So, your wedding day is approaching and you’re just about finished paying off all of your vendors, congrats! But you might still have one question left: How much should I tip each vendor? Some gratuity fees are already built into the price of the service, but if it’s not and your vendor goes above and beyond, or you’re just feeling extra appreciative, we’ve developed a cheat sheet to help you determine know how much of your budget needs to be set aside for tips (at your discretion, of course!).
By Chelsea Carney
💸 for your Caterer
Most contracts with catering companies will include gratuity to be split up among the kitchen and serving staff. If they don’t, you should split up your tips so that the appropriate amount goes towards the correct people. Catering/banquet managers should receive approximately $100 to $200, chefs and/or bakers should each be given $50, and the waiting staff should be tipped roughly $20 each. To keep this organized, separate the tips into individual, labeled envelopes.
💸 for your Delivery & Setup Staff
Most florist and bakers hire people to deliver the flowers and/or cake to the venue, so gratuity is often already factored into the bill. If not, extra gratuity is not necessarily expected, but if you feel that the staff went out of their way to make sure everything looked just right, a tip of $15-20 is appropriate.
💸 for your Florist
Typically, if a vendor owns their own business, tipping isn’t necessary because they’ve already factored gratuity into your bill. Florists usually fall into this category, but for those who don’t, you can offer them $20-30.
💸 for your Hair/Makeup Stylist
Gratuity is definitely expected for this one. Be prepared to shell out 15 to 20 percent just like you would with any regular hair or nail appointment. And if for some reason you end up acting like Bridezilla during morning prep, you might want to give a little extra.
💸 for your Wedding Planner
You’ve come so far in planning your big day with them, but but just how much should of your wallet thank them? Gratuity will most likely be included in the flat service fee, but if not, you should give them 10 to 20 percent of the overall fee. To offset that number you can include a thank-you gift, such as a professional photo from your wedding or a shout out in the Knot / Wedding Wire. Small gifts like this can go a long way because they are perfect for their portfolios.
💸 for your Officiant
This will all depend on where you’re getting married and who will be performing your ceremony. If you belong to a church, many ministers or priests will perform the wedding at no charge. In this case, consider giving a donation of $100 or more to the church or organization. If you’re getting married anywhere else, you should tip your officiant $50-200.
💸 for your Ceremony Musician(s)
If you’re getting married in a church, you don’t have to tip the organist who accompanies your ceremony; that will be included in your donation. If your venue is anywhere else and your musician(s) hits every note perfectly and brings tears to your guests’ eyes, consider giving them $15-25 per musician or 15 percent of their fee.
💸 for your Reception Staff
If you’ve opted to use your venue’s in-house catering services, this includes your on-site coordinator, bartenders and wait staff. Gratuity will possibly be included in your contract, so be sure to check that first. If it is, no extra tip is necessary. But in the case that it isn’t, we recommend tipping about 10 to 15 percent of the total food and drink bill to be split among the bar and wait staff. As for the on-site coordinator or day-of coordinator, you should give them roughly 10 percent of the total service fee.
💸 for your Reception Attendants
Different than the staff mentioned above, these are the ones who are often the most forgotten. Reception attendants is an umbrella term for parking, bathroom or coatroom attendants. Make sure you ask ahead of time how many attendants will be working the day of your wedding so you’re prepared. We recommend tipping each about $1 to $2 per guest.
💸 for your Reception Band or DJ
Giving a tip to the musicians or DJ will be greatly appreciated, especially if they have to carry a lot of heavy equipment. If they played your favorite songs and kept your guests dancing through the night, give $25-50 per band member or for a DJ, $50-150.
💸 for your Transportation
Horse-drawn carriages, limo drivers, chauffeurs and any other form of transportation on your wedding day are one of the few things that will always include gratuity in their service fee. On the small chance that they don’t, a 15 to 20 percent tip will suffice.
Tips can get extremely expensive if you don’t budget them out correctly. If you can’t afford to shell out more money for the services, reviews on their websites (or Yelp), professional pictures displaying their services, and thank you cards will go a long way in helping their business succeed. If you choose to go this route, choose wisely between which vendors you won’t give a monetary tip — we can assure you that your bathroom attendant won’t appreciate that review as much as your florist would.