Let’s be honest, service is key when deciding on how much to tip. When you go to a restaurant standard tip is 15%, and 18% for 6+ people (which is often added to the bill). My husband and I like to tip a little higher so standard for us is 18%-20%, if the service is bad we keep it at 15%. Remember that servers often work for less than minimum wage and have to split tips with bus boys and hostesses. Bad tipping is bad karma!
With that said, the moment “Wedding” is attached to any kind of service it seems the price is jacked up! Because, let’s face it, it’s your Big Perfect Day and if you are expecting perfection be ready to pay for it. You may be thinking, “Well, if I have to pay so much more than do I have to tip?” The answer to this is Yes and No. Although you may not be obligated to tip, it may be bad etiquette to not tip and often times Vendors may be expecting one. Nobody wants to be remembered as the Bridezilla who didn’t tip!
Here are a few tips on tipping and a breakdown of what gratuities are customary:
- Have tips enclosed in an envelope with a Thank You note and give it to a responsible person to distribute the day of the wedding. i.e. a Bridesmaid, your mother or father or your wedding planner.
- Check your contracts to make sure gratuity hasn’t already been added. Catering and Transportation almost always include gratuity in their contracts. Avoid double-tipping.
- Don’t tip the owners, instead tip the employees who helped the day of your wedding (or before if that is the case).
Bakers – 15%
Bands – $25-$50/person
Bartenders – If the guests are giving tips you may want to include an additional 10%, if the artender is not accepting tips from guests then 15%-20% is standard
Caterers – 15%-20% – usually included in the contract
DJs – 15%-20%
Florists – 15%
Hair & Makeup – 10%-15%
Limo Drivers – 15%-20% – usually included in the contract
Officiants – $75-$100 – clergy members may accept gratuities or donations, however, civil officiants are not typically allowed to accept gratuities. Ask beforehand.
Photographers/Videographers – 15%
Waitstaff – 15%-20% – usually included in the contract
Wedding Planner – 10%-20% – depending on how involved they are. Were they planning from the beginning or just a day of organizer? Often times a nice gift, around $50, is acceptable.
Please remember, these are just guidelines for you to budget off of. If you find that someone did and exceptional, above and beyond job, then a bigger tip may be given. On the flip side, if you feel someone didn’t live up to their end of the deal then tip them appropriately or not at all. Use your discretion.