Tips are never obligatory―they are supposed to be expressions of appreciation for a job well done. That being said, unless the service was terrible, would you walk away from a restaurant table without leaving one? I’m certain that most of you answered no to that question. However, believe it or not the same applies to weddings. Again, while tips are not expected; they are certainly appreciated.
Beyond the customary tips, when someone goes out of his way for you―the pastry chef makes those last-minute tiny changes you requested for the cake or adds a last minute delivery to a busy Saturday; the deejay starts playing music 45 minutes early to accommodate guests that arrived early to “Get a Good Seat” or were traveling with a member of the bridal party―consider thanking them with a gift certificate, a bottle of wine, or another token of appreciation. If you’ve sat with your wedding planner hour after hour, she’s scheduled meetings with you on her off days, and made certain your four legged furry baby made it home to a family member after the reception; you might want to add a personal thank-you note and small gift to her customary tip.
For those of you that would like to tip your wedding vendors, but don’t know what is customary, here is a little cheat sheet excerpted from Kate Lynn Nemett’s post, “A Bride’s Guide to Tipping Wedding Vendors“
- Photographer & Cinematographers | $50-$100 per person, or a personal gift
- Wedding Planner | $50-$100, or a personal gift
- Caterer | 15-20% of your total bill
- Waitstaff | 15-20% of labor costs on your food and drink bill
- Bartender | 10% of total liquor bill
- Florist | Florists generally do not expect a tip, but if you really love their product and efforts, consider giving a tip for 10-15% of your total floral bill.
- Hair & Make-up | 15-20% of your total amount paid to him or her (just like at a salon!)
- Transportation | 15-20% of your transportation bill
- Band | $20-$25 per musician
- DJ | $50-$100
- Delivery Personnel | $5-$10 per person
- Officiant | Around $100 is an acceptable tip for an officiant, particularly if he or she is providing a service free of charge. If he or she works for a religious institution and cannot accept a tip directly, consider a donation to the organization instead.