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Wedding Tipping Etiquette | How to Properly Tip Wedding Vendors
Knowing how to properly tip at a wedding can be a difficult thing. Guests might be unclear about tipping at the bar, and the couple might not know who to tip and how much they should give to each wedding vendor.
In this article I'll explain two things: Who to tip at your wedding and how much to tip. Use this wedding tipping etiquette for your wedding and you won't have to worry about breaking wedding etiquette.
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The INs and OUTs of Wedding Tipping
First and foremost, keep in mind that some wedding vendors might automatically include a tip in the bill. Be careful about this since tipping twice is a nice gift to the vendor and a not-so-nice gift to your wallet.
Secondly, make sure your guests aren't asked (directly or indirectly) to tip. If you have a particular wedding vendor that is traditionally tipped (such as a bartender or wait staff), inform them before the wedding that you will tip them separately. Have someone also do a follow-up to make sure a tip jar or tip glass isn't left out for guests to see.
Finally, be sure to discreetly tip the wedding vendors only after their services are completed (unless otherwise noted). You wouldn't tip a waitress before you got the bill and you probably wouldn't personally hand her cash or openly discuss with her how much you're tipping. The same is true for vendors: Tip them after they're done with the service and tip them discreetly. Money can be put in labeled envelopes and given to them through your best man or wedding coordinator.
How Much Should I Tip My Wedding Vendors?
Here's a breakdown of all the wedding vendors that should be tipped along with suggested tip amounts:
- Suggested tip amount: 10-20% of total bill in the form of cash when you are picked up. (This is one of the few times a cash tip is acceptable.)
Valet parking attendants
- Suggested tip amount: anywhere from $.50-$2 per car, depending on how many cars are expected. Money should be given discreetly (cash or check put in envelope).
Note: Make sure your guests know to not tip the valet staff! It is often a better idea to tip this group before the wedding, not after.
- Suggested tip amount: 15-20% of the total tab. This wedding tip should be given discreetly to the head of the wait staff with instructions that it's for the entire wait staff. Remember that this wedding vendor group does most of the work on your special day, so reward them accordingly!
Note: Be sure you don't double tip this group as wedding tips are often included in the total bill they give you beforehand.
- Suggested tip amount: 10% of total bill given discreetly. Remember to check your bill and make sure that they didn't previously charge you for an automatic tip.
Note: Have someone in the bridal party or family check to make sure the bartender doesn't put up a tip jar anyway. You don't want your guests to feel obligated in any way to give tips at your wedding.
Disc Jockey (DJ) or Master of Ceremonies (MC)
- Suggested tip amount: $25-75 although some say a tip to this wedding vendor is not required. Here's something to keep in mind: if the DJ owns his own company, the bill payment would go directly to him. However, if a DJ is hired by a disc jockey company, he probably will just get paid what the company gives him and a tip is more appropriate.
Note: Remember that a DJ (if they're good) entertains guests and keeps them engaged. I recommend that you tip accordingly.
Coatroom and/or Restroom attendants
- Suggested tip amount: $.50-$1 per guest, given before the wedding.
Makeup Artist and/or Hair Stylist
- Suggested tip amount: depends. If they come to you to do the makeup and hair styling, no tip is necessary. However, if you go to them (a salon, for example), tip them what you would normally tip them.
Which Wedding Vendors do I Tip?
Fortunately for your wallet, you aren't required to tip every vendor in the wedding. Here is a list of vendors for which wedding tips are optional:
- Suggested tip amount: $20-25 per musician in the form of cash at the end of the night
Note: You don't have to give a tip if the musicians are self-booked; however, a tip is proper if they the musicians were booked through an agency.
- Suggested tip amount: $10-15. Imagine how much that would bless your little altar person!
- Suggested tip amount: $30-50 or 10-15%, given discreetly after the wedding
Note: Be sensitive to the fact that there might be more than one photographer working at your wedding. Also, if the photographer doesn't own the photography company you hired, that's more reason to give them a nice tip.
- Suggested tip amount: $30-50 or 10-15%, given discreetly after the wedding.
Note: Be sensitive to the fact that there might be more than one videographer working at your wedding. Also, if the videographer doesn't own the company you hired, that's more reason to give them a nice tip.
- Suggested tip amount: $5-15 per drop off location
Wedding officiant or clerk
Although wedding etiquette doesn't require an officiant tip, under certain circumstances it might be a good thing to consider. For example, if you had your ordained friend or local priest officiate your wedding, a monetary gift to the church or a gift card to a fancy resturaunt would be thoughtful.
Keep in mind, though, that tips for wedding clerks aren't required and in some cases can be bad etiquette. Be sensitive to the situation and don't feel obligated to tip.
- Suggested tip amount: 10-15% given discreetly and after the wedding is over. It's a good idea to have a family member or the best man hand this tip out since you will probably be gone by the time the wedding is over!
If you enlist a friend to do your wedding planning and they insist on doing it for free, be sure to tip them graciously and generously.
Wedding Tipping- A Final Note
Regardless of whether or not tips are required, expected or recommended, remember the purpose of weding tips. You should choose to tip wedding vendors because you appreciated their services, you felt like they went above and beyond and they made life easy for you on your big day. Don't be stingy just to save a few bucks on your wedding!
If you want to save money on your wedding, study up on how to create a wedding budget. Or you could always do what the couple did in the picture below.
Save on Wedding Tips by Using These Suggestions
- How to Have a Wedding on a Budget | Budget Wedding Planning and Ideas
Wedding budgets will help you save money on your big day. Having a budget wedding doesn't mean you skimp on the details, but you'll need to be planning in advance if you want to keep costs down. Here's how...
- 10 Easy Ways to Save Money on Your Wedding