One question that frequently arises during our planning meetings revolves around tipping on the wedding day. As with many aspects of wedding planning, there can be some ambiguity and uncertainty surrounding this topic. So, let's explore it together and shed some light on the matter!
The essence of the matter is that tips are intended to reward extraordinary efforts. Take a moment to reflect on the exceptional actions of your wedding vendors. Did your florist willingly accommodate a last-minute change or request? Perhaps they went the extra mile by personally transporting items from the ceremony to the reception without expecting additional compensation.
Consider your baker, too. Did they graciously accommodate your last-minute cake changes, be it an increase or decrease in size? Did they exhibit flexibility and creativity to ensure your cake exceeded your expectations?
And let's not forget your wedding planner. Did they allocate additional hours to ensure a seamless and unforgettable day when the guest list unexpectedly expanded? Did an item from their emergency kit come to the rescue, saving the day? Or did their preferred vendors list help you save thousands of dollars, making your wedding dreams more attainable?
If these remarkable individuals have gone above and beyond, it's certainly worth considering a tip as a token of gratitude. It's important to remember that the amount of the tip is entirely at your discretion, and it is not mandatory. (Please note that automatic gratuities included by most caterers or venues are exceptions to this.)
Hairdressers and Makeup Artists: For these talented individuals who work their magic to ensure you look your absolute best, a tip of 15-25% of their service cost is customary. If your hair or makeup crew had to go the extra mile, such as performing touch-ups due to unexpected rain or accompanying you to multiple photo locations, it's worth considering increasing the tip amount as a gesture of gratitude for their dedication.
Limo Drivers: It's customary to tip them an additional 15-20% on top of the payment made to the company. This extra acknowledgement is a thoughtful way to recognize their professionalism and service.
Officiant: If you're getting married in a church, it's unlikely that the officiant can accept a tip directly. Instead, they typically appreciate a donation made to the church. However, if you'd like to show your appreciation in a different manner, consider a small gift such as a bottle of wine or a dozen cookies. If you're not getting married in a church and have hired an officiant separately, consider a tip of up to $100, depending on their role and responsibilities. Remember, if you've already paid the officiant, a tip is not required. In the case where a family member or friend is performing the ceremony, a thoughtful gesture such as a gift certificate to a nice restaurant or a bottle of liquor can be a fitting token of gratitude.
Wedding Planners, Photographers & Videographers: These professionals play a pivotal role in bringing your vision to life and capturing the most cherished moments of your special day. While tipping is not mandatory, it's a meaningful way to recognize their extraordinary service. Martha Stewart Weddings suggests up to $500, while Mae & Co recommends between $500 and $1000. Consider the level of service and the impact they've had on your wedding experience when determining the appropriate tip amount.
DJ's: If the DJ is not the owner of the music company, it's customary to offer a tip ranging from $50 to $150 for their services on the wedding day. However, if they own their own company, a tip is not necessary since you've already agreed on a fair price that includes their services.
According to Martha Stewart Weddings, the following tipping guidelines are suggested: $50 per chef, $30 per service staff member (bartenders and servers), $200 for the catering manager, and $200 for the event coordinator. However, it's important to note that if you have a large team of 20-30 people assisting you, these amounts can add up quickly. To express your appreciation without breaking the bank, consider ordering an extra dozen cupcakes from your bakery to gift to the service staff along with a heartfelt thank you card. Small, thoughtful gestures can go a long way in showing your gratitude.
Remember, it's crucial to include these tipping amounts and any additional expenses within your overall wedding budget. It's unnecessary to go into debt as a newly married couple solely to reward someone for their excellent service. Prioritize your financial well-being as you navigate this aspect of wedding planning.
In addition to monetary tips, other forms of appreciation are also highly valued. Handwritten thank you cards, photos from the wedding day, or google reviews are gestures that hold great significance to us as wedding professionals. Your thoughtful gestures and kind words are cherished and deeply appreciated.
Lastly, it's important to emphasize that tipping is not obligatory. The guidelines provided are simply a reference point for those currently assembling their wedding budget. Each decision you make should align with your personal circumstances and budgetary considerations.
Photo Credits: Mandy Wright Photography