Tipping in the wedding and event industry isn’t "mandatory," but it is the RIGHT thing to do. As with any other service provider, it is a generous gesture to give praise for a job done well!
When it comes to your "big day," it’s customary to tip the waitstaff, bartenders, behind-the-scenes assistance, and hair and makeup artists, but often couples choose to tip the rest of their dream team too. Tips are sometimes built into service agreements. Catering contracts, bar service, venue fees and more. Be aware of this and know that it has occurred but does not limit you from going above and beyond. Wedding budgeting is such a big undertaking and it is important to know primarily with catering if the tip is included. Don’t forget to add gratuities into your wedding budget, in order to not give yourself a cash-flow heart attack prior to your honeymoon.
If you’d like to give a little something extra, here is a suggested guide to tipping your event professionals that have gone above and beyond.
Check your contract on this one as a gratuity is often included in service fees ( ask the catering manager how tipping works at their company: Some companies include a “service fee” that goes toward overhead, not to "staff"). Engage in this conversation sooner than later in contract discussions. Always tip waitstaff, bartenders, and anyone else serving your guests.
Bottomline: 15-20 percent of the total bill. This is typically the only event professional that will have gratuity included. $50 to $100 for the manager or individual who helped you from contract to execution is polite. Typically you will have one person who handles your particular event and tipping them above and beyond the gratuity contract is acceptable.
Tipping your wedding musicians is optional, but a nice gesture if they really provide outstanding service. Tipping your DJ is a MUST. The DJ is crucial to a good reception. They keep the flow, the momentum, and bring the party. If they succeed the tip is a must. $50 to $150 for a DJ, $20 to $25 per musician for a band. Ask one of your attendants or your coordinator to give the musicians an envelope after the reception. The tip to the DJ is really important. They need tipped according to their job. $50-$100 is needed however if they do a KILLER job more than $100 is encouraged. Have 2 envelopes ready one for an ok job and one if they are killing it. Give them to the best man or a coordinator. Have them be the designated person to remind you to tip the DJ. If the job was well done give them the most appropriate envelope.
This includes parking attendants, coat checkers, powder room staff, bartenders (unless they’re hired by the catering company), and anyone else serving your guests. $1 to $2 per guest for each attendant. Before or after the wedding — your choice.
As you would with a taxi, tip your driver unless gratuity is included in your contract. 15-20 percent. After the last ride of the night has been given. This includes bus transportation for guests for your destination weddings in communities like McCall and Sun Valley.
Remember that sending a heartfelt thank you note and a token of your appreciation after the wedding can go a long way towards making your wedding vendors feel appreciated. Positive thoughtful reviews on popular wedding sites (wedding Wire, The Knot) and personal referrals will mean a whole lot, too! Good referrals are worth more $$$ than the best paid advertisement. Making them the highest tip you can give.
This is the ONLY tip that can be paid several months after the event. Your tip to your wedding coordinator should be paid shortly after your honeymoon and should be accompanied by a small gift or card of appreciation. Small gift can be as small as a box of chocolates or as large as a gift card to the spa (like The Cove at ShoreLodge.) Your appreciation to your event coordinator must be expressed in a greater way than simply cash.
This is the tricky one. Wedding bloggers tend to debate this one. Some say yes and some say it is not needed. We believe when in doubt you should always tip. You can tip photographers with a gift as well. A gift certificate to your favorite restaurant, a weekend away, or customize a thoughtful gift. A great bonus for a photographer is just accommodate them. Get a snack basket ready: fresh fruit, granola bars, gum, water, soda, etc...
Typically officiants are $150-$200 and a tip is needed. $25-$50 is acceptable. If they are from your church it is nice to give a donation to the church in addition to paying the minister.
The lady who fixed your gown and made it perfect. YES she should be tipped.
If she has gone above and beyond then tipping is a nice gesture. If you are purchasing calligraphy retail though it is not needed.
Again we believe when in doubt tipping is the best policy. 15-20% is always a good standard. Thank you cards and small appreciation tokens are appreciated.