You’ve worked tirelessly to make a beautiful and memorable wedding for you and your guests. Just like at a restaurant where you appreciate the service and leave a gratuity, it’s important to know what to tip your wedding vendors. In honor of Labor Day, we asked some wedding planners for advice on what to tip and whom, so you don’t have to. (You’re welcome!)
Beth Anderson of Kismet Event Group actually provides a guide to all clients with suggestions of what to tip each vendor. “All of my clients always ask for this and we do adjust it based on if the client has additional vendors that are not included on it – bartenders and security, for example.” In general, she guides clients to tip between $100-200 for the photographer and an additional $100-200 for the videographer. In addition to the catering staff (she recommends tipping them $30-50 per server), don’t forget your DJ, band members, photo booth operators, and yes, your officiant.
If you’re still not sure on what to tip, venues might give you guidance on what’s appropriate when it comes to amounts. Amy Shey Jacobs, Creative Director and Founder of Chandelier Events advises, “Check your contract as well. Make sure you get clarification on details… For example, that twenty percent administration charge—is that for gratuity or something else? And sometimes contracts say they charge per person ‘plus plus’ — ask what that means. Is the 1st plus tax and the 2nd plus an administration charge? Or maybe it is a tip? It’s best to know upfront.”
Jacobs has another great suggestion, “Ask recently married friends for guidelines, as they know the market rates.” She also says that while tipping isn’t mandatory, “it’s always at the discretion of the client, but it’s really important to show appreciation to the vendors that helped perfect your special day. A thank you note, along with a gift, even a small token, shows how much you appreciate their hard work. It really does go a long way.”