When it comes to tipping your wedding vendors, you might be wondering who to tip, how much to tip, or what alternatives for tipping there are if your budget is tight. To make it simple and easy for you, here is the ultimate vendor tipping guide with vendors organized by 1) typically tipped, 2) occasionally tipped, and 3) rarely tipped.
I say “typically tipped” rather than “required to tip” as unless it’s required in your contract, you technically aren’t required to tip anybody. Ultimately, tip the vendors you think went above and beyond in providing you with great service and a wonderful experience. Within this category are the vendors that are almost always given gratuity for weddings and should probably be first on your list to tip.
- Catering Staff (Note: Tips could be included in the contract, so be sure to check)
- Delivery and Setup Workers
- Hair and Makeup Team (Note: Unless it’s the owner of the business)
- Transportation Drivers (Note: This includes valet attendants)
These are the vendors that don’t usually appear on “must tip” lists, though can definitely be tipped if you feel they did an amazing job. Some of these vendors, like your planner and photographer, are spending several hours with you before and during the wedding day, so it’s a great gesture to give them a little extra for their hard work!
- Dessert Baker
- Band or DJ (Note: This category is more of an in-between for typically and occasionally tipped, so use your best judgment)
- Officiant (Note: Church-affiliated officiants often only accept church donations)
- Photographer / Videographer (Note: You can also give separate tips for assistants)
- Planner (Note: You can also give separate tips for assistants)
- Custom Invitation Designers and Calligraphers
Some vendors just wouldn’t make much sense to tip and these are the categories that fall into that realm. Of course, if you’d like to tip them, feel free to do so!
- Gown Boutique / Tuxedo Shop
- Lighting Companies (Note: Apart from delivery and setup team)
- Rental Companies (Note: Apart from delivery and setup team)
If you don’t have the budget to tip or simply don’t feel inclined to tip a vendor but still want to show your appreciation, here are a few tipping alternatives:
- Refer them to other brides – By sending your vendors future clients, they’ll know you were delighted with their services and will also appreciate you supporting their business. Small business referrals have such an impact on a vendor’s success within the wedding industry.
- Review them – Review your vendors on sites like Yelp, Google, The Knot, and WeddingWire to help future couples understand their value. You can simply write one review and then copy and paste it to the other sites. Each vendor should take you about 5 minutes to review on all four of those sites above. It’s a small time investment in their business that is greatly appreciated!
- Write a Thank You Note – If you felt like a vendor went above and beyond for your wedding day, send them a handwritten thank you note expressing your appreciation.