Coming up with a solid Wedding Budget that makes sense for you and your partner is a key piece of the Wedding Planning process and can help to make sure that your big day won’t break the bank! While everyone’s budget will be different based on the size and scope of their Wedding Day, the things you will want to consider while agreeing on a budget will be the same for everyone. One important budget piece folks often forget to think about – tipping your vendors!
While tipping is by no means mandatory for all types of vendors, it is a kind gesture as a thank you for a job well done for your team of vendors that worked hard to make your Wedding Day visions come to life. Some vendors will expect a tip, others would simply be appreciative of your kind gesture – but the big question is “Who should I be tipping”? It can be hard to navigate which vendors to tip and even how much to tip – keep reading for some general guidelines to help you navigate this piece of your Wedding Budget Planning – or click HERE to download our KEE Gratuity Guide to keep for future reference!
Hair and Make Up Artists
This is one of those vendors where tipping will be expected – just like at the salon! We recommend a gratuity of 15-20% of the service total for Hair and Make Up.
Before deciding whether to tip your catering team, double check your contract! Typically catering companies will automatically include gratuity in their service fees, but you can always reach out to your caterer and ask if this is included if you aren’t sure. If not included, we recommend 15-20% of the food cost (before tax and fees). This tip would then be distributed amongst the catering team which typically includes chefs, kitchen managers and waitstaff. Another option would be to find out how many catering staff people will be there on your Wedding Day and tip per person - $50-$100 each for chefs and managers, $50 each for waitstaff.
Waitstaff (if separate from catering team)
Not all caterers will provide waitstaff and they will need to be brought in separately from the catering team. If this is the case, we recommend $50 per person for the waitstaff.
Bartenders (if separate from catering team)
Similarly to waitstaff, bartenders will not always be provided by the catering team and will need to be brought in separately. Some bartenders will ask if they can place a tip jar on the bar – but if they don’t (or you don't want a tip jar on the bar at your Wedding), we recommend 15-20% of the final bar tab for gratuity.
Photographers + Videographers
Tips will not always be expected by photographers and videographers, especially if the person is the owner of their own photography/videography business. With that being said, a $100-$200 tip is a nice gesture for the vendor who you will most likley be spending the most time with on your Wedding Day!
Gratuity for officiants is dependent upon who the person is that will be officiating your Wedding. If they are affiliated with a House of Worship, we recommend an additional donation of $100-$300 to their institution. For a Civil Officiant, a $50-$100 tip is a kind gesture, but not required.
Bands or DJs
If you hired a band or live musician for your Wedding Day we recommend a tip of $25-$50 per musician. For DJs we recommend a tip of $100-$200 for the DJ and $25-$50 for any assistants they may have with them.
Similar to the caterer, most of the time transportation gratuity will be included in their fees – so make sure you check your contract! If not included, we recommend tipping 15-20% of the cost of the service for the drivers.
Planners will not expect a tip, but if you feel they went above and beyond to make your Wedding Day perfect, a tip up to $500 would be appropriate or 10-15% of your package price. If your planner brought an assistant, a $50-$150 tip would be a kind gesture for a planning assistant that went above and beyond!
While not required, delivery staff will most likley be expecting a small tip for their services. A $5-$20 tip per delivery person is a kind gesture to thank them for delivering things like florals, wedding cake, rentals, etc.
For other attendants at your Wedding, like Coat Check, Parking, or Restroom Attendants, we recommend a $1-$2 tip per guest (or vehicle for Parking Attendants) at the Wedding.
Figure out who you will be tipping ahead of your Wedding Day and then place the tips (cash or check) in individual, sealed and labeled envelopes. You can then hand them off to your coordinator, planner or other trusted person the morning of your Wedding for them to distribute to each vendor. You and your partner will be busy enough on your Wedding Day and you don’t want to have to worry about having to make sure you remember to give someone their tip envelope!