The Practical Guide To Tipping Your Wedding Vendors

by | Apr 15, 2018 | Facts & Fun

To tip or not to tip, that is the question! When considering the wedding budget, many couples wonder if they should factor in a tip for their vendors. They may also get wide-eyed when they think of how many vendors they actually have. There is the caterer, wedding planner, florist, photographer, and so many others to consider. So, what should you do?

Photography: Gina Esposito

What You Should Know

While it’s custom to leave a tip at a restaurant, many people don’t think the same is expected when planning their wedding day. When it comes to tipping wedding vendors, you might want to check your wedding vendors’ contracts. Some wedding vendors may already have gratuity included, such as caterers and bartenders. For those wedding vendors that don’t automatically include gratuity, you might have to make an extra trip to the bank.

However, don’t automatically assume it’s a mandatory expense if it’s not in the contract. Tipping is supposed to act as a reward for those who go above and beyond their duties. Some vendors just automatically include it to avoid confusion.

The Breakdown: Tipping Wedding Vendors

For those who don’t include gratuity in their contracts, we’re going to give you a alphabetical breakdown that you can refer to.


You should tip the bartender 10-15% of the pre-tax bar bill. However, if you give them a tip, then they shouldn’t accept any from your guests.


Caterers or banquet managers can be tipped 15-20% of the total bill. If you don’t like that approach, then consider tipping $50-$100 for each chef and $20-$50 per server.

Ceremony/Reception Staff

While it’s not a custom to tip ceremony staff, you can do so. $20-$50 per staff member is adequate.


Although most drivers include gratuity in their contract, you can tip 15-20% of the pretax bill if it’s not covered.

Coat Check Attendants

If you have coat check attendants, it is appropriate to tip them $.50-$2 per guest. However, if you’re tipping them, then let your guests know that they don’t have to.


If you enjoyed the tunes at your reception and appreciate all the heavy equipment your DJ brought along, then tipping is a nice gesture. Offering a 10-15% tip is adequate. If you have musicians, then consider $20-$50 per musician.


Most florists are business owners and won’t expect a tip. However, if they do an amazing job and you’d like to express that, tipping 10-15% of the total service fee is appropriate.

Hair Stylists and Make-up Artists

Similar to when you’re at the salon, it is appropriate to tip 15-20% of the service.


Donating $100 to the church or giving the officiant $100 directly is appropriate, especially if they aren’t charging.


Pictures say a thousand words and a great photographer can create a thousand more. Like florists, wedding photographers generally own their company and do not expect a tip. If you’re feeling generous, $100 is fine. If they have other photographers assisting them, you can give them $50-$100/each.

Wedding Planner

Most wedding planners are business owners and will not expect a tip, but if they do a great job, then it’s a nice gesture. Offering 10-15% is generous.

Key Takeaway For Tipping Wedding Vendors

As previously expressed, tipping is an action done to reward someone who has gone above and beyond their duties. If it’s not required, then don’t feel obligated to break your bank trying to pay everyone a tip. If it’s not in your budget, then consider leaving them a wonderful review on their website, Facebook, Yelp, etc. That type of gift has the opportunity to keep on giving!

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