Why do I need to tip?
First, let’s talk about why tipping is important. We get it, weddings are already expensive so adding tips on top of everything can feel like a bit much. However, the primary function of tipping is to show gratitude for an exceptional job. Hopefully your wedding vendors are doing their best to ensure your big day is spectacular, so including funds for a tip when creating your wedding budget or taking out a personal wedding loan is important. It lets them know that their contribution to your wedding is appreciated. While tipping is never mandatory, just like at a restaurant, tipping most wedding vendors is usually expected.
Quick tipping tips:
- As the bride or groom, you don’t want to be the person chasing down vendors to tip them on your wedding day. Get your tips organized in envelopes and delegate others to help hand them out at the appropriate times. Most vendors should be tipped after they provide the service, so tip an officiant after the ceremony, a driver after the last ride, etc.
- Read your contracts carefully as some may have gratuities built in. In that case it’s not necessary to double tip unless the vendor really helped you deal with a wedding day emergency and you feel they’ve gone above and beyond.
- Most etiquette states that you don’t need to tip business owners, only their employees. For example, you should tip a catering server but not the catering business owner. However, keep in mind that many small wedding businesses like photographers and hair stylists are a one-person operation, so you may still decide to tip to show your appreciation.
Who to tip?
Hair Stylist & Makeup Artist: 15 to 20%
Tip the professionals who help you look your best on your wedding day just as you would for any normal salon service.
Photographer/videographer: $50 to $100
Again, this may not be expected if the studio owner is shooting your event, but you may want to tip second or third shooters.
Officiants: Around $100
Many religious officiants won’t accept a tip, so instead donate the amount to their organization or house of worship. For a non-denominational officiant you can tip them directly.
Wedding Planner: 10 to 20%
A tip is not expected but if you feel they went above and beyond you may want to send a nice thank you note with a tip.
Wedding Band or DJ: $25 to $50 per musician or 10 to 15% for a DJ.
Reception attendants: $20 to $50 each
Ask ahead of time how many bartenders and waiters will be servicing your event so you can prepare your tip accordingly.
This isn’t meant to be an exhaustive list of all the vendors who may be involved in your event, but hopefully it gives you an idea of how tipping etiquette works in the wedding world. Every wedding is different and has different people involved in making it happen. Your wedding may have additional services like a valet or bathroom attendants so don’t be afraid to ask questions if you’re not sure who should be tipped or how much.
Hopefully this helped answer some common questions about wedding tipping etiquette. Feel free to reach out or comment below if you have other confusing wedding questions we can help with!