Gratuity and tipping guide
Gratuity is always your choice and in no way mandatory. However, your vendors work hard to make your day amazing and generally ensure that tons of little things are taken care without you even noticing.
NOTE: Some wedding resources suggest not tipping business owners. This is an old school policy that really does not apply in our current economy and almost all wedding businesses are small independently owned and operated. If the owner is the person doing the actual work at the wedding then tip them!
BEAUTY TEAM - EXPECTED
20 - 25%, depending upon the quality of service.
Tip your beauty stylists at the end of your service.
If you are gifting the service to your family or bridesmaids ensure that you are covering the gratuity for their service as well.
OFFICIANT - Expected
Donate $100–$500 to the church or synagogue, and for the officiant, an optional tip of $50-$100.
If a friend or family member (non-clergy and no church affiliation) a gift or gift card is thoughtful touch.
Most ceremony fees are required prior to the wedding. Otherwise, have a responsible attendant pass the cash envelope at the rehearsal dinner if the officiant is in attendance.
Ceremony musicians - expected
$25 - 50 per musician.
Ceremony musicians should receive a tip at the end of the ceremony or end of cocktail hour from the coordinator.
Wedding Photographer and Videographer - Optional, yet highly recommended
$100 – $200 or 20-25% of the service fee per photographer.
Tip your photographer and videographer at the end of the reception.
catering and waitstaff - expected
15 – 20% of the food and drink fee or $200 –$300 for the maître d'.
The service charge is not gratuity. The service charge is a fee (usually 18-22% in Southern California) that is added by the catering company to act as an operating cost for things such as insurance, advertising, admin staff, trucks maintenance, fuel to get to events, and various sundries. Some caterers call it a service charge or coordination or administrative fee, but all caterers have one it to cover these misc. event costs.
Reception Attendants, Bartenders Parking and Bathroom Attendants - Optional
10 – 20% of the liquor bill to be split among the bartenders.
$1 per guest for coatroom attendants.
$1 per car per parking attendant.
Although tips are traditionally passed out at the end of the event, you could distribute them at the beginning of the evening to encourage all the workers to give you great service.
DJ AND ENTERTAINMENT - Optional, yet recommended
15 – 20% of the total bill
The coordinator should tip the musicians or DJ at the end of the reception.
FLORIST - Optional, yet recommended
15 – 20% of the total bill.
Can be sent after the wedding.
Wedding Transportation - Expected
15 – 20% of the total bill.
Tip transportation pros at the end of the night or after the last ride. If you used a separate company for the guest buses, designate a bus captain to hand the drive a tip. Otherwise, this duty falls to the wedding coordinator or designated attendant.
Wedding Planner or coordinator - Optional, yet recommended
20 – 25% of total service fee and $50 - $100 per assistant.
Hand off the envelope at the end of the reception or send a thank-you note with photos or a check right after the honeymoon.