Who Do I Give Vendor Tips To At My Wedding?

Vendor tips can be hard and one of the last things you want to worry about on your wedding day. The truth is that there is no real rule when it comes to vendor tips at weddings. Most wedding vendors do not expect a tip, but it is a nice surprise. However, there are a few vendors where it is considered customary to provide a tip.

 

Tipping Etiquette Per Vendor

 

Catering/Bar Service:

Gratuity is typically included in the bill, but if it is not, I would recommend tipping 15-20% OR $50-100 per chef or person in charge and $20 per server. If you do not allow your bartenders to have a tip jar out, I would recommend tipping them a larger amount, like $75-100 per bartender.

 

Venue:

Some venues require a gratuity, but if they do not, then it is not a requirement to give them a vendor tip but it is a nice gesture. I would recommend a 10-15% tip if you feel they went above and beyond or were easy to work with. 

 

DJ, Wedding Planner/Coordinator, Florist, Photographer, Videographer, Baker, Rental Company:

With these vendor groups, vendor tips are not expected but a very kind gesture. If one of these vendors went above and beyond, was easy to work with or gave you a decent discount, I would recommend tipping anywhere from 10-20%.

 

Tips For Vendor Tips

 

  • Before your wedding day, I recommend taking out all the cash for tipping and putting it in envelopes with each vendor’s name on it. Then appoint someone to be in charge of handing out the vendor tips (this could be a parent, maid of honor, wedding planner or coordinator, etc.) so that you don’t have to worry about vendors leaving without receiving it.
  • When tipping multiple people from one company (like catering or bar service), I recommend individually giving each staff member a $20 bill (or whatever you choose) rather than giving a large amount of cash to the lead person to split up – because there is the possibility they will keep it all.
  • Normally, it is customary to tip employees of a company rather than the owner. This is because the employees are typically making less money than the owner. However, owners always appreciate a little extra cash.
  • If there was a vendor that was difficult to work with, always late on deadlines, or did not perform the service they promised – do NOT tip them – even if it is customary. This may seem like an obvious one but do not feel pressure to tip someone only because you tipped everyone else. They have to earn that money!

 

Lastly, don’t stress yourself out about this too much. Ultimately if you feel someone was a joy to work with, made the experience special for you or went above and beyond throw them a tip. But if someone was a pain in the butt, always late and a little negative – don’t tip them.

 

I hope this helped you and leave your comments/questions below!

 

Need more wedding planning advice? Check out my Guide To A Seamless Wedding Bar with Tonic and Lime!

 

Brooke DePauw

Brooke is the owner of Stellaluna Events and a top Michigan wedding planner. She is a lover of celebrations by the water, with extensive experience with Lake Michigan and other lakeside weddings. Brooke believes in tossing away the trends and creating fulfilling experiences for her clients and their guests.

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