Who Do I Tip?

One area that couples tend to forget when planning their wedding budget is tipping vendors.  Tipping is totally voluntary but it is a nice gesture when great service is provided on such an important day.

Here is a list of people you shouldn't forget:

Caterer/Service Staff - Check your contract because gratuity/service charge is usually included in your fee.  If it is not included, plan on tipping 15%-20% on the total price.  Also consider additional tips to banquet managers, special servers for the bride and groom or bartenders that provide excellent service.

Coat Room/Valet Attendant - Usually this is covered as a flat fee in your contract, but if not, plan on tipping about $0.50 - $1.00 per person/car or negotiate a flat rate.

Florist - Not necessary for the florist, but don't forget to have a few bucks handy for the delivery/set-up person

Limo/Bus - Don't forget to tip the driver in cash at the end of the night.

Wedding Planner - Typically wedding planners do not expect anything, however, if they did a great job you can always offer a token of your appreciation.

Photographer/Videographer - $50-$100 for the person if they are not the owner of the company.  Don't forget your second shooter!

DJ/Band - 10% - 15% for great service. 

Wedding Hairstylist/Makeup Artist - Tip as you normally would when going to the salon to get your hair cut.  Tip more for great service & style!

Clergy Member (Priest/Rabbi/Deacon) – A donation to the church or synagogue is appropriate.

Civil Ceremony Officials - Check to see if this is included in the fee.  Some judges cannot accept tips or donations.
**Don't forget your Wedding Ceremony Singer/Musicians or alter servers!

Some "tips" on tipping:
- Put all tips in labeled envelopes before the wedding.  Do this the week prior to the wedding so you don't need to worry about it the day of.  

- Put someone in charge of tipping the day of your wedding.  If you have a wedding planner, they are the best one for the job.  If not, give the job to the Best Man or one of the Fathers.

- Always present the tip to the head of the group (example: maitre d' or band leader).  They will distribute the tip evenly among the group.

- Have some extra cash handy the day of the wedding just in case you want to add to a tip for someone who really impressed you or forgot someone important.

- For those vendors who own their own businesses (photographers/videographers, etc), tipping isn't necessary.  However, you should tip when they go above and beyond. 

- If you are responsible for tipping the coat check/bartender/valet, make sure they do not put out a tip jar for a double tip!

- Thank you notes go a long way!  Include a nice note with the tip or send after your wedding.  Vendors can use these as testimonials to book future events.

Remember, what and who you tip is entirely up to you!!


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