipping them before hand and perhaps even posting a small sign that says something cute… like “Drinks are on the happy couple, including the tip”, so your guests know.
And just to reiterate… any vendor you feel has gone above and beyond, or captured your vision and brought it to life flawlessly could be tipped as a sign of appreciation.
*Researched information was provided by theknot.com*