Etiquette for Tipping Your Southern Wedding Vendors

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Figuring out your budget and including 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 and it often depends on several different factors. Many wedding vendors do not expect a tip, but it is always nice surprise and gratefully accepted. However, there are a few vendors where it is considered customary to provide a tip.

Photographer or Videographer

Should I tip? As most photographers and videographers own their own businesses, tipping is not expected or required in this case. If you are working with an employee of the company then a tip is customary. In any case, a small gift is definitely appreciated. You can also leave a positive review of their services as a token of your appreciation.

How much to tip? Generally 15% of the total fee, or a gift

Wedding Hair Stylist + Makeup Artist

Should I tip? Yes, this is one area where a gratuity is definitely expected, the same as any time you go to a salon or spa. However, if they own their own business this can be an exception.

How much to tip? 15-25%, just as you wouldafter any regular everyday normal salon appointment

Florist, Cake Baker + Decor Company

Should I tip? As most of these vendors often own their own businesses, tipping is not expected or required in this case. However, I strongly advise you double check your contract to ensure you are clear if a gratuity is expected. If you are working with an employee of a company then a tip is customary.

How much to tip? Generally 15% of the total fee, or a gift

Photo by: Bri Photography

Photo by: Bri Photography

Limousine + Transportation

Should I tip? Check your contract, often the gratuity is already included in the total fee or instructions for providing a gratuity are outlined in your contract. If not, then a tip to the driver is expected on the day of the wedding

How much to tip? 15-20% of the total bill if a service/gratuity charge is not included in your contract. If a gratuity is included and you’d still like to go above and beyond, a flat tip per driver of $5-10 per hour of service is common etiquette.

Officiant

Should I tip? It isn’t necessary to tip religious officiants like a priest or minister (many of them, in fact, won’t accept cash tips). Instead, a donation to their house of worship is required or a nice token of appreciation. It’s not expected that you’ll tip a civil or non-religious officiant, either. For all officiants, a personal gift, such as a gift certificate to a nice restaurant are great options.

How much to tip? A donation to the house of worship of anywhere between $100-$500 is appropriate if there is no fee for the officiant, or $50-150 if you have already paid them a fee. If you’re working with an independent officiant, $50-150 is appropriate.

Ceremony Musicians


Should I tip? This one’s definitely optional. If the string trio you hired has arranged or learned a particular song for you at your request, then a tip would definitely be a nice thank you to them.

How much to tip? $20 – $50 per musician, or 15% of total fee

Reception Band or DJ

Should I tip? It’s completely optional, but somewhat common. For bands that book their own gigs (i.e. separate from an entertainment agency), tipping is not customary.

How much? If you choose to tip, set aside $40-$100 per musician or $50-$200 for DJs

Wedding Planner

Should I tip? If your planner owns her own business, then no tip is expected, since it’s not customary to tip the owner of a business. However, if you would like to recognize exemplary performance, a personal gift or check is an option. If your planner has assistants on your wedding day (which most do), she will likely split the tip among them if she is the business owner.

How much? Up to $500, or 15% of her fee, or a nice gift

Delivery + Set-up Staff

Should I tip? It’s a lovely gesture, especially if they were careful to set everything up to your specifications and without causing damage to the surroundings.

How much? $5 – $10 per person

Catering + Waitstaff + Bartenders

Should I tip? Gratuity is usually included in the bill, but if it is not, I would recommend tipping.

How much? 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.

Cassandra Churchill