Who to Tip at a Wedding?

Tom Pumford
Written by Tom Pumford · Posted in Money & Budget Last Updated June 15, 2023 · minute read
In This Article

    You are just putting the finishing touches on your wedding planning when a close friend asks, “How much are you tipping the wedding photographer?” Panic stops you dead. You’ve completely neglected tipping from your wedding budget! Not to worry, the Story Amour team is here to get you up to speed as quickly as possible. From advice on who to tip at a wedding, to how much you need to budget for each supplier. 

    Having been part of the planning process in hundreds, arguably thousands of wedding days, we know a thing or two about who to tip, how much to tip and, also frequently asked, when to tip. 

    We completely understand that you will likely want to show your appreciation for the awesome work your wedding vendors have delivered during your big day. Think of this as a kind of etiquette guide to wedding vendor tipping.

    Let’s get started!

    bride hands wedding vendor money

    Who to Tip at a Wedding

    Are you supposed to tip wedding vendors?

    Seems like a good place to start, are you even supposed to tip wedding vendors? Well, as with anything related to tipping, it’s completely up to you and completely based on your situation. However, while it’s not mandatory, it’s generally very common and during our 15 years in the wedding industry, couples that didn’t tip were few and far between. 

    From a Story Amour team point of view, we believe that you should tip. It is often massively appreciated by a wedding team that has put their heart and soul into ensuring your wedding day goes off without a hook, and is remembered for years to come! And, if you had one too many tequilas, and are struggling to remember, you will likely not have to wait long to get your wedding photos back!

    Of course, if you vendors have messed up, you don’t need to tip. You should only tip if you feel the service you received was up to the standards you expected. You wouldn’t tip your Uber driver if they got lost, crashed the car and then overcharged you. It’s the same for wedding vendors. If your hog roast(popular reception food) came with a side order of food poisoning, don’t go out of your wedding to bloat your budget by tipping. Common sense always plays a key part in who to tip at your wedding.

    Start Your Forever
    with 10% Off
    Use code FOREVER10 to save on your stationery Visit Our Shop

    Who do you give tips to in a wedding?

    You’ve decided you want to tip, great, but who do you tip? Below we have put together a list of the most common wedding suppliers and while you may have vendors not included, it’s a good starting point to knowing how to allow wiggle room in your budget for tipping costs. 

    We’ve given each vendor a rating on whether you should tip as well a cost guide on a recommended amount to tip. That being said, it’s important to tip within your means. Don’t blow your budget on tipping just because that’s the amount we have recommended. Every wedding day is different, every wedding budget is different, every tip should be different. 

    The three ratings we have used for whether you should tip are:

    • Avoid – These vendors shouldn’t be tipped unless you really, really want to. It’s not industry standard and may even come as a surprise to these vendors.
    • Definitely – Tipping is commonplace. We highly recommend slipping them a few dollars to thank them for their service.
    • Up to you – Not 100% required but 100% appreciated. 

    Wedding Planner/Coordinator

    Let’s be honest, if you’ve had the day of your life, the chances are high that the wedding planner and coordinator have gone a long way to making that a possibility. Both wedding planning and coordination are massive parts of ensuring your wedding day goes off without a hitch, as a result, it’s only fair you show your appreciation with a little tip after the wedding.

    Generally speaking, whether or not to tip the wedding planner is up to you. We spent several years helping couples plan their big day and while tips were commonplace, they were far from a guarantee. 

    If you want to tip your wedding coordinator, we’d recommend sending a thank you card addressed to them personally after the wedding day. Here you can include your tip. For planners, add a little extra when paying your final invoice.

    Should you tip? Up to you
    How much? 10%-15%

    Wedding Photographer & Videographer

    You are wondering how much to tip your wedding photographer and videographer, we get it! They’ve delivered epic wedding captures that you will look back on for years to come. You are happier than you could have ever expected but is tipping the norm? How much should you send their way? 

    Well, if you are happy with what you have received, they haven’t missed the important shots of Grandma and Grandad, then you should definitely slip them a tip and show your gratitude.

    While we have recommended around 15-20%, with wedding photo & video crews costing thousands of dollars, it’s important to consider what you can afford. Dropping upwards of $200-300 on a tip is something that’s likely to hit the budget hard.

    In regards to when to tip, for us it’s usually best to wait until after you’ve received your deliverables.  

    Should you tip? Definitely
    How much? 15%-20%

    Wedding Venue/Reception

    Generally speaking, wedding venues and receptions are owned by companies rather than individuals. As a result, we wouldn’t recommend tipping the venue itself. It’s better to tip the individual members of staff working at the venue. Think tipping the bartender rather than adding a gratuity fee onto your final invoice. 

    The only area this becomes a little more complicated is with the catering team. If your catering team is provided by the venue, it’s best to tip the entire venue. However, if your catering is an outside supplier, tip the individual company. Their team will massively appreciate it. 

    Should you tip? Avoid
    How much? 15% Maximum (If you must)

    Wedding Officiants

    This is a little bit of a complicated one as it tends to depend on the type of wedding you are planning. If you are getting married in a church or religious venue, it’s expected you make a contribution. Usually a plate will be passed around during the service. Be sure to nominate a member of the wedding party, such as an usher, to place your donation in the collection. You may wish to provide your contribution prior to the event. Furthermore, many couples opt to send around an envelope during rehearsal dinners. This way, guests can also contribute to the donation. 

    If you are having a more modern wedding, you will have likely hired a wedding celebrant or officiant to conduct your ceremony. Many of these will not accept a tip directly however we always recommend adding a little extra when finalizing your balance with them. 

    Should you tip? Definitely 
    How much? $250 (Religious Collection) / $75 (Wedding Celebrant)

    Wedding Delivery & Support/Setup Staff

    This is more in relation to any support staff operating at your wedding throughout the day. Think the team that delivers the wedding cake, maybe the decor crew. Not necessarily people you’ve had much contact with, just the team members working behind the scenes to make your wedding dream become a reality. 

    You don’t need to go overboard here, once again, ask one of your groomsmen or bridesmaids to slip a little their way as a thank you. No need to overthink this one. 

    Should you tip? Definitely 
    How much? $15 per person

    Wedding Entertainment (Band, Musicians, DJ)

    Chances are high that you’ve finished the evening rocking away to your favorite 80’s classics, or maybe even a live band playing your favorite songs. And while you may blame them for the morning hangover, they definitely deserve a little tip to show your thanks.

    Depending on your chosen entertainment, tip them around $15 per person after they have clocked off. It’s likely they will come to say their goodbyes towards the end of the night, just be sure to show your thanks here!

    If it’s a more sizable entertainment part (I am thinking a male voice choir), you will likely be paying your invoice prior to the event, you can either add here or send a small thankyou across after the big day. Don’t worry too much about tipping on the day. 

    Should you tip? Definitely 
    How much? $15 per person

    Bridal Boutiques & Alteration Professionals (Tailors/Seamstress)

    We’ve classed bridal boutiques and alterations as “avoid” however, it’s up to you. If you are buying your gown from a store, there is no real need to tip. That being said, if you are working with an individual seamstress to tailor your gown, sending a small gratuity will show your appreciation. Looking epic on your wedding day is kinda important, from the Story Amour team’s pov, tipping your tailor is definitely worth it. 

    You can tip when you receive your final gown or suit. 

    Should you tip? Avoid (Unless Individual Tailor)
    How much? 15%

    Start Your Forever
    with 10% Off
    Use code FOREVER10 to save on your stationery Visit Our Shop

    Wedding Cars & Transport

    Let’s be honest, this is a simple one. You’d tip your taxi driver so you should tip your wedding car driver. The only consideration you will have to make is whether you tip the individual driver, or the company providing the service. In our opinion, definitely tip the driver, however tipping the company will depend on the specific circumstances. 

    We recommend nominating a family member to tip the driver after drop off. 

    Should you tip? Definitely
    How much? 10% (Company) / $15 (Individually)

    Wedding Cake Baker

    Generally speaking, any vendors that are sorted before the day itself, are not typically tipped. That being said, tipping is a great way to show your appreciation for their services. 

    When it comes to wedding cakes, you’ve either ordered from a bakery, or you worked with a specialist cake designer. For the latter we would definitely recommend tipping a financial amount. For a bakery, a thank you card and your repeated business for other confectionery is plenty. 

    Should you tip? Up to you
    How much? $50 or a small show of appreciation

    Wedding Florist

    As above, tipping your florist is not a must, however it’s never wrong to show your appreciation for a job well done. 

    Your florist works hard to create the most amazing flowers to decorate your wedding day. Whether that’s with dreamy table decor, or the most amazing bouquet for you to carry down the aisle. You are likely to receive many compliments declaring how lovely your wedding flowers are. 

    For us, while not a must, you should definitely tip the florist team. They will likely deliver everything from the bouquet to the boutonnieres during the morning of the wedding. Slipping them a small tip here will mean a great deal to them.  

    Should you tip? Up to you
    How much? $50

    Wedding Stationer

    Probably the very first service you will use during your wedding planning is a wedding stationer, usually when purchasing save the dates or wedding invites. Once you make your wedding stationery checklist, you will understand all the hard work that stationers put into setting that initial tone for your wedding day. That being said, while providing a small tip is a nice way to kick off your wedding tipping, with most invites being purchased online, it’s not a requirement to go overboard.  

    Should you tip? Avoid
    How much? 10% if you must

    Related Reading: How to choose your wedding invites

    Other Vendors

    There are many other vendors that will form part of your wedding team. From makeup artists to wedding favor providers, all give their best to allow you to have the wedding of your dreams. 

    While tipping every vendor is not a necessity, it’s still massively appreciated when you do. In general, we recommend tipping individuals, rather than companies. Furthermore, if you are struggling to decide who to tip, a simple starting point is tipping everyone involved on the day itself, and anyone you had direct interaction with. Following these simple rules can go a long way to guiding you through the tipping process. 

    Start Your Forever
    with 10% Off
    Use code FOREVER10 to save on your stationery Visit Our Shop

    FAQs about wedding vendor tipping

    Now you know who to tip, we thought it best to provide a little further information that couples often ask. 

    When should you tip? Before or after the wedding day?

    You’ve decided to tip your vendors, but when should you actually give the tip? Well, that’s highly dependent on the specific supplier and the role within your wedding day.

    Any individual vendors you interact with on the wedding day, should be tipped on the day itself. For example, tip the florist just after they’ve delivered the flowers. Tip the driver after delivering you to the church.

    Companies that utilize 5+ upwards of staff during your day, will likely invoice before or after the wedding day. We would recommend tipping these before the day when you have to pay, or, after the wedding day if you have received a good service. 

    Many of the services will be delivered before the big day, think invitation designs, wedding tailors, etc. For these vendors you should tip upon receival of the final product.

    How much should you tip?

    Again, this is vendor specific however it’s imperative you tip within your means. The last thing you want is to be worrying about finances because you feel the need to tip more than you can afford. 

    Our guide above is a good place to start when considering how much to tip. If you feel it’s too much, tip what you can or come up with an alternative solution. Writing a glowing review, recommending to your friends, or something simple like sending a thank you card can go a long way to showing your gratitude. 

    Who should you avoid tipping?

    No one, if you don’t want to.

    Many suppliers are not expecting to receive a tip as they may be providing their services online, or are simply in an industry where tipping isn’t the norm. 

    For us personally, if it’s an individual person, and you are having back and forth discussions, then you should absolutely provide a tip. However, if you’ve ordered a pack of wedding invitations from Etsy, you don’t need to tip. 

    Of course this is just an example, but hopefully it goes a long way to explaining when is the right time to leave a tip, or more importantly, when a tip is expected. 

    Should you tip assistants?

    We think so. If you are interacting with anyone on the day, in our opinion, it’s always a nice gesture to tip them before they leave. 

    What if you can’t afford to tip?

    It goes without saying, if you genuinely cannot afford to tip, then you shouldn’t. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t go out of your way to show your gratitude for your amazing wedding suppliers. Below we have put together a 5 point plan to show your love for you vendors in an alternative way.

    • Send a thank you card or letter – After the wedding, sending a card thanking them for their services is a great way to show your joy in the work they provided. If you want to go a little further, you can send a personalized letter to each vendor. 
    • Recommend to your friends and family – Word of mouth is massive for wedding vendors. Many suppliers will rely on recommendations to keep their business going. This is where you can do your part and suggest them to friends, family and anyone who may be getting married. 
    • Shout about them on social media – Share, tag, mention. You name it, shouting about them all over your socials can help introduce them to future brides and grooms. 
    • Leave a glowing review – Not a hard one to work out. Leaving a great review can really help their business secure future bookings. Make it long, make it personal. 
    • Gift them your services – This one is likely specific to your own situation. If you provide a service or have a particular skill set, why not offer these services to them. It’s up to them whether they take you up on your offer, but at least it is showing them your gratitude for the services they provided. 

    Start Your Forever
    with 10% Off
    Use code FOREVER10 to save on your stationery Visit Our Shop

    Tips for Tipping

    Yep, you read that correctly, tips for tipping! While the above goes into detail on who to tip at a wedding, as well as how much to tip, below are a few considerations you should make before tipping. Following the tips below should allow for any unexpected situations to be avoided. 

    Read your contract

    It is absolutely imperative that you sign contracts with the majority of your wedding suppliers. With weddings being so expensive, signing a contract should allow for everyone to be on the same page (quite literally). 

    Specifically, a contract should outline the services exactly. It will also likely outline any potential gratuity fees that you are required to pay. Furthermore, it may give advice on when and how to provide your tip, or, their nominated charity if they don’t accept tips in person. 

    Learn the local tipping customs

    Tipping is different across the world. Stateside, you can tip for a cup of coffee. In the UK, you only tip for certain jobs. In China, tipping is almost seen as rude, rude is the wrong word but it’s definitely not customary to tip. The service provider will likely be taken aback if you try to tip them. 

    If you are getting married abroad, be sure to read up on local customs. If you have hired a wedding planner or coordinator local to the area, they will likely be well versed in the tipping customs and can offer advice on exactly how, when and how much to tip. 

    Only tip a comfortable amount to you

    As we’ve already mentioned, only tip an amount that you can afford to tip. Try to budget for tipping in your initial planning and budgeting. If things are looking a little tight, don’t be afraid to take a step back and tip only within your means. 

    Conclusion

    Who to tip at a wedding? Anyone you feel provided a brilliant service, within the means of your own finances. Kind of obvious really!

    In all seriousness, tipping shows your appreciation for the services that your vendors have delivered. Happy vendors usually result in a happy bride and groom. As a result, you should definitely consider tipping all the key wedding vendors involved in your wedding day. 

    As a rough guide to follow… On the day, tip away. Individual, give plentiful. Company or business, give it a miss. Yeh that one definitely didn’t rhyme! Also, you should definitely tip some businesses, just don’t send an envelope full of fifties to Amazon headquarters just because you bought a pack of wedding themed tissues from them. You get the drift!