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Tipping Guidelines

You know what they say, Tipping isn’t just a city in China! But trying to make room for gratuities on top of your almost maxed out wedding budget can be hard to handle. You want to make sure to take a good look at your vendor's contracts to see if gratuity is included. You might see a line for gratuity from some vendors, like your caterer and/or bartender, but most other vendors don’t include tips in their fees.

Although not mandatory— tipping is always appreciated (and proper etiquette) for a job well done! So if your vendor offered exceptional service, you’ll most definitely want to give them a tip! Don't forget to include a thank-you note and delegate the task of handing gratuities out to someone you trust.

It's also important to note, that if your wedding pro is a business owner, leave them a positive review after the wedding to tell them how much you appreciate them instead of a tip! Referrals and reviews are what keeps our business going. :)

Here are a few helpful tips on what's the standard for tipping each vendor:

**OPTIONAL** The following vendors and employees do not typically expect anything, but if they did a great job giving them a tip and a thank you note is a wonderful way to show your appreciation for all they did!

· Wedding Planner About 50% of couples do tip their planners.

  • How Much? 10–20 percent, up to $500, or a nice gift

  • When do you tip? Hand them an envelope with a thank-you note at the end of the reception or send a thank-you note with photos or a check right after the wedding.

· Wedding Ceremony & Reception Band or DJ

Depending on how great they did, this should be something you want to consider! Don’t forget to include any additional staff members they bring.

  • How Much? $15–$35 per musician; $50–$150 for DJs

  • When do you tip? An attendant or wedding planner/coordinator should tip the musicians or DJ at the end of the reception. For ceremony musicians (if not the same as reception) at the end of the ceremony.

· Wedding Photographer and Videographer

You're not expected to give your photographer/videographer anything above their normal fees. However, if the photographer or videographer and their assistants were awesome beyond belief consider tipping each person (with a thank-you note).

  • How Much? $50–$200 per vendor

  • When do you tip? Tip your photographer and videographer at the end of the reception.

**BASED ON CONTRACT** This means, check the fine print for any gratuity added.

· Wedding Reception Attendants

When it comes to staff like bartenders, waitstaff, parking, bathroom, and coatroom attendants, the rules of tipping are dictated by your contract. If the service fee is included, consider giving out extra only if the service was exceptional. If it's not included, make sure to ask ahead of time how many attendants will be working your wedding and calculate on a per-person basis.

  • How much? 10–20 percent of the liquor or food bill to be split among bartenders or waiters respectively, $1 per guest for coatroom and $1 per car for parking attendants

  • When do you tip? As a standard, tips are traditionally passed out at the end of the event. However, you could distribute them at the beginning of the evening as a thank you to all the workers for their service.

**EXPECTED** This is where you definitely want to check the contract for added gratuity.

· Wedding Hairstylist and Makeup Artist

This is one area where gratuity is definitely expected. You’ll want to be sure to tip between 15 to 25 percent, just as you would in any hair salon. You may also want to consider giving a little extra if there's a crisis! You know, like someone in your “I Do” crew requires a redo at the last minute.

  • How much? 15–25 percent, depending upon the quality of service.

  • When do you tip? Tip your beauty stylists at the end of your service.


Wedding Delivery and Setup Staff

Even though a delivery fee is included in your contract, it’s a good idea to slip a few dollars to anyone delivering important items to the site such as the wedding cake, flowers, or sound system. Especially if a lot of gear needs to be brought in and set up (tents, chairs, or porta-potties, large furniture), those workers absolutely deserve a tip too!

  • How much? $5–$10 per person

  • When do you tip? Drop off cash envelopes the day before the wedding to the catering manager so the person accepting deliveries can distribute the tip.

· Wedding Ceremony Officiant

If your officiant is affiliated with a church or synagogue, you're most likely expected to make a donation to that institution. However, if you're getting married there and they're charging you to use the space, feel free to give a smaller amount. Tipping the officiant, both nondenominational and denominational, is also appreciated.

  • How much? A donation of $100–$500 to the church or synagogue. For the officiant, a tip of $50-$100 (depending on how much time they've spent with you leading up to the wedding, you may want to tip a bit more).

  • When do you tip? Most ceremony fees are required prior to the wedding. Otherwise, have a responsible attendant pass the cash envelope at the rehearsal dinner if the officiant is in attendance.

· Wedding Reception Staff

This includes the on-site coordinator and banquet manager. A service charge is almost always built into the food and drink fee, so check your contract first. If the gratuity is not included, tip as follows.

  • How much? 15–20 percent of the food and drink fee or $200–$300 for the banquet manager. Depending on the level of involvement of the on-site coordinator, you’ll want to tip $50-$100

  • When do you tip? If it's covered in the contract, the final bill is typically due before the reception. Otherwise, have a trusted person hand the envelope to the on-site coordinator or banquet manager at the end of the reception, since you'll need to know the final tab to calculate the percentage.

· Wedding Transportation

If hiring a specialized transportation service, check your contract first, since most of the time gratuity is included. If it isn't, plan to tip provided they provide great service. If using Uber/Uber Black you can tip accordingly based on service.

  • How much? 15–20 percent of the total bill

  • When do you tip? Tip at the end of the night or after the last ride. If you used a separate company for the guests, designate a person in charge to hand the driver a tip.

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