Gratuity Guide

You've spent months getting to know and working with the vendors who will make your day come alive. You may be curious what is acceptable to tip vendors, if at all, and include that into your budget.

The amount to tip vendors is very subjective, and not all categories are required. The tipping I have listed below is across the board, but I will give you an idea of what I usually see for vendor tips. About half of our clients tip as a percentage of the total bill (usually between 15-20%) for each vendor, and it gets divided amongst the total staff that worked on an event. Some of our clients tip per worker. Both are normal and accepted. Please feel free to tip as you see fit.

If a vendor is not tipped as a percentage, here are the ranges of what we see:

CATERING

Typically 18% of food cost. Gratuity is different than a service fee. The service fee covers the cost of business and remains with the owner for administrative time and other overhead while gratuity is given to the wedding day staff. Review your catering contract to see if this is already included in your payments.

DJ

$200 to $500

BAND MEMBERS

$25 to $50 per member.

CEREMONY MUSICIANS

$25 to $50 per member.

HAIR STYLIST

Tipped like at the salon, 20% or so.

MAKEUP ARTIST

Tipped like at the salon, 20% or so

FLORIST

Tipped as a percentage of cost, about 10% (pre-tax) or by the person as well, about $25-$50 per person

PHOTOGRAPHER & VIDEOGRAPHER

Because these vendors are skill-trade vendors, they are usually tipped at a higher rate, often as much as 15% of their total. If not tipping a percent, I typically see photographer and videographer tipped anywhere between $150 and $300 with a second shooter tipped from $50 to $150.

OFFICIANT

$25 to $50.

BAR STAFF

Bartenders are usually tipped $50 to $100 per person unless there is a tip jar. If there is a tip jar, there is not usually an additional tip given unless they did an exceptional job.

TRANSPORTATION

$25 to $75 per driver.

PLANNER/
COORDINATOR

We see a wide tipping in our category. Everything from spa gift cards to monetary tipping from $100 to $400 or even a percentage. It can also depend on the level of service booked.