Wedding Vendor Tipping Cheat Sheet

Pinch Me Planning Shoot_2017_31.jpg

Photo: A. Fogarty Photography

One of the first steps in the planning process is discussing the overall budget for the wedding. That being said, one of the line items that is most commonly overlooked is gratuity for vendors. So when you’ve forgotten to include this, you’ve exceeded your budget by an unmentionable number, and you feel like you’re just hemorrhaging money in the final weeks before the wedding - please know it’ll all be worth it.

We hope our advice brings a little bit of relief, but the below is just my opinion based on the experience I have in the Maine wedding industry.

I believe tipping should be done if service is exceptional and you want to acknowledge that.   However, there are some services where you typically tip due to the nature of the job.  I have marked those as "recommended."  Also, know that you can always send a tip or gift afterward.  I see this a lot with the florist and photographer - see the result of their work and then acknowledge it later. 

Lastly, the best non-monetary gift is a nice review on the Knot, Google, Facebook, or Wedding Wire. I know there are some articles that state you don't need to tip people who own their own business, but these people incur a lot of expenses to make their business a reality.  So as someone who does own their own business and uses that tip to help fuel it, I don't think this is a good gauge for tipping .   

Recommended Tips:

Catering: If not included in your invoice, tip as if it is a restaurant - 15-20%.  The catering manager will distribute accordingly. 

Bartending: If you do not want a tip jar on the bar, tip as if you are at a bar - 15-20%.

HMU: Tip like you would at a salon - 15-20%

Band / DJ / Musicians: $25-50 per person

Bus Drivers: $50-$100 per driver

Optional Tips:

Lighting: $50 - $100

Florist: $100 - $200, a gift certificate or thoughtful gift would also be appreciated

Photographers: $100, a gift certificate or thoughtful gift would also be appreciated

Videographers: $100, a gift certificate or thoughtful gift would also be appreciated

Baker: $25 - $50

Bathroom Attendant: $1-2 per guest

Officiant / Priest: $50 - $100, a gift certificate or thoughtful gift would also be appreciated

Venue Coordinator: $50 - $100, a gift certificate or thoughtful gift would also be appreciated

Wedding Planner or Coordinator: 5%- 10% of booking package

Hope this is helpful!  As a reminder, I'm happy to hand these out through the night so you don't need to worry about it.  I just ask for each envelope to be addressed to the appropriate person.