just the tip

·       Personal concierge services (transportation – limo – hair and makeup - basically, those vendors that you would normally tip on a day that is NOT a special event) should probably get a tip always.  15-20% is standard.

·       Some venues and/or caterers have gratuities built into their pricing.  Sometimes it is called a service charge, and it is split amongst the service personnel at your wedding.  Do not always count on the “service charge” being a tip, though.  Sometimes, the service charge is actually going towards insurance/travel/kitchen fees/venue fees and not toward the servers/staff.  It is best to check with your caterer/venue on a case by case basis.  They should also be able to tell you things like how many servers or bartenders are assigned to your event, and you can tip per person an amount that suits your budget (perhaps $50-100 per).  It is nice to include a tip for your servers, bartenders, banquet captain, and maybe even your Chef!  Again, totally up to you.  Please don’t feel you HAVE to tip anyone.

·       Providing meals for your all-day vendors is important.  Most of them will have it written into their contract (including us!).  Typically, all-day vendors are there for 6+ hours or more, working very hard for you.  Those that I consider all-day vendors who *should* get a meal are: Photographers {and their second shooter}, Videographer/Cinematographer (and their second shooter), DJ/MC/band (and any assistant), and your Coordinator(s).   There are normally 2 coordinators come dinner time. If you decide not to provide a meal, please keep in mind that your vendors may leave to grab a meal.  Vendors will want to eat at the beginning of dinner, when you do.  That way, they can get back in time for the next formality- toasts, dancing, etc.  Please note, you do NOT need to provide a table for your vendors.  This is usually the best time for the vendors to “get away” for a 30 minute break, and most venues have an option outside of the immediate event space.

·       Tips for other vendors- This is based solely upon your interactions with them thus far.  If they have provided you with excellent service and exceeded your expectations, by all means, grace them with a separate gratuity.  You may have heard that if the vendor is the owner of their company, they should not be tipped.  It is my belief that you should evaluate each and EVERY wedding vendor separately, regardless of whether they are the owner, or an employee/contractor. You also may like to write thank you notes and include a check, cash, or gift card for your vendors with whom you have had significant interactions.  NONE of this is required. 

·       Many people wishing to tip their photographer or videographer choose to wait until the final product is delivered and send it then.  This is most often a flat rate tip, with most of my clients averaging $100-500 for these.  Your mileage may vary, so do what feels right to you.  

·       Many other flat rate tips I see or have seen range from $100-$500+, and are for wait staff, bar staff, DJ or band, Officiant, photo and video teams, photobooth attendant, Wedding Coordinator(s) & Assistants, and venue manager.  Usually percentage-based tips are for concierge services only, such as hair and makeup, or transportation.  They would be much too large and overwhelming budget-wise when assessing percentages across the board.

·       I have clients who tip ALL of their vendors, and clients who tip none of their vendors.  Please look at this on a case by case basis, and know, again, that none of it is required, but is simply & truly a gratuity for a job well done.

·       Reviews and sharing photos from the day are the best ways to thank your vendors after the wedding!  WeddingWire, Yelp, The Knot, and Facebook are nice places to capture reviews, or your vendors may have separate preferences.  This will ensure that future clients get to see what you thought of your vendors.


Please note, I have had feedback that many couples think they will wait until after the wedding to do tips, after seeing how the wedding day goes.  99% of the time, they then forget to do this after the wedding.  If you want to make absolutely certain that you thank special vendor(s), my suggestion would be to prepare it before the wedding.


If you have cards/tips or FINAL PAYMENTS you would like me to pass out to your vendors, please prepare them in sealed envelopes with the vendor’s name on the outside, and have this ready for me at your REHEARSAL.  More times than not, when this is saved for the wedding day, it is forgotten by the client.