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Wedding Vendor Gratuities

Here's your cheat sheet for which wedding vendors to tip, and how much!


Notes: 

**Always double check your invoice to see if gratuity is already included - this is most commonly seen with food, beverage, and transportation services. 


**A “service charge” (often seen  in catering contracts) is not necessarily a gratuity. This charge may go towards an administrative fee, equipment costs, or other expenses, rather than being passed on to the employees. Always check your contract or ask your vendor if you’re unsure of what a fee covers. 


**Customarily, gratuities are optional for the owner of a business, however you should still tip if you feel you got exceptional service or they went above and beyond. It’s also a great way to show support of a small business, which are often owned and run by a single person. Tips are recommended for vendors who are employees of a business or contracted by a larger company. Don’t forget to include assistants like a photographer’s second shooter or wedding planner assistant. 


**Prep tips in advance. Get cash out of the bank and divvy it up into labeled envelopes. Ask your wedding coordinator or other responsible person to hand them out to your vendors on the wedding day. 


**Remember that tipping is never mandatory.  If you don’t have the funds or don’t feel comfortable giving a cash tip, consider giving them a gift, an awesome online review, and/or a heartfelt thank-you note!


Tipping is customary for these vendors:

  • Catering: $25-50 per server, $50-100 for chefs, $100-200 for day-of catering manager 

    • Often catering companies divide gratuities equally among all staff.  If you know this is the case, I would suggest $50-100 x the number of staff, in one envelope. 

  • Bartender: 10-20% of alcohol bill, or $2-3 per guest (for example, $200-300 for a guest count of 100)

  • Hair Stylist or Makeup Artist: 15-25% of total cost (like in a salon)

  • Transportation: $50-$100 per driver

  • Officiant: $50-$100 to an independent officiant

    • For an officiant associated with a church, synagogue, etc, make a $100-$500 donation to the religious institution 

    • Civil ceremony judges are often prohibited from accepting cash tips

  • Delivery & Setup Personnel:  $10-$30 per person (tend toward the higher end if heavy lifting and/or setup is required, such as large rental deliveries & tent installation) 

  • Venue Attendants (parking valet, restroom attendant, etc):  $1-2 per guest or per car

    • Suggestion: Tip these attendants at the beginning of your wedding, so they can let well-meaning guests know that all tips have been taken care of by the hosts!

Gratuities are optional but appreciated for these vendors:

  • Photographers & Videographers: $50-$200

  • Wedding Coordinator: $100-$300

  • Wedding Planner: $200-$500

  • Ceremony Musicians: $20-$50 per musician

  • Reception Band: $20-$50 per musician

  • Wedding DJ: $50-$200

  • Photo Booth Attendant: $50-$100


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