• 07/07/2023

The Ultimate Wedding Tipping Guide

wedding-tipping-guide

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Your wedding should be a stress-free day where everything is already taken care of for you, without you having to hear about any minor mishaps. To get to a stress-free point, you need to plan everything — including tips for your vendors. This wedding tipping guide covers all the basics, but you should also check all of your contracts. A specific percentage of tip might be compulsory, and you also want to check to ensure you’re adhering to all the terms.

To break down the calculations into simpler terms and show a real-world example, everything will be rounded out based on a $30,000 budget, which is the average amount Americans spend on their weddings. Percentages are calculated based on that sum, but you’ll also need to do the math yourself if you have a different budget or if your price points are a little different from the average in each category.

Wedding Planner: 10-20%

Arguably the most important part of your wedding vendors, your wedding planner deserves a sizable tip. They may not expect anything special from you, but you should always go above and beyond to show your appreciation for them, especially since you work so closely with them — potentially from the start of your wedding planning to your big day.

Event planning is worth over 4 billion in market size, which makes sense, given how smoothly everything runs when they’re on board. Wedding planners deserve a hefty tip because of how much they deal with and all the stress they take off your shoulders. The percentage of tips you give to your wedding planner shows that you really appreciate them. You can play around with the percentage calculation if you only have a month-of or day-of coordinator, but make sure you give them something to compensate them for their time.

In our example of paying $30,000 for a wedding, wedding planners might be about 10% of your budget. If your wedding planner’s services are $3,000, a 10% tip would be about $300. Some people choose to give up to $500 in tips as a thank you to all their wedding planners do for them.

Beauty Services: 15-25%

If you plan to get your hair and makeup done before your wedding, you have to factor those vendors into the price of your wedding as well. You’ll tip at the end of the service or whenever you decide with the vendor. Just like how you would tip any other hairstylist or makeup artist on any other occasion, you should tip these vendors to thank them for their contribution to your special day.

The price of your hair and makeup may vary based on complexity and the artists’ experience, but you can expect to pay around $300 for these services together. That price will leave you with a tip of $75 if you want to pay 25% for the beauty services. Make sure you tip your beauty artists the same and accordingly.

Cake Baker: $50-$100

Tipping your baker is not necessary — unless you believe they did a stellar job or were the ones to deliver the cake themselves. However, since they spent so long working on such an integral part of your special day, you should consider mailing them a thank-you card and a monetary gift after your wedding. You can also keep them in mind for future cakes you need, whether you want to get one for your anniversary or another event in the future.

Delivery and Setup: About $10 Per Person

Unless you plan on setting everything up yourself, you will have delivery people come in to make the wedding happen and bring your vision to life. You’ll give the tips in an envelope, then hand them over to one person to distribute them amongst all the workers. 

Around $10 per person ensures everyone feels rewarded for their work and bringing your wedding to life. Make sure to talk to your point of contact before the big day so you’ll know exactly how many people are helping and how much to put into an envelope in total to ensure everyone gets the right amount.

DJ or Band: Depends

Odds are, you’ll have one DJ or band playing throughout your wedding. Tips are optional for your musical talent, but you really should tip them — especially if they did an excellent job of honoring your requests and adhering to your “do not play” list. If you think their rate is much lower than they’re worth, consider a heftier tip to show them your appreciation of their talents.

You should know that bands can be up to ten times more expensive than a DJ, as having live music can add to the appeal of your venue. However, a DJ can be just as talented and have the same ability to bring the party, so you have to choose which one works better in your budget and can give the vibe you want. If you opt for a DJ, you might tip anywhere from $50-$150, whereas you’d pay a smaller tip to each member of a live band individually.

If you have different musicians for your ceremony and your reception, you should tip the ceremony musicians as well. Since a ceremony likely will last less time than your reception, you can aim for about $20 per musician, and you can designate someone to tip them after the ceremony.

Florist: $50-$100

Your florist is similar to your baker — they may not expect a tip, but it’s always nice to receive one. If you have a florist who worked tirelessly on the arrangements for your big day, ensured they gave you what you wanted down to the smallest flower, and even delivered the flowers and set them up themselves, your florist absolutely deserves a tip. Show them you appreciate their service and all the beautiful florals by adding them to your wedding tipping guide before your big day.

Officiant: Around $100

Your officiant is the one to ensure you get married and hosts the ceremony. They might have known you for a long time or have even offered you premarital counseling services. You might tip them around $100, though this number can vary depending on how well you know the officiant and what other services they’ve provided you with. Consider donating the rest of the tip to the religious association they’re affiliated with, if any.

Photographer and Videographer: About $150 Per Vendor

People tend to spend a lot of money on their wedding photography and videography. It’s one of the most important parts of your wedding, as these photos will help you make your memories last for lifetimes. The average wedding photographer costs about $2,000, but you can spend much more if you’re willing to up the price for better quality photos and use a bit more of your budget.

Photographers and videographers hardly get time to rest, ensuring they chronicle all the big and little moments of your wedding day. You don’t necessarily have to tip your photographer, but it’s an excellent idea, especially if they don’t own their own studio. You can choose to pay each photographer or videographer anywhere from $50-$200 in tip, but you might settle on $150. After all, they’re helping you commemorate your special day.

Reception Staff: 15-20% of Catering Fee

One tip you should always remember to build into your budget is for the staff and servers during your reception. A lot of work goes into ensuring that your dinner and dessert time is everything you’ve ever dreamed of. According to your contract, you may add the tip to the final catering payment. If not, make sure your tip gets to someone in charge before the end of the night.

Going based on our $30,000 wedding, catering is roughly about 30%, which means it might be around $9,000, though you might see some variation depending on how many guests you have. According to that sum, 15-20% would be anywhere from $1,350 to $1,800, which can also ensure everyone gets the tips they’re entitled to. 

Follow a Wedding Tipping Guide to Make Things Easy

You have so much to worry about on your wedding day. Make sure that tipping is already taken care of by following a wedding tipping guide and getting your finances in order. Of course, a positive review in addition to your tip is a great gift to anyone who provided you with a service on your big day. You can also tip as much or as little as you’d like, depending on the quality of the service — this wedding tipping guide isn’t gospel, but it is something you can follow to ensure you give the proper gratuity to the people who deserve it most.


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