Which Wedding Vendors Do You Tip?

When it Comes to Weddings, Which Vendors Should You Tip?


Are you planning your wedding and wondering which wedding vendors you should tip? Tipping is a way to show appreciation for the hard work and dedication of the vendors who make your special day possible. However, it can be confusing to know which vendors to tip and how much to give. In this insightful blog post, we’ve enlisted the expertise of Rebecca Fulk from Buttercup Celebrations. With years of experience in the industry, Rebecca offers valuable advice on various aspects of wedding planning.  Join us as we delve into the essential details of wedding tipping.


The Importance of Tipping Wedding Vendors

Tipping is a way to show gratitude for exceptional service. It is not mandatory, but it is a nice gesture to show appreciation for the hard work of your wedding vendors. Tipping can also help you build a good relationship with your vendors. According to Fulk, “A good rule of thumb is, if it’s someone you would tip in a restaurant or salon, then yes, you should tip them at your wedding. And follow the same rule you normally follow in day-to-day life: if the service level is over and above, then a tip is very much appreciated.”


Guidelines for Gratuity Based on Budget and Service Quality

When it comes to gratuity, there are no strict guidelines set in stone. The tip amount you give should be based on factors such as your financial situation, the level of service provided, and local customs. As a general guideline, it is often recommended to tip around 15% to 20% of the total service cost. However, if you have financial constraints, it is acceptable to tip a smaller amount or consider offering a small gift as an alternative.

Understanding Expectations and Inclusions

While not all wedding vendors anticipate tips, it’s worth noting that some include gratuity in their fees. For instance, photographers and wedding planners may have gratuity factored into their pricing structure. However, it’s essential to clarify with your vendors whether they expect to be tipped and whether gratuity is already included in their fees. Open communication ensures a clear understanding of each vendor’s expectations regarding gratuity.


The List of Wedding Vendors You Should Tip


  1. Hair and Makeup Artists: It is customary to tip hair and makeup artists around 15% to 20% of the total cost. These professionals work diligently to make you look your best on your big day, so showing appreciation through a tip is a thoughtful gesture.
  2. Caterers: When it comes to tipping caterers, Fulk suggests “that the gratuity should be based on the food costs only, typically ranging from 15% to 20% of the total cost. However, it’s important to check your invoices, as the gratuity may already be included in the fees.”
  3. Bartenders: Bartenders play a crucial role in keeping the drinks flowing and ensuring guests have a great time. Tipping them around 10% to 15% of the total cost is customary.
  4. Musicians and DJs: Show your appreciation to musicians and DJs by tipping them around 10% to 15% of the total cost. Additionally, Fulk points out that band musicians usually receive $20 – $30 each as a tip.
  5. Officiants: Officiants help make your wedding ceremony special and meaningful. A tip of $50 to $100 is considered appropriate to show your gratitude.
  6. Transportation Providers: If you’re using transportation services for your wedding, it is customary to tip around 15% to 20% of the total cost. These professionals ensure smooth transportation for you and your guests, so acknowledging their efforts is a kind gesture.
  7. Wedding Planner: Your wedding planner works tirelessly behind the scenes to bring your vision to life. Show your appreciation by tipping them around 15-20% of the total cost.
  8. Photographer + Videographer: While it is not mandatory to tip the photographer or videographer if they own their business, it can still be a thoughtful gesture to show your appreciation. Consider offering a tip as a token of gratitude for their hard work and the beautiful memories they capture. Additionally, if there are second shooters or assistants involved in capturing your special day, it is considerate to include them in your gratuity as well. Tipping these individuals acknowledges their valuable contributions to ensuring your wedding memories are preserved with excellence.
  9. Florist: While flowers often play a significant role in weddings, tipping for floral services is optional. This is particularly the case when your flowers are provided by a large company involving multiple individuals. However, if the floral team goes above and beyond, delivering exceptional work or handling unforeseen challenges with professionalism, you may choose to show your appreciation with a tip ranging from 10% to 15%. Tipping in such instances recognizes their outstanding efforts and the impact they have had on making your wedding day even more memorable.

Tipping Wedding Pros Who Were Not Present

According to Fulk, tipping wedding professionals who are not physically present at the wedding or reception is generally not necessary. However, there are exceptions. “If your florist is creating and installing a large arrangement on-site, it is customary to consider tipping up to $100 to show appreciation for their extra effort. For product delivery services like cake, rental, or floral delivery, it is not necessary to tip them beyond a nominal amount. A tip of $20 to $50 is typically appropriate to acknowledge their service.”


Should I tip the owner?

What if the service provider owns their business? Should you still tip them? Some say no. After all, they’re getting paid to provide a service, and their rates should account for their overhead as well as their time. Fulk states that “if a service provider exceeds your expectations and goes above and beyond, it is entirely up to you to decide whether to reward them for their exceptional service. Many professionals in the industry excel at what they do, and recognizing their outstanding efforts with a reward or tip is a way to show appreciation for their dedication and commitment to making your wedding day special.”

Tipping after Inadequate Service

When faced with subpar service, wedding planner Rebecca Fulk advises, “It’s best to address the issue with the wedding professional during the event, allowing them an opportunity to rectify the situation. However, if you’re genuinely dissatisfied by the end of the evening, there is no obligation to tip someone who fails to meet your expectations.”


Should You Tip in Cash?

Fulk recommends that you should always tip in cash. “If you have a planner, they will be happy to distribute tips (placed in sealed envelopes). Alternatively, you can designate a trusted person to handle the distribution on your behalf.”


Destination Weddings


When it comes to Destination Weddings, we turned to an expert for guidance. Jennifer Wayland, with over 20 years of experience in the travel industry and owner of Island Bridal Travel Group, offers her insights on tipping etiquette for destination weddings.  According to Wayland, “gratuity or tipping for destination weddings varies depending on the services rendered and the resort.  In the case of an all-inclusive resort, gratuity is officially included with inclusive services and amenities. In any event, it’s important to note that some vendors may include gratuity in their pricing, so it’s always a good idea to check with them before you decide to tip.”  Wayland emphasizes that “tipping destination wedding vendors is a personal choice that can vary based on factors such as the size of your wedding, budget, and the quality of service provided.”


Here are some general guidelines provided by Wayland regarding recommended gratuity for destination wedding vendors:

1. Wedding Planner: A flat fee of $100-$500 is a good guideline.
2. Photographer/Videographer: A gratuity of $50-$100, or 10-15% of the total package cost, is typically appropriate.
3. Caterer: Again, typically gratuity is included, however, if you are over the moon with the service and quality provided, a flat fee of $100-$500 per 50 guests is a good guideline
4. Hair and Makeup Artists: A gratuity of 15-20% of the total cost of services is customary for beauty professionals.
5. DJ/Band: The entertainment is typically outsourced by the resort and therefore it is recommended that a gratuity of 10-15% of the total cost of services is recommended for music professionals.

6. Officiant: An officiant for a destination wedding may be employed by the resort or outsourced; this is something that will likely be divulged to you during the planning process. Consider how much effort was put forth to tailor the service to YOU. A gratuity of $50-$100 is suggested.

Additionally, if any of the vendors exceed your expectations and provide exceptional service, it may be appropriate to consider a larger or additional gratuity. Ultimately, gratuity serves as a means to express gratitude for the vendors’ hard work and dedication in making your destination wedding an extraordinary and unforgettable occasion.


The Best Tip of All

Lastly, we kindly encourage you to consider leaving a review as an additional gesture of appreciation, alongside or instead of a tip. Fulk explains that “Reviews play a vital role in the decision-making process for couples seeking wedding professionals. The best thing in the world you can do for that business is to leave them a 5-star review. This will allow them to continue to book clients who appreciate their efforts.”



In conclusion, tipping wedding vendors is an important way to express gratitude for their hard work and dedication in making your special day memorable. While tipping is not mandatory, it is a thoughtful gesture that can help foster a positive relationship with your vendors. Remember to consider your budget and the quality of service provided when determining the appropriate tip amount, typically ranging from 15% to 20% of the total service cost. Some vendors may already include gratuity in their fees, so it’s essential to clarify expectations in advance. It is customary to tip hair and makeup artists, caterers, bartenders, musicians, DJs, officiants, transportation providers, and wedding planners. When dealing with wedding professionals not physically present, tipping is generally not necessary unless they provide on-site services. If exceptional service is delivered, tipping the owner may be considered. In the case of inadequate service, address the issue with the professional first, but if dissatisfaction persists, there is no obligation to tip. Cash is the recommended method of tipping, and you can entrust your planner or a trusted person to distribute the tips discreetly. For destination weddings, be aware of any specific tipping customs at the location. Additionally, leaving a positive review for your vendors can greatly benefit their future business. By tipping and reviewing wedding vendors, you can acknowledge their efforts and contribute to their ongoing success in the industry.


For professional wedding planning assistance, we recommend contacting Rebecca Fulk from Buttercup Celebrations. If you’re planning a destination wedding and require expert guidance, Jennifer Wayland from Island Travel Group is available to assist you.

More Trends & Tips

Are Wedding Favors Neccessary?

Are Wedding Favors Neccessary?

Wedding favors have become a staple in modern weddings. Couples often spend a lot of time, effort, and money in choosing the perfect wedding favors for their guests. However, the question that often arises is, are wedding favors necessary? In this blog post, we will...

Surprise Proposal in Peoria

Surprise Proposal in Peoria

When we heard about Jeffrey's incredibly romantic move—getting down on one knee in front of those stunning Marquee letters from Alpha-Lit and the iconic Murray Baker Bridge—we couldn't resist sharing the beautiful story of Casey and Jeffrey's surprise proposal right...

Hayley + Justin at The Country Chapel

Hayley + Justin at The Country Chapel

When Kristy Howell, owner of Create A Scene Events presented us with the remarkable photographs from Kara Kamienski Photography and the captivating story of Haley and Justin's boho themed wedding, we knew in an instant that we had to share their unique theme and...

Taylor + Nick at Pear Tree Estate

Taylor + Nick at Pear Tree Estate

When we saw Nick and Taylor's beautiful images and heard their story, we reached out to this amazing couple for all the details that made up their special day!Click on any image for a larger view.Please share the story behind your selection of the ceremony and...

Shea + Toby at Holiday Inn and Suites Peoria at Grand Prairie

Shea + Toby at Holiday Inn and Suites Peoria at Grand Prairie

This wedding is a true testament to the beauty and elegance of our banquet ballroom. The space was transformed into a breathtaking setting with simple touches of sophistication and modern flair. The decor and design showcased the sleek lines and contemporary features...

Paige + James at Pear Tree Estate

Paige + James at Pear Tree Estate

Paige & James celebrated with their loved ones at one of our favorite local venues Pear Tree Estates, everything about the day was truly magical. From the custom signature drink sign created by Apricity Ink, to the dried flowers by Flowers by Kristine {hello...

Shelby + Chance at The Hesed House Venue

Shelby + Chance at The Hesed House Venue

This wedding showcases everything I Do Events has to offer. From floral & centerpieces to linens & furniture! Shelby had a vision of her bridesmaids wearing shades of teal/green and we tied it together perfectly with colored taper candles to match. With the...

Laci + Chad at Sleepy Creek Vineyards

Laci + Chad at Sleepy Creek Vineyards

We are OBSESSED with this wedding. The colors are stunning against the blue sky, the "naked cake" vibes with the rustic tones of barn, and the reception was a BLAST. Additionally, this wedding really showcases how great it is to use Complete for multiple services. We...

Breanna + Brice at Bloomfield Barn

Breanna + Brice at Bloomfield Barn

Another classic Central Illinois wedding embracing the barn/rustic vibe for a wedding. The couple had so many personal touches: including their kids in the wedding ceremony, displaying a handmade quilt at the reception, playing the shoe game at the reception, and so...

Upcoming Wedding Expos and Bridal Shows in Central Illinois

Bloomington | Champaign | Peoria | Springfield

Peoria, IL

Sunday, August 4, 2024

Par-A-Dice Hotel & Casino
Bloomington, IL

Sunday, August 11, 2024

DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel
Springfield, IL

Sunday, August 25, 2024

BOS Center