Tipping Wedding Vendors: Who Gets Tipped and How Much
Tipping your wedding vendors is completely optional and should never be forced on you. Some vendors do offer tipping as part of their fees, but generally as a rule of thumb great service should dictate if tipping your vendors is warranted.
As in any other service industry, if your wedding vendor does an exceptional job, tips are always appreciated. It's a case by case basis and depends on your individual experience and what you believe to be fair.
In our research we've compiled a number of leading resources on etiquette and tipping to provide you a good general guideline for which vendors generally are tipped and by how much. Individual markets will indicate varying prices but this is a good starting point.
Tips on Tipping
- Tips should be given discreetly, in cash, and in individual envelopes.
- Tips should be distributed by the reception host, best man, or the wedding coordinator right before the vendor leaves.
- Vendors love thank you cards, kind words and glowing reviews if you enjoyed their services. Wedding Wire is a great place for reviews, they even give you a $5.00 giftcard for your trouble!
Hotel and Catering Staff
- Caterer: 15%-20% of the total food and beverage bill (Usually included in the contract. Distributed to waiters, waitresses, table captains)
- Bartender: 10% of bar bill (if separate from catering and not accepting tips from guests)
- Parking Attendents: .50 - $1.00 per guest
- Limo Drivers: 10%-15% (sometimes included in package)
- Powder Room Attendents: .50 - $1.00 per guest
Wedding Professionals (Generally Tipped)
- Wedding Planners: 10% - 20%
- Clergy/Officiants: $100
- Alter Servers: $10 - $25
- Musicians (Cantors, Organists, Strings): $25 - $50
- DJ: 10% - 20%
- Band: 10% - 20%
- Hair/Make-up: 15% - 20%
Wedding Professionals (Generally Not Tipped)
If outsanding service is provided, between 5% - 20% is acceptable for:
- Wedding Consultant
In the end if they went above and beyond what they were required to do, helped make your day exceptional or otherwise took care of you tipping is always appreciated.
Written by Brian King owner of Superlative Events Wedding DJs, Lighting, and Planning in the DC Metro Area. Over 10 years of helping couples celebrate some of life's greatest moments. Article and Photos (unless otherwise noted) copyright Brian King 2009.