4 General Rules for Tipping

by D Weddings

Illustration: Traci Daberko

Kimberly Rhodes, Hitched EventsYou’ve hired your superstar team of vendors, but don’t forget to leave room in the wedding budget to show them your appreciation. Wedding planner Kimberly Rhodes from Hitched Events tell us who to tip and how much.

1 “With all things, there is some flexibility based on your own discretion—some people are 15 percent restaurant tippers, while others naturally lean toward a more generous percentage,” wedding planner Kimberly Rhodes explains. “Providing gratuities for wedding vendors is not only expected in some cases, but it is also a wonderful way to show appreciation for those who have assisted on your big day.”

2 “Budget for gratuities in your wedding budget from the beginning so that you are able to accommodate the vendor’s fee and gratuity,” she says. “If you’re looking at a band whose fee is $10,000, you can’t budget only that amount for the band. Gratuities of $20 to $50 per musician can add up, so accounting for those things in the beginning will save a lot of stress later.”

3 “Plan out gratuities in advance and have cash in envelopes prepared,” she says. “Assign someone trustworthy to distribute the envelopes on the wedding day. (Your wedding planner will take care of this on your behalf if you’re working with one.) Give your planner some extra cash as a ‘just in case’ fund. If a bellman or delivery person has gone above and beyond, it’s great for the planner to have some cash to hand out.”

4 “Make sure to read your contracts to see which gratuities, if any, have already been included,” she explains. “Some transportation companies, for example, add on a 20-percent driver gratuity. Or conversely, make sure not to assume a tip is included. With catering and venue contracts, there are often service fees, but that doesn’t always translate to a tip. If it’s not clear—ask.”


Kimberly’s Budget Breakdown

 

BAND

$25 to $50 per musician. (“Again, just depending on how generous you are.”)

CEREMONY MUSICIANS

$20 to 25 per musician

DJ

$50 to $250

HAIR & MAKEUP

15 to 20 percent. “Tip just as you would if you were at the salon.”

WEDDING PLANNER

“Did your wedding planner make your life easier while planning? A gratuity or gift after the wedding is always appreciated.”

EVENT MANAGER OR CATERING MANAGER

“This person is often overlooked, but we love to include the person who made sure all the details of the venue were completed.”

CATERING STAFF

“Again, check your invoice on this one. If a gratuity isn’t included, 15 to 20 percent should be added. Another option is to give a tip for each server ($20 to $50) as well as the banquet or catering manager.”

DELIVERY STAFF

“You’d tip your pizza delivery guy, so why wouldn’t you tip the person who is delivering your wedding cake? A small cash tip ($5 to $10) for those making deliveries on your wedding day is always a nice gesture.”

OFFICIANT

“I suggest $75 to $150 in addition to his or her regular fees. Asking the officiant’s assistant or wedding coordinator at the church or synagogue what the officiant ‘typically’ receives is a great way to make sure you’re taking care of the officiant in the way he or she prefers.”

FLORISTS, PHOTOGRAPHERS, AND VIDEOGRAPHERS

“While you don’t have to give cash to every person who made an impact on your wedding, it is a nice gesture to recognize your wedding team in some way. While vendors who own their own businesses do not typically expect a gratuity, it’s always nice to follow up with them after the wedding day. A small gift, a gift card, or even a handwritten note is a nice touch to show your appreciation. If you’ve been pleased with the job they’ve done, it can also be incredibly helpful to write them a positive review as an additional means to show your appreciation.”