Plan on figuring gratuity (tips) into your wedding budget; there are areas of your wedding that require gratuity. Tipping is a great way to thank vendors for helping to make your wedding and reception amazing and special.
Here are some guidelines, which are suggestions and are not set in stone:
- Set aside money in your wedding budget for gratuity. Figure this in as you start to get bids from your vendors. Overall, you can expect gratuity costs to range from 10-15% of your overall wedding budget.
- Check contracts to see if gratuity is already included into your bill with each vendor. Caterers, for example, may have already included wages and gratuity for their staff in their price. Be sure not to double tip if this is the case.
- Ask vendors about their individual tipping policy as it may not be allowed.
- Have cash gratuities prepared for each vendor in sealed, labeled envelopes before your wedding day.
- Assign someone in your wedding party (often a duty of the Best Man, or one of the fathers) to deliver gratuities to a designated person representing each vendor at the end of the event.
- No one/single person should get more then $150.00. For example: Your limo rental is $2000.00. 10 or 15% of that total is $200.00 or $300.00, which is not necessary.
The Ones You Should Tip
Limousine Drivers 10-15% of the limousine bill
Valet Parking Attendants - $.50 to $1.00 per car. Working from your RSVP list, prearrange this amount with the supervisor based on an estimate of how many cars will be arriving. A sign should be posted so your guests know that the gratuity has already been taken care of.
Wait Staff - If gratuity is not included in the contract already, 15% of the total catering bill. Wait staff are going to do the most physical labor on your wedding day.
Bartenders - 10% of the total liquor bill, presented to the head bartender to equally divide among the total number of bartenders who worked the full evening.
DJ - If the DJ owns the company, then gratuity is optional, but if the DJ is an employee $50-100.00. If you have two DJs (one DJ & a separate MC), give each person $50.00 in separate envelopes. When your guests rave about your reception later, remember that it was the DJ that largely contributed to the success that it was.
Makeup Artists and/or Hair Stylists It is not necessary to tip them if they come to you; however, if you go to the salon, then you should tip at least 15%. If you are wondering why the difference, the salon makes money from stylists services when performed in the salon; if the service is provided to you off site, the salon will most likely not earn a cut of the services.
Altar boys or girls - $10-15.00 each
Restroom and/or Coatroom Attendants - $.50 to $1.00 per guest, prearranged again with the supervisor based on the number of guests.
Ceremony or Reception Musicians - $5-10.00 an hour per person, in one lump sum given to the person in charge.
Banquet or Catering Manager They don’t need to be tipped unless they’ve thrown in extras, did an amazing job, or saved you a few hundred dollars on your bill. Gratuity would be between $50-$100.00.
Photographer and Videographer - If they own the company, then gratuity is optional. If they are employees, $50.00 goes to the main photographer/videographer and they can split it with their assistants, if any.
Officiant Gratuity, in this case, is bad etiquette. Generally, you pay your fee and that's it. If you instead wish to make a financial contribution to the church, you may do so separately.
Florist - You don't need to tip the florist for designing your arrangements, but you can tip them an extra $5.00 per delivery location (3 locations=$15.00) or $10-20.00 per staff member in one lump sum for set-up and delivery efforts.
Wedding Cake Baker/Designer - You don't have to tip for the baking of your wedding cake, but if you are at your reception venue at the time of delivery and set-up, $10.00 is appropriate.
Facility Coordinator or Room Manager - This is the person managing the venues staff and facility on the night of your wedding. $50.00 is appropriate.
Business Owners - You don’t have to tip the owner of a business that you received services from (the catering company, for instance), unless you feel that they have gone beyond the call of duty and you want to give them a token of your appreciation. The amount is completely up to you.