How to Make Your Wedding Photographer Feel Appreciated

How much to tip wedding photographer

In general, photographers appreciate tips. It’s always a nice gesture to show your appreciation for their work with a thoughtful gift, and it goes a long way in showing that you’re happy with the results. 

There is no hard-and-fast rule about tipping; you should do what is most convenient and thoughtful. 

However, there are different ways to appreciate your photographer for a job well done, which will be discussed in this blog post. 

How Much Should I Tip?

Although the standard practice is to spend 5–15% of your total bill on gratuities, you could raise or lower that number depending on how satisfied you were with the level of service. However, when you are working based on a percentage, always try to do an acceptable calculation. How?

If the total cost was $5000, giving the photographer 10% of that, which is $500, might seem huge, and if the price seems low, it might not be worth it. It is always good to give tips based on how much you can afford as an individual and leverage the work being done.

Also, the amount you pay the photographer should make him or her happy for a job well done so that you can easily hire him or her whenever you need to.

Also, if the job isn’t done well, let him or her know and pay the amount you believe the work is worth, keeping the range at 5–15%. Pay should always be based on work done.

Things to Consider Before Tipping

After spending so much on the wedding, here are some things to consider before tipping the photographers or anyone else:

The Contract

When you’re planning on giving a gratuity to your wedding photographer, always look over your contract first. This is important to do, whether you booked them through an agency or not. Sometimes the cost of a tip is already included in the quoted price.

Additionally, there are some individuals who refuse to offer advice regarding the amount of a tip to leave or the appropriate time to do so. 

You should talk to the person who will be taking pictures at your wedding about this before the big day so that you don’t get any unpleasant surprises. You’ll have the ability to decide who gets tipped, when, and how much based on the quality of the service provided by each individual.

Quality of Work 

This is the most important thing to think about when deciding how much to tip your photographer. If the photos and service exceeded your expectations, a larger tip would be appropriate. 

You may wish to leave a reduced tip or even not tip at all if you feel the images or service were below average. The event’s photographability should also be taken into account. Your photographer probably didn’t have much to do if your event was small, intimate, and well lit. 

But if it was a large event with poor lighting, the photographer probably worked more and should be rewarded with a larger gratuity.

Hours Worked

The amount you tip your wedding vendors should be based on the duration of their services. If your photographer was there for eight hours, it would be appropriate to give them a higher gratuity than if they only worked for four hours.

Is the Photographer the Owner of the Business or Not?

No gratuities are expected when dealing with suppliers who are also business owners. These experts have already established prices at levels they consider fair for their services. 

The vast majority of photographers in this group run their own studios specializing in wedding photography. But if they do a great job, you should still think about tipping them.

When Should You Tip Your Wedding Photographer?

For wedding-day services that aren’t included in the price, it’s common to give extra tips. 

Put the money in an envelope and label it with the name of the seller for whom you will be leaving a tip. You can saddle a friend, relative, or wedding planner you can trust with the responsibility of handing out tips to guests. Here are a few things to consider:

  • After the wedding, you should tip your photographer for taking pictures at your special day. 
  • If you are happy with the photos, you can give a tip as a way of saying thank you. 
  • You can also give a tip if the photographer went above and beyond their duties or provided extra services on top of their agreed-upon job duties. 
  • If the photographer stayed longer than expected or provided extra help with setting up and taking down equipment, you should give a tip to show your appreciation. 
  • Tipping is also appreciated if they took time out of their day to help coordinate any special photos or posed pictures that you wanted on your wedding day. 
  •  Finally, you should tip your photographer if they had to travel a long distance for your wedding and spent extra time getting to and from the destination. 

Tipping the Photographer’s Assistant

Tipping the photographer’s assistant is a wonderful way to thank them for their hard work and effort throughout your special day.

A photographer’s assistant can be very helpful because they can carry equipment, set up lights, and help the photographer take great pictures of your wedding. An assistant also helps make sure the photography portion of the day runs smoothly and on time.

It’s not always necessary to tip an assistant, but if you have one who is especially helpful or flexible, a tip is always a nice way to show your appreciation. A proper way to do this is to give the photographer’s assistant their tip in cash at the end of the event and make sure the photographer is aware of it.

If the assistant and photographer are an employed team, then you can also give the tip to the photographer, and they can split it with their assistant. However, if your budget allows for it, a separate cash tip for the assistant is best.

A cash amount equal to 15-20% of what you paid for your photographer’s fee is an appropriate amount to give. 

Different Ways to Appreciate Your Photographer Asides from Gratuities

If you were happy with your photographer’s work, you might want to show your appreciation with something other than money. A kind act can often convey more appreciation than money alone. Some appropriate substitutes for wedding photographer gratuities are listed below:

Leave a Positive Review

 One of the most valuable things you can do for a business is to leave a positive review on its Google Business page. (Google reviews are considered the most helpful to businesses, although other sites that offer chances for reviewing are still appreciated if your photographers use them.)

Tag Them on Social Media 

One way to bring in new customers is through recommendations from existing ones. Sharing your experience on social media and tagging them when uploading the pictures makes it easier for others to find them.

Give Them Your Business 

Buy prints or even bigger products like albums from your photographers. You’ll not only get amazing, high-quality souvenirs, but you’ll also be helping them out financially. It’s like tipping, but with an awesome souvenir for yourself too.

Retain Them 

Always feel free to contact the photographer who has been doing a very good job for you for any special occasions coming up, like an anniversary or Christmas. We truly value our returning customers and love serving them time and time again.

Get The Word Out About Your Amazing Photographer

Support them by raving to everyone you know about how great they are. You can talk them up to vendors in local wedding planning groups or recommend them whenever someone you know is also looking for a photographer.

Wedding Tips for Other Vendors

While not every wedding service provider expects a tip, there is a select group to whom it is impolite to skip extending one. We’ve listed some of these wedding vendors to help you figure out how to spend your money. 

If you don’t have to tip a service provider, think about how good the service was when deciding who to tip and how much to tip.

The Hair Stylist and the Makeup Artist 

Most of the time, experts who help you look your best will ask for a tip in exchange. A gratuity of 15–25% is greatly appreciated and is in line with what you might offer to any other beauty professional.

Caterer and Waitstaff

Most of the time, the service fee or tip for the caterer and wait staff is already built into the final price.

 If you’re able to or would prefer to give more, it will be appreciated if the donation is based on the number of catering staff. There will be no need to tip the wait staff at your wedding since you’ve settled with the catering  manager.

Transportation Group

If you use a limo service or other transportation company, it is customary to leave them a tip of 10 percent to 20 percent of the total cost. Also, if they had to wait for a long time and drive past their shift, you might want to give them a bonus on top of their tip.

These are just some examples of vendors who should be tipped at a wedding. Ultimately, it is up to you to decide who to tip and how much. Always remember that the primary purpose of tipping your vendors is to show appreciation for their excellent service.


As part of their packages, many caterers offer bartending services, and tips are usually already included in the final price. If it isn’t included or if you hired your bartender independently, a standard tip for a night out at the bar is 10 percent to 15 percent of the before-tax total. 

Also, ensure that your bartenders are not taking tips from people attending the wedding, as this might reflect badly on you. 

Floral Artists

Tipping your wedding florist is a nice way to show appreciation for the hard work they put into making your wedding day special. Floral artists often go above and beyond what was asked of them, so it’s recommended that you give them a tip to thank them for their efforts.

However, tipping isn’t mandatory and depends on the individual situation. Before you decide whether or not to leave a tip, think about whether the service your vendor provided went above and beyond in some way.

It’s customary to give floral artists 10 percent to 15 percent of the bill as a tip if you are satisfied with their services. 

But there are things that can affect how much you should tip, like the complexity of the arrangement you want, the quality of the items used, and the amount of time spent making the decorations. 

Professional Videographers for Weddings

Wedding videographers don’t have to be tipped, but if they do a good job, it’s common to give them a cash tip. This is especially true if you hire a wedding photographer as well.

Musicians, DJs, and Other Performers

When it comes to wedding performers such as DJs, musicians, and other live entertainment, tipping is a great way to show your appreciation. It’s customary to tip these vendors 15-20% of the contracted fee.

Of course, this will vary depending on how satisfied you are with the services rendered. If they went above and beyond during their performance, you should consider giving them an extra tip.

Cake Bakers

Tipping cake bakers is a nice gesture, particularly if they went above and beyond to create a stunning masterpiece. 

For example, an elaborate five-tier wedding cake may require a larger tip. If you are happy with the cake and the service received, offering a tip is an appropriate way to show your gratitude for their work.

If the cake baker offers additional services such as set-up or delivery, it’s best to factor this into the tip amount as well. It’s common courtesy to give 10-15% of the cake cost if you are pleased with the services provided.


Wedding officiants, like clerics or ministers, should also be given a tip to thank them for their work. Consider the amount of time it took to prepare for the wedding and the services provided on the wedding day when tipping an officiant.

Finally, tipping your wedding professionals is a great way to show your appreciation for the services they provided on your special day. The size of the tip should show how happy you are with the service, and it can change based on the vendor and the quality of service received. 

Always remember that it’s not mandatory to give a gratuity, but it’s often a nice gesture to thank your wedding vendors for their hard work.


Save your wedding guests the hassle of deciding how much to tip valet drivers by paying for it in advance. 

A gratuity is not expected to be paid separately if you use a valet service–you can either leave one amount for all the attendants or give the venue an empty pot to split among them.

The Wedding Planner

It is not required that you tip your wedding coordinator, but if you were pleased with the service they provided, a tip of 10 percent to 20 percent is a nice gesture. It is customary to reward assistant coordinators with a token tip.

FAQs on How Much to Tip Wedding Photographer

How Much Should I Tip My Wedding Photographer?

It’s a subjective question that probably differs from couple to couple. Unlike most dilemmas that engaged couples face, this one doesn’t have a black-and-white solution. The tip should be a %, not a fixed sum. If you liked the photographer, tip 15-20%. Tipping your wedding photographer is optional but appreciated.

Do I Have to Tip My Wedding Photographer?

It depends on the contract you signed with your photographer. If gratuities are not included in the total cost, it is customary to give a 10-15% tip if you get exceptional service.

When Do I Tip My Wedding Photographer?

It is customary to give tips after the wedding when you have received your photos, but if you feel like giving them in advance, no problem. You can also send a thank-you note with a cash gratuity or gift card.

Should I Tip My Wedding Photographer in Cash or Check?

Most people tip their wedding photographer in cash, but you can also write a check or give a gift card.

What if I Am Unhappy With My Wedding Photos?

If you are unhappy with your photos, it is best to discuss this with your photographer first. If you decide not to use their services again, you are not obligated to give a tip.

Bottom Line

Organizing a wedding party is not cheap. If giving a tip isn’t possible, it won’t be held against you. Hence, it’s common for couples to forget to leave a tip. Regardless, a good photographer with outstanding service should be tipped.  

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