You know you should tip at a restaurant, at your hair salon, and when you’re getting out of a taxi, but did you know you should tip vendors at your wedding, too? We asked our experts to dish on the ultimate list of who gets a tip (and exactly how much!).
Before your wedding rolls around, take a good look at your wedding vendors’ contracts to see if gratuity is included. You might see a line for this from your caterer and bartender, but most other vendors don’t include tips in their fees. Familiarize yourself with who does and doesn’t include tips, then get ready to head to the bank to pick up some cash. Assuming none of your wedding vendors include gratuity in their fees, here’s how it breaks down:
Officiant: If your officiant is a member of the clergy, you may not be able to tip him or her directly, but you can make an additional donation to the house of worship. For non-clergy, tip around $50.
Photographer and Videographer: As a general rule, it’s not necessary to tip the owner of the company (which wedding photographers often are), though you could tip $100 or more if you feel so inclined. If there is an assistant, tip the assistant $50 to $75.
Caterer and Waitstaff: Gratuity (or a service fee) is often included in your total bill. If not (or if you’d like to give a little more), $10 to $20 per person is a nice gesture. Unlike at a restaurant, the waitstaff at your wedding isn’t depending on tips for wages.
Bartenders: Bartending services are often included as part of your caterer’s package, and gratuity is frequently included in the bill. If it isn’t, or if you hired your bartender separately, tip 10–15% of the pre-tax bar bill, to be split between the evening’s bartenders. If you are tipping your bartenders, make sure they aren’t also accepting tips from your guests!
Catering/Banquet Manager: For a wedding in a hotel or established venue, you may be working directly with either a catering or banquet manager throughout the process. If they are not also serving as your wedding coordinator, be sure to tip them $250–$500 for their services.
Hair and Makeup: Like at the salon, tip around 15–20% of the service. You may provide this tip yourself if you’re paying for all of your bridesmaids’ services, or include a tip in the total that they each owe so they can make sure to have enough cash on hand.
Musicians: This goes for both ceremony musicians and your band or DJ. If gratuity is not included in your contract with the musicians, tip between $25 and $50 per person. Don’t forget the band’s sound guy!
Chauffeurs or Drivers: Many transportation companies include gratuity on their invoice. If it is not covered by your contract, 15-20% of the pre-tax bill is a good range to aim for.
Valet Attendants: Whether or not you’re paying for your guests’ cars to be valet parked, you should cover the gratuity yourselves. Tip $1-$2 per car, to be split between the staff. Place a sign at the valet station letting your guests know that gratuity has been taken care of.
Restroom and Coat Check Attendants: Calculate anywhere from $0.50 to $2 per guest. Again, make sure your guests know that gratuity has been covered so they don’t feel obligated to hand out singles throughout the night.
Delivery and Rental Staff: Talk to your vendors about how many people they’ll have on site for your wedding day, then plan to tip $10 to $20 per person.
Wedding Planner, Baker, Stationer, and Florist: As business owners, these pros won’t be expecting a tip. However, if you really loved their work or felt they went above and beyond, consider putting cash or a check in the mail after the wedding, along with a thank-you card (especially because your planner is the only one of these vendors you’ll probably see on your wedding day). If your planner brought an assistant who did great work, be sure to send over a tip for her or him as well! Anywhere from $50-$150 is appropriate for a planner’s assistant, with the higher amounts for one who really went above and beyond the call of duty.