It can be a challenge to deal with wedding tipping, because you might not be sure how much to give and how much the other person is expecting.
Tipping wedding vendors is usually not required, but it can be a polite gesture if you’ve enjoyed the services they have provided. This is similar to when you tip a waiter or waitress at a restaurant, but there are some differences you should be aware of. That’s why we’ve written this wedding tipping guide. In it, you will learn everything you need to know to give tips well.
1. Look At Contracts
Some contracts already include an extra percentage that is equivalent to a tip. This means you don’t need to add one. If it is not mentioned in the contract you can either add it before the wedding or give out wedding vendor tips after the wedding is finished. The choice is yours, but you should read through any documents you sign. After all, if you had already paid a tip through the contract, you will probably think it’s too generous of you to tip again.
2. How Much To Tip Wedding Photographer
If you’ve hired a photographer, then you usually won’t need to tip them if they own their studio. That’s because you’ll be traveling to them, rather than having them take the photographs at your wedding. If you’re in Washington D.C., or you need boudoir photography, then you can discuss this subject with your photographer directly. Another way to approach tipping your photographer is to pay more than the listed prices for their packages. Keep in mind that if you are looking into hiring a videographer you will want to ask if they also do photography. This is just one question to ask before hiring a videographer. Also keep in mind that if you have two separate people taking care of photography and videography, you will need to tip each person.
3. Tip Those Who Go Above and Beyond
If you’ve been wondering ‘who do you tip at a wedding’, then an easy way to deal with this is to give out tips for wedding vendors who have delivered excellent services. This is particularly the case if you think a vendor has gone far beyond what you expected. It could mean that one of your vendors has accommodated your needs even when you had to change them just before the wedding, or it could mean that they’ve helped you to deal with unforeseen circumstances. These are situations where you might typically pay a little extra to say thank you.
4. Examine The Rules
Sometimes there might be specific regulations that control the amount you can donate. Churches, for instance, will often expect a donation of some kind, and it is typically in the low hundreds of dollars. However, this will depend on how frequently you get involved in their activities outside of your wedding. Clerks at court cannot receive tips, so if you want to reward them then the best thing you can do is to provide them with some homemade food or send them a card. Small gestures like these will always be gratefully received.
5. Get Someone To Manage The Situation
If you’d rather not do the wedding tipping yourself, or you simply lack the time to do it after a long day, then you can nominate a trusted person to pass them out on your behalf. You can give the tips for wedding vendors inside envelopes to make them easier to handle, and you can ask your guest to do so either before the service itself or after it has been completed. The choice is yours, but the sooner you make the decision, the easier it will be for you to allocate money for tips inside your budget.
6. Choose An Amount For Wedding Vendor Tips
Different vendors will often be tipped at different rates. A tradition has emerged regarding the amounts given as tips. We’ve compiled a list of average figures below so that you can be more certain about the amount you choose to tip.
- Bartenders typically get 10% of the total price spent on alcohol.
- Attendants at the bathrooms usually get a dollar or two.
- The person in charge of catering typically receives $200 or a gift.
- The cook often gets a tip of $100.
- Those managing the cloakrooms also get one or two dollars.
- Hairstylists often get their fees topped up by 15-20%.
- Maids at hotels get a few dollars for each room, and a little extra if you used a suite.
- Vehicle drivers get an additional 15%.
- The chief waiter will frequently receive 1-3% of the food costs.
- A makeup artist will often get another 15-20% added to their bill.
- Anyone performing live music can expect 15% extra for playing at the wedding, and a gift of $25-50 for playing at the reception.
- Photographers will typically be paid $100 more than their fees.
- Those looking after the car park get a one to two dollars for every car.
- Individual waiters can expect to receive at least $20.
- The person responsible for planning the wedding will often get a gift or 15% on top of their fee.
Keep in mind that these are merely recommendations, and you can, of course, choose to give your tips that are different from these amounts. It will depend on the quality of the service you receive and on whether you feel like a tip is deserved.
There is also no need to tip every single vendor. The best approach is to tip the ones who stood out to you the most and delivered the most memorable experience for you. To find a wedding vendor you can look for a wedding network. They have a member directory and resources to help you find a trusted wedding vendor.