What is the Standard Etiquette for Tipping Wedding Vendors?

how much to tip a wedding

When it comes to wedding tipping, there are a lot of misconceptions out there. Some people think they have to tip everyone, while others feel they don’t have to tip at all. Well, we’re here to clear the air!

This blog post will break down the basics of tipping etiquette for wedding vendors in the United States. So, whether you’re just getting started with wedding planning or almost done, read on for everything you need to know about tipping your wedding vendors!

Quick one! Tipping wedding vendors depends on your budget and relationship with the vendor. However, a general guideline is to tip 10-20% of the total bill. For example, if your photography bill is $1,000, you would want to tip the photographer between $100 and $200.

Guidelines For Wedding Vendor Gratuity

Below are the guidelines to ensure a smooth tipping process on your big day.

Check Your Contracts

This is to ensure you’re not double-tipping. Some vendors, such as catering companies, will include a gratuity fee in their contracts. If this is the case, you don’t necessarily need to tip them on top of that.

Tipping Is Not Mandatory

Gratuity is for excellent service, so you shouldn’t feel obligated to leave a tip if your vendor didn’t quite meet your expectations. 

If somebody tries to guilt trip you into giving them extra money, feel free to deny their request politely.

Cash Is Best

While there are other means to tip, such as cheques and apps, it’s always best to do so in cash if you’ve decided to tip. This way, the vendor can pocket the money immediately without having to go through the hassle of depositing a check or waiting for your wedding gift to clear. 

Giving cash also allows your vendors to avoid paying taxes on the gratuity, which can add up! 

Hand Over Tips Directly to Vendors

Rather than giving a tip to a coordinator or another staff member: It’s best to give the gratuity directly to the vendor. This way, you can be sure the vendor actually receives the tip and can use it as they see fit. 

A family member or a trusted person can be designated for this assignment, as you might be too busy on your special day to hand out tips to outstanding vendors. 

How Much to Tip?

As highlighted earlier, there isn’t a set rule book for tipping your vendors. However, an excellent guideline to follow is to tip 10-20% of the total cost of the services provided. 

Here is a list of some common wedding vendors and the average amount you can tip them:

Wedding Planners and Event Designers

Your planner and event designers are likely one of your most important vendors. They’re responsible for ensuring your entire day goes off without a hitch. They might not expect a tip, but it’s recommended to give a 15-20% gratuity.

You can also give personal gifts such as a thank you card, a gift card, a gift certificate to their business, or something that celebrates their culture or heritage and makes you feel you tipped appropriately.


Tipping your caterer is a common practice to show appreciation for feeding all your guests and ensuring they’re happy. Although it’s their job to do so, It’s customary to give a gratuity of 15-20% of the total bill if you feel satisfied with their service.

However, suppose you’re holding the wedding at a beach, boat, hotel, or a more established venue. You may work with a catering or banquet manager who will handle most of the process.

Photographers and Videographers

Your photographer and videographer are responsible for capturing your great day memories, so it’s only fitting that you show them a little extra love in the form of a tip. A tip of $50-$200 is appropriate for satisfactory or excellent service. 

Another way to show your appreciation is to give them a personal gift which can be something other than outrageously expensive; something as simple as a thank-you note would suffice. 

Nonetheless, if you want to go above and beyond, get them a gift certificate for their business: it’ll help add to their positive reputation.


Bar services can range from a simple champagne toast to an open bar, so be sure to factor in gratuity when budgeting for this wedding vendor. A good rule of thumb is $20-$50 per bartender, depending on the length of the reception, complexity, and quality of service.

Service Staff

If you have hired waitstaff to serve food and drinks at your reception, a gratuity of 15-20% of the food and drink bill is appropriate.

Cake Baker

Wedding cake costs can add up, so you may be tempted not to tip the cake baker. However, it is a good gesture if you’re happy with the final product. A good rule of thumb is $50-$100, or more if the cake is elaborate.

Another good gesture other than tipping is to refer them to your friends and family. 


Tipping your florist who provided beautiful wedding flowers to allure your great day is always a nice gesture. The golden rule is $50-$100. You can give more if the flowers are rare species. 

Bands and DJs

If you’ve hired a band or DJ to provide entertainment at your wedding, it’s customary to tip them $50-$100 per musician. Your wedding should be one of the most memorable days of your life, and you don’t want reports of it being not very interesting! 

If your guests had a great time dancing all night long, consider giving the musicians a little extra cash as thanks. 

Hair and Makeup Artists

As a rule of thumb, it is customary to tip your hair and makeup artists 15-20% of the total cost for their services on your wedding day. This demonstrates appreciation for all their hard work in making you and your bridal party look and feel your best on such a momentous occasion. 

However, If you’re short on cash, a promise of referrals can often be just as valuable to these vendors.

Transportation Team and Parking Attendants

Transportation and parking are two important but often overlooked aspects of your wedding. For your transporters (limo drivers, taxi drivers, shuttle bus drivers), the golden rule is $20-$50 per driver.

They ensured you and your guests arrived at the ceremony and reception safely, so this is an excellent way to show your gratitude.

Tipping the parking attendants is an added but essential detail on your big day. Plan to tip each attendant $1-$2 per car, which should be around half the number of guests you invited.

Rental Companies/Delivery and Set-Up Staff

This category consists of people who bring and set up tents, tables, chairs, lounge furniture, lighting, and other rentals. “Anyone who delivers or sets up anything for your wedding should receive a small tip as a thank-you for toting in all those chairs or schlepping around those boxes. 

A gratuity of $20 to $50 per person is appropriate, depending on the task performed and the time spent performing it.


For religious officiants who likely will not charge for the service or expect a tip, you could make a donation to their place of worship. You can also give religious officials $50-$100. This is a great way to show appreciation for their time and effort in making your day special

However, if it’s a family member or friend officiating your ceremony, often all that is needed is a heartfelt thank you or a simple thank you note.

When Is the Best Time to Tip?

Tipping is traditionally done after the wedding when you’ve had a chance to experience the vendor’s services firsthand. This allows you to factor in the quality of their work when deciding how much to give.

Larger tips are usually given to vendors whose services are exceptional. If you didn’t have a good experience, it’s appropriate to give either a smaller or no tip. 

While the wedding is still on, there may be times when you would want to stuff some cash into the pocket of a vendor who went above and beyond expectations – this is common and usually well appreciated.

FAQs on How Much To Tip Wedding Vendors

How Much to Tip a Wedding Photographer?

As a general rule of thumb, $50-$200 is an excellent range to tip your photographer.

How much you give them depends on a few factors, such as their experience level and how many hours they spend shooting.

A larger tip is always appreciated if you’re  well pleased with how they captured your special day.

Not Tipping Wedding Vendors?

A wedding is already costly, so you may be tempted not to tip anyone. But remember, these are the people who make your special day possible!

A small token of appreciation is always appreciated, even if it’s just a $20 bill. Your vendors will remember you (and your generosity) long after the wedding is over.

How Much to Tip a Wedding Florist?

Your florist plays a significant role in making your big day gorgeous, so it’s a good idea to give them a tip of $50-$100.

If you’re pleased with how they decorated the venue and everything went according to plan, then feel free to give them a larger tip.

How Much to Tip a Wedding Caterer?

If you’re hiring a catering company for your wedding, then you should tip them 15-20% of the total bill. This is a standard gratuity fee and an excellent way to show appreciation for their good work.

Who to Tip at a Wedding?

Tip vendors who offer impeccable service and make your special day run smoothly, including but not limited to the officiant, photographer, videographer, DJ or band, catering staff, wedding planner, and florist.

Final Thought

Tipping your wedding vendors is a great way to show appreciation for their hard work in making your special day possible. While it’s not required, it’s always appreciated.

When deciding how much to give, be sure to factor in the services’ complexity and the length of time the vendor was on-site.

If you’re unsure how much to tip someone or if the cost of their services is a little higher or lower than the examples given, it’s always better to err on the side of generosity and give them a little more than you think you should.

And last but not least, giving your vendors a note of thanks and access to pictures for marketing purposes goes a long way!

Happy wedding planning!

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