Who do you tip on the wedding day?
This is a very common question that comes up during my planning meetings. Much like other aspects of planning your wedding, there are some blurred lines and murky waters with this topic. So let's dive in!
The bottom line is that tips are rewards for extraordinary efforts. Did you florist make a last minute change or request? Did the florist transport items from the ceremony to the reception when she/he didn't need to. or wasn't paid to?
Did your baker make last minute changes for you? Or increase/decrease the size of your cake fairly last minute?
Did your wedding planner allocate extra hours for your big day due to an increase in the guest list? Did something in her emergency kit absolutely save your butt on the wedding day? Or did the preferred vendors list save you thousands of dollars?
These people probably deserve the tip! Keep in mind that any tip amount is at your discretion completely, and they are not required. (The exception to this is automatic gratuities that are included with most caterers or venues.)
Hair dressers and make up artists should receive 15-25% as a tip for their wedding day services. Consider increasing this if your hair or make up crew had to do extra touch ups due to rain, or needed to travel to a few photo locations with you.
Are you renting transportation? Limo drivers typically receive a 15-20% tip on top of your payment to the company.
If you are getting married in a church, the officiant will likely not be able to take a tip from you, but would prefer a donation made to the church. If you feel that you would like to reward this person in another way consider a bottle of wine, or a dozen cookies. If you are not getting married in a church, consider up to a $100 tip for the officiant, depending on who it is. If you have hired an officiant and paid that person, there is no tip required. If you are having a family member or friend perform the ceremony that is where the tip may come in. Offering family members or friends cash tips may be a bit awkward. Consider a gift certificate to a nice restaurant, or a bottle of liquor.
Martha Stewart Weddings suggests that wedding planners, photographers & videographers should receive up to $500 for their services. Mae & Co recommends between $500-$1000. Remember that this person is the glue holding the whole day together and capturing the most special memorable portions of your day. Keep in mind that this is not mandatory and that it should only be given for amazing service!
DJ's who do not own the music company will likely receive between $50-$150 for their services on the wedding day. Keep in mind that if they own their own companies a tip is not necessary because you have already worked out a price that is fair.
Finally, Martha Stewart Weddings recommends the following for the service staff: $50 per Chef, $30 per service staff member (bartenders and servers) and $200 for each the catering manager and event coordinator. Of course this can get out of hand extremely quickly if you have a team of 20-30 people helping you. Consider ordering a an extra dozen cupcakes from your bakery to give to the service staff with a thank you card. Small, thoughtful gestures go a very long way!
Keep in mind that all of these numbers and extra expenses need to be a part of your budget. There is no reason to go into debt as a new couple just to reward someone for excellent service.
We often receive hand written thank you cards, and photos from the wedding day or testimonials for social media. These things are so valuable to us and we appreciate them so much!
Remember that there is no necessity to leave a tip for anything, this is simply a guideline for everyone that is currently putting together their wedding budget.
Photo Credits: Luxe Images by Jill