What Is the Appropriate Amount to Tip My Wedding Vendors?

Your DJ has just played the final song of the evening at your wedding reception. Your guests are all getting ready to head home (or to the afterparty!), but before you follow them out, you decide to make the rounds and thank your vendors with a tip.

While wedding vendor tipping is never required, it is often customary in the service industry (and always appreciated). If you loved your DJ, photographer, videographer, or anyone else who helped coordinate your wedding, it's kind and classy to show your gratitude with a small bonus for a job well done.

With so many different wedding expenses, it can be tricky to determine the right amount to give each of your vendors. Follow this handy guide to help you figure out the appropriate tips for your various wedding service providers.

Wedding vendor tipping: What do most people give?

Most wedding vendor tipping standards are based on a percentage of your contract amount. If you decide to follow these guidelines, it's a good idea to have all the numbers in front of you a few weeks before your big day so you can calculate and prepare your tips ahead of time. You'll also want to review your wedding contracts carefully to see if a gratuity was already built into the final price. This is common for transportation services and wedding venues (a service charge is typically included to cover the tips for your wait staff), but not for other types of vendors.

Wedding reception staff

  • Amount: 15 to 20 percent of the contract, if gratuity was not included
  • When to tip: At the end of your reception, usually handed to the maître d'

Wedding officiant

  • Amount: $100, or a donation to their church (if applicable)
  • When to tip: At the rehearsal dinner (if present) or after the ceremony

DJ or band

  • Amount: $100 to $200 per entertainer, or 15 to 20 percent of the contract
  • When to tip: At the end of the reception

Photographer

  • Amount: $100 to $200 per photographer
  • When to tip: At the end of the reception

Videographer

  • Amount: $100 to $200 per videographer
  • When to tip: At the end of the reception

Limo/transportation

  • Amount: Around 15 percent of the contract, if gratuity was not included
  • When to tip: At the end of the evening when they drop you off

Other wedding vendors you may want to tip include your hair stylist, makeup artist, delivery drivers for your flowers or wedding cake, wedding planner, and bartenders (if their tip wasn't included in your catering contract).

How to present a tip to your wedding vendor

Traditionally, wedding vendor tipping is done in cash, enclosed in an envelope. Often, one of the couple's parents or someone in the wedding party is responsible for delivering the tip, so the newlyweds don't have to worry about it at the end of the evening. However, some couples prefer to give the tip themselves so they can chat with their vendors and thank them personally.

Don't want to carry around envelopes of cash all night? Some vendors, including Hurricane Productions, will gladly go digital and accept tips through services like Venmo or PayPal. You'll definitely want to confirm that other vendor accept electronic tips, but if they do, it can be an excellent alternative to the awkward envelope hand-off. Sending a tip quickly and securely through your phone means you never have to worry about misplacing the tip envelopes or giving the wrong tip to the wrong vendor.

Your wedding day team takes pride in their work and wants to ensure that you and your guests have an amazing experience. If they've delivered that, let them know it and say thanks with a tip (and a smile!).

If your budget is tight and you can't afford a big tip, you can also express your appreciation through a handwritten or emailed thank-you note and/dor positive online review of the vendor. This can go a long way and even encourage new business, so feel free to tell the world if you loved your wedding staff.

Hurricane Productions offers a full suite of wedding day services, including DJ entertainment, photography, and videography. Visit our pricing page for package details, or request a quote for your event.

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