Tipping vendors can sometimes be a confusing topic. Do you, don’t you, should you, is it expected??? The questions never end and sometimes it feels weirdly inappropriate to ask someone. Here is some info on the wedding biggies that will hopefully help! I’ve researched, asked a few wedding pros, checked a couple of my favorite wedding websites and here’s what I’ve come up with:
WHO: Planners and Day of Coordinators- typically don’t expect anything, but if yours was awesome-sauce, you can always offer a tip. Turns out, about half of couples tip their planners. *Optional or expected? Optional. Standard tip being 10-20% of their service charge or a nice gift. (Side note- I had a bride give me a necklace with my daughter’s name on it a few years back. I wear it almost every day.) Instead of waiting until the end of the night to tip this dream maker, I’d just hand them the envelope when you hand them the other vendors payments/tips.
WHO:Hair and Make-up artists- you’ll tip here just like you would at the salon. *Optional or expected? Expected. Standard tip is 15-25%. You’ll tip them when they’re done with their service, before they leave!
WHO: Set-up Staff and Cake Delivery- *Optional or expected? Optional. Standard is $5-$10 per person. Give to your coordinator to distribute at the end of their respective services.
WHO: Photographer and Videographer- You’re not expected to give any money outside of their normal fees. If they work for a bigger studio and aren’t the owners, you might want to consider tipping your photographer that’s there to capture your big day. *Optional or expected? Optional. Standard is $25-$75. Give to your coordinator to make sure they get your tip. (Photo of Jennings Trace by Monroe Productions)
WHO: Officiant- Optional or expected? Expected if you’re not getting married at your place of worship. Your church or synagogue will usually expect a donation to the organization. If you’re getting married at a wedding venue like Jennings Trace where you’re bringing in an officiant, it’s a nice gesture. Especially if they’ve spent some time with you before the big day (pre-marital counseling, a meeting (FaceTime, Skype or otherwise). Standard is $50-$100. Give to your coordinator so you don’t have to worry about trying to remember.
WHO: DJ or Band- Optional or expected? Optional. If your DJ was AH-MAZING and kept everyone on the dance floor just like you asked them to, then sliding them a little cash at the end of the night is always welcome! Standard is $50-$100. For a band, $30 per musician is a good rule of thumb. Again, give it to your coordinator before your day gets under way so you don’t have to worry about distributing cash at the end of the night!
WHO: Bartenders- Optional or expected? Expected. Standard is just like any bar or restaurant: 15-20% of your tab. Have a parent (or a trusted member of the wedding party) tip at the end of the reception since someone will need to know the final tab amount to calculate the percentage. Jennings Trace bartenders are the BOMB-DIGGETY and truly appreciate the love.
(the bar at Jennings Trace)
WHO: Transportation- Optional or expected? Expected. Standard is 15-20% of the bill. Give to your coordinator to give to the limo driver and designate a trusted person to hand a van/bus driver the tip.
Again, this is just a general guideline and I hope it helps you in your budgeting and planning preparations! This is averages I’ve calculated after some research on various sites and asking some trusted friends in the biz!
PRO TIP: Place cash in labeled and sealed envelopes and give them to your coordinator to distribute. They’ll take care of the rest!
Corbin at Jennings Trace