How Much to Tip Your Wedding Vendors

When to give and how much to give can be confusing and can even add stress to an already stressful event as a wedding.   Be sure to read vendor contracts, as gratuities may be included in their bill.  While tipping is often optional, it is expected and encouraged to tip bartenders, waiters, valet parking attendants and transportation.  To help you avoid any social faux pas, here are tipping suggestions for your wedding vendors.


These vendors usually include gratuity in their contract but if not, here are the ways to tip them.

·       Catering Staff Catering companies often tack on a service fee which is 15%-20% of the entire cost of the wedding dinner. They may also include hand tips for each chef ($100), catering manager ($200 or personal gift) and servers ($20-$50), distributed by the catering manager).

·       Wedding Reception Staff If you have a maître d’, a coordinator and a banquet manager at your reception, expect a fee of 15%-20% of the food and drink to be tacked on your bill.

·       Transportation Tips for drivers often start at 15%. If they show up on time and don’t get the guests lost, consider offering more.

·       Officiant - Court-Provided civil celebrants are not allowed to accept tips. However, if the officiant is a member of a denomination, you’re expected to make a church donation of $100-$500 depending on whether you’re a member and how active a member you are.

·       Wedding Planner - It’s always a great idea to give your wedding planner a tip (15%) or a personal gift.


Some planners advise that tipping your vendors ahead would encourage them to do outstandingly well on the day of the event. Here are other wedding vendors you can tip for better service during your big day.

·       Hair and Makeup Artists Depending on how many people they prepped, you can give them 15%-25% on top of their usual fees.

·       Photographer and videographer Tips for photo/videographers range from $50 to $200. If they brought on a crew, offer $50-$100 per person instead. 

·       Wedding Reception Attendants - These include the parking attendants, bartenders, and coatroom attendants. Tip them 10%-20% of the bill to be divided among them or consider giving them $20-$50 each.

·       Wedding Musicians  A gratuity of 15% of fee for ceremony musicians and DJ, give each band member $20-$50.

·       Wedding party Don’t forget to thank your wedding party for helping you organize the wedding.  Giving your bridesmaids personalized bags and your groomsmen cool gifts is a great way to thank them for their time and effort.


While there is a developing trend of tipping all vendors, avoid being pressured by this and only offer tips when the service is exceptionally good. Instead of cash, you can also offer them thank-you notes or small gifts. A testimonial and photo for their portfolios is also another good alternative. 

Contributing content by featured vendor:   Tara of