All You Need To Know About Wedding Tipping Etiquette
There's nothing like a wedding that runs flawlessly start to finish. When it does, it's because behind the scenes your vendors are pulling the right strings to make that happen. The best way to show your wedding team you're pleased with the results of your wedding is to give them a token of appreciation. But wait! How much, exactly, are you supposed to tip wedding vendors? Who and when are you supposed to tip? Here's all you need to know about wedding tipping etiquette.
EXPECTED or optional?
In American culture, many people believe that tipping isn't mandatory. However, some vendors may rely on tipping as a means to pay the bills. Be sure to keep in mind whether each vendor requires a tip and which are just icing on the cake!
Each wedding vendor may expect to receive a different percentage of tipping. Some vendors also don't necessarily need a monetary tip. Be sure to keep track of the amount you are tipping also for your personal financial records.
When to Tip?
Timing your tip hand-off can be a little tricky and confusing. Sometimes, a tip can be given before the wedding, while others it may come during or long after the ceremony. Make sure you have your tips organized for the right time!
WEDDING PLANNERS AND COORDINATORS
10%-20%, or a gift
Prep an envelope to hand off after the wedding or mail an envelope/gift after the honeymoon
Although wedding planners generally won't expect a tip, it is a nice gesture to tip your wedding planner if you are happy with the results. Roughly half of brides/grooms will tip their wedding planner/coordinator. Also, you don't always have to tip monetarily. You can order a nice gift from Etsy or a gift basket and send it as a token of your gratitude.
WEDDING HAIR STYLISTS AND MAKEUP ARTISTS
15%-25% of their charge
Tip at the end of your beautification
Hair stylists and makeup artists are generally not known for raking in the big bucks, relatively speaking, but their special touch is so helpful! That's why a tip is really expected. If you think about it, wedding hair stylists and makeup artists are practicing their art closer physically to you than any other vendor. They deserve a little extra for the extra care they bring to you. All the more so if you find they have to do last minute touch-ups or emergency fix-ups!
WEDDING CEREMONY OFFICIANT
Make a $100-$500 donation to the church/synagogue and a $50-$100 tip to the officiant.
These fees are generally required to be paid in advance.
If you're a member of the institution that’s hosting the wedding, you're definitely going to want to donate a higher amount. If you fell in love with the space and went with the officiant of the institution, you can donate a smaller amount. If you just loved the space and didn't choose the officiant, then you can donate an even smaller amount. The tip, however, is still expected.
WEDDING BANDS, MUSICIANS, AND DJS
Give $25-$35 per person; $50-$150 DJ
Hand an envelope at the end of the evening (or ceremony) to the band leader
Most brides, grooms and guests will tell you, music can make or break a wedding! The wedding musicians are integral to keeping the party alive and the atmosphere positive and celebratory. Although most musicians choose their careers for the applause, if you choose to show your band thanks by providing a tip, you are sure to bring smiles to their faces! If you're wowed by the great job on your big day, you increase the amount. Have a trusted attendant hand an envelope to the band leader after the wedding is over.
WEDDING STAFF - SETUP AND DELIVERY
Prep an envelope for the caterer/head staff before the wedding so they can give tips to their staff.
Setting up and breaking down a wedding takes a lot of manpower and a whole lot of organization. Plus, things can get pretty hectic before and after the wedding, especially when everybody is tired and ready to go home. These workers definitely appreciate a tip for their hard word and patience, so you might want to prepare one in advance.
WEDDING STAFF - RECEPTION
15%-20% of entire bill/$200–$300 for the maître d'
Included in bill
Generally, you will see this included in your bill beforehand, so make sure you check for this. Of course, if you are more than elated with their job, you can always tip them again.
WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER AND VIDEOGRAPHER
Tip at the end of the reception
These vendors can be pretty pricey, as we know. Generally, all of their fees are negotiated in your contract before the wedding. However, if the vendors go above and beyond, or perhaps do not have a studio of their own, it's always nice to show a little extra appreciation.
Tip at the end of the last ride
Most of the time, you would have negotiated a tip in your contract with the transportation company. However, if they did an exceedingly good job getting you here, there, and everywhere, you might want to send them a little extra. You can hand the money directly to your driver after your last ride or at the end of the reception.
With the above as a guide, you are well-positioned to make the decisions of if, what, when and to whom to give. Remember, even where tipping isn’t necessary, it’s a sure-fire way for you to spread your joy!