Which Wedding Vendors Do You Tip?
Although not expected by your wedding vendors, gratuities are much appreciated when received. Struggling to figure out what the right amount to give is? We’ve got you covered with some real examples for 2021 weddings.
Catering Team—10-15% of the menu cost (which often equates to $40-50 per staff on site. Ask the catering Captain beforehand how many servers, cooks, etc. will be present, so you have the correct headcount)
Bartender—$50-100 per bartender
Rental staff, Cake Delivery—$5-20 per person
Ceremony Musicians—$20 per musician
Hair and Makeup—20-25% of the service charge
DJ or Band—10-15% of the service charge, or $25-50 per band member
Photographer/Videographer—$100-200 for the primary shooter, $50-100 for assistants
Coordinator—15-20% of the service charge
Transportation—15-20% of the service charge, or $50-100 per driver
Do I tip in cash? It is best to tip in cash for your vendors. You may not know the name of every person you’re tipping, and it’s less confusing to receive cash than to get a check. If you write a check to the company rather than the individual, it will ultimately delay the receipt of the tip to the employee. For most services, there is no difference in which bill size you use. For example, if you are tipping your DJ $100, you can give them a $100 bill. However, for catering, we encourage tipping the full amount in smaller bills such as $20 bills, so the catering Captain can distribute tips to their entire team that evening, and not have to wait to break the larger bills the following week.
When do I distribute tips? Tip your vendors after their services are complete. Keep in mind, most vendors will be there the entire night, but a ceremony musician, for example, will take off after their performance is completed, so keep an eye on the time and don’t forget anyone.
How do I prepare the tips? For the vendors such as a delivery driver of your cake, or the rental company team who set up your tables and chairs, it’s best to have small bills on hand so you can hand them out directly. For all your other vendors, it’s best to divvy up the cash into envelopes and personally address them for each vendor and seal them. There will be no confusion during distribution if they are labeled ahead of time!
Who distributes the tips? It depends. You are welcome to distribute the money yourself. Some brides enjoy doing this because they can thank the catering Captain, florist, or DJ in person as they hand them the envelope. However, you might be pretty busy on your wedding day and not get a chance to hand-deliver each tip. If a parent who contributed wants to distribute the tips they can, or a trusted bridesmaid or groomsmen. Lastly, your wedding coordinator can distribute all tips if you prepare them in advance.
What if I forget someone? Don’t worry, if you missed someone on their way out, or forgot to prepare them a tip entirely, you can still tip them after the wedding, and your thoughtfulness will be appreciated. You may consult with your planner about mailing a check directly to ensure it gets into the right hands.
About the author: Milestone Events Group is Northern California’s most experienced Wine Country Wedding Experts & largest event management company providing site selection services to multiple locations throughout Sonoma County. Over the past 6 years Milestone has helped hundreds of couples simplify the venue selection process by providing clarity, predictability and ultimately confidence for clients who work with them to evaluate wineries, ranches, and other locations for their private events.
After the venue selection process is complete, Milestone is also available to help produce events in a stress reduced and highly professional manner. www.MilestoneEventsGroup.com