One of the most frequently asked questions from clients is “Who do I tip?” followed by “How much should I tip them?”
Tipping is a confusing topic, particularly for a wedding since it’s not as clear cut as going to a restaurant and a bar. How much does each server get? What if you really had a bad experience? What is actually included in the contract?
First things first. Tipping is COMPLETELY optional. It should be used in its original intended form; for you as the client to thank one (or all!) of your vendors for absolutely going over the top to make you feel important.
Either way, here is an industry standard guide for tipping various vendors. Feel free to pick and choose as you see fit!
Bartenders: Like in a restaurant, 10% of your bar bill is sufficient for all the bartenders (this can be paid to the catering manager and will be doled out between them)
Catering manager: Depending on how much your catering bill is, $100-$200 tip is a good ballpark (and how much you enjoyed working with the catering company)
Makeup artist/Hairstylist: Per standard salon rates, between 15 to 20 percent
Musicians: Make sure to check the contract to see if gratuity is included. If it isn’t and people raved about your band, 15 percent of the fee is a good estimate.
Photographer/videographer: For flat fee photographers and videographers, between $50 – $150 tip. If there’s overtime or they are on an hourly rate and charge extra for overtime, a tip isn’t necessary.
Catering staff (not bartenders or managers): $20 and up each which can be given to the catering manager to distribute
No matter whether or not you decide to tip, I do wholeheartedly recommend to write thank you notes to your vendors if you think that they did a good job. More than being tipped, vendors (and wedding planners) LOVE feedback. Most of us are in the service industry because we LOVE our clients and our goal is that we want them to feel extra special on their big day. If you felt that way, let your vendors know. They’ll definitely appreciate it.
What is your view on tipping wedding vendors? Do you agree or disagree with writing thank you notes to vendors?