I get a lot of questions about tipping vendors so here is my best wedding vendor tipping advice: I usually recommend tipping those who are the “service” based vendors versus the “product” based vendors. However, if you feel that you want to tip everyone, I highly doubt anyone will argue with you.

 

SERVICE-BASED VENDORS

Including, but not limited to the following:

·     Catering

·     Bar

·     Hair and makeup

·     Planner

·     DJ / band

·     Photographer

·     Videographer

·     Photo booth

·     Officiant

·     Transportation

 

PRODUCT-BASED VENDORS

Including, but not limited to the following:

·     Cake

·     Venue (unless there is a coordinator)

·     Stationery / invitations

·     Alterations / tailoring

 

AMOUNT OF TIPPING

This is entirely up to you. It’s helpful to gauge your experience with the vendor leading up to the day to allow you to take your best guess. In most vendor’s opinions, any tip is a great tip. You can evenly disperse based on your tipping budget or use a percentage of the total like you would when tipping at a restaurant… it’s entirely up to you.

·     Do keep in mind that when working with larger totals (like photography and planning), the tips will add up fast. Again, this is totally up to however much you feel is appropriate for the level of service you are receiving from that vendor. For example, if the photography total is $3,000 then 15 percent would be $450.

·     Do make sure to tip the caterers and bartenders a good amount since those servers are likely paid like they would be in a restaurant. It’s safe to say that 10-20 percent would be super appreciated. For example, catering total is $4,000 than 15 percent is $600 to cover the staff.

·     You can also tip by standard amount across the board per person! Makes things super simple if you know all the staff involved with your vendors.

 

PREPPING YOUR TIPS

I recommend prepping these the week before the wedding! You don’t want to worry about heading to the ATM the morning of the wedding. I would get some envelopes, label each vendor you wish to tip, and add in the tip amounts. If you want to add in the tips based on their performances on the day of the wedding, don’t seal them.

 

I have had couples do an envelope per vendor or by person if they know the correct number of staff members per vendor category. For example, if you know the number of servers you could list out “Server number one,” “Server number two,” etc. 

 

HANDING OUT TIPS

You can either choose to hand out the tips yourself or let someone else handle it on the day. Be sure to let someone you trust hand out the tips: this can be a parent, best man, maid of honor or your planner. As a planner, I feel totally comfortable doing this on your behalf to take away the stress and make sure the tips get to the right people.

 

GIFTS INSTEAD OF TIPS?

YALL. We have all been there when it comes to no more money. If you are left with nothing else in your budget, any of the following are totally welcomed and loved:

·     Handwritten notes

·     Wine or alcohol

·     Amazing review everywhere

·     Candy or treats

·     Gift card for the spa

 

Seriously, you can just go to Trader Joes to buy chocolate, wine and some ribbon and call it a day (sometimes so much nicer than cash so that I don't have to go to the store to get it myself).

 

Click here to see Plain with Sprinkles tipping calendar so you an anticipate how much you should budget for tipping!

 

Photo by Samantha Laffoon Photography.