The EVL Events  Journal

To Tip or Not to Tip, That is the Question


Your wedding vendors make the magic of your special day come to life! From orchestrating the grand first looks at the reception to executing the little details throughout the night, the special touches and effort that each vendor brings to the table can make your wedding extraordinary. To return a small sentiment to vendors that successfully achieved your expectations, gratuities are often a nice gesture to return your thanks. Reasons to tip can be due to the fact that they had exemplary service, brought your vision to reality and that they drew energy into the wedding celebration to liven up the festivities.


It can be common to tip any or all of the vendors at weddings, money or small gifts are common. Before adding anything additional for the vendor, check the contract to ensure that gratuities were not already included in the total cost of hiring them for the wedding. If the vendor that assisted on wedding day owns his or her own business, it is not necessary to tip; however, a small personalized gift may be appropriate.

How Much?

When tipping, the percentage ranges from 15-20% of the total services for vendors such as stylists, makeup artists, transportation, djs and caterers. Servers, bartenders, musicians and on-site coordinators or managers can be tipped individually at a set amount; this can range anywhere between a minimum of $15 to $250 per person, depending on the number of attendees, complexity of the reception arrangements and time spent at the wedding. Officiants do not often have a fee, but donations are suggested.


It’s a nice touch for the bride and groom to thank vendors in person for their services and pass along a note and gratuity, especially if the vendor worked closely with the couple. However, as most tips are exchanged towards the conclusion of wedding night, so as not to take the newlyweds away from their party, a family member or friend can often be delegated to take care of this task. If you have a wedding coordinator, they can take care of final payments and tipping for you as well. Towards the end of the night, approach the vendors at that time and thank them while providing any tips or gifts. Wait to tip wedding coordinators and venue managers until after the wedding when everything has been finalized. If the budget is tight and tipping is not an option, there are other ways to thank vendors. Personal, handwritten notes after the wedding, recommendations to friends and family members and business reviews go a long way to show a vendor that you appreciate their services. Online reviews on sites such as Wedding Wire or The Knot are great references for other newly engaged couples looking to plan their wedding. This can help generate future business for the vendors hired for your wedding, which is one of the greatest forms of repayment.


Photo Credit: Jessica Ahrens Photography