One of the most asked questions from parents of the bride and groom is how much to tip the wedding vendors and is it appropriate.   I always tell these parents this is a very kind gesture for your vendors and always much appreciated.  Your vendors will work very hard for you pulling your entire vision together for your wedding day and most often will give so much more than what is promised.  This is a business of passion, not only for you as a bride but for our vendors who absolutely love their jobs and understand that this day is all about the bride.   You should always use your discretion when deciding how much you would like to tip based on their exceptional service if you felt they went above and beyond their contracted services and I hope that they do!     There are some vendors who must be tipped however and this is where we will begin.

Vendors you must tip  unless specifically noted on their contracts that it is included;

Transportation Drivers – The driver of your get-a-way car, drivers of your shuttle bus or trolly are great examples of people who need to be tipped the night of your wedding.  If a gratuity is already included in your contract and you would still like to tip your driver, $5.00- $10.00 per hour of their contracted service is a very nice gesture.  If gratuity is NOT included in the contract than a gratuity is expected.   A nice amount of 15%-20% of the total amount of the invoice is appropriate.

Credit Heather Durham Photography    Rare Transportation

Credit – David Shirk – Unplugged Photography   Coats Classic Cars

Photo Credit – Jerrod Brown Studios

Credit – Brandon Gresham – Simple Color Photography    Coats Classic Cars “Jack”

Hair and Make Up Stylists – Your stylist will probably bring several assistants to make sure you and all of your bridesmaids and Moms are ready with their hair and make up in a timely manner.  Gratuity is typically not included in your contract.  Just as you would tip your stylist for your normal appointment, a gratuity of 15%-25% is a nice gesture given to the head stylist the day of your wedding after all the girls have been completed.  The head stylist will divide up the tip amongst the assistants.


Credit – David Boyd Photography         Raww Beauty

Credit – Allison Lewis Photography 

Photo Credit – David Shirk – Unplugged Photography

Photo Credit – Stacy Richardson Photography

Reception and Catering Staff – Look carefully at your final invoice for a gratuity addition.  If gratuity is included in your final invoice than no additional gratuity is necessary.  If gratuity is NOT included, than yes,  a 15%-20% tip is an appropriate amount paid at the end of the reception.  If you wanted to tip staffing individually, here is a good guideline

Bartenders – $20-$30 each / Chef – $50-$150 each / Waiters and Kitchen Staff – $20-$30 each / Catering or Banquet Manager – $100-$300 each

Credit – Jerrod Brown Studios     Kathy G & Company

Credit – Jerrod Brown Studios        Kathy G & Company

Photo Credit – David Shirk – Unplugged Photography     Catering – Happy Catering Company

Photo Credit – David Shirk – Unplugged Photography    Catering – Happy Catering Company


Officiant – Tipping your minister, priest or officiant is not expected and in some cases can not be accepted.  If the officiant has not charged a fee for their services, a donation to the church of $100-$500  would be an acceptable gratuity as would a gift such as a gift card to a nice restaurant.   If the officiant does charge a fee to perform the wedding ceremony and you would like to offer a gratuity, $50-$250 would be greatly appreciated.

Credit – David Shirk – Unplugged Photography       Officiant – Rabbi Barry Altmark


Credit – David Shirk – Unplugged Photography

Band/DJ and Ceremony Musicians – Setting aside money in your budget for tipping the band or DJ is completely optional and to your discretion.  If you think the music was out of this world or the band did an outstanding job learning your first dance song, etc. a gratuity of $50-$100 per musician is common.  This also applies for your ceremony musicians who played for your ceremony.  For your DJ, $100-$200 is also common.   These vendors are typically paid in full by the end of your ceremony (for ceremony musicians) or the end of the reception for the band or DJ and this would also be the time to give them a gratuity.

Credit – Allison Lewis Photography

Credit – Allison Lewis Photography

     Agency – Music Garden Band     Band – The Main Attraction Band

Photographers, Videographers, Floral Design, Lighting Design, Cake Baker and other Vendors – A tip is certainly not expected however a gratuity or a small gift is a wonderful gesture.  If you do chose to tip, 15% of their fee or a gift is customary and paid at the end of the reception or after you return from your honeymoon.


Credit – Stacy Richardson Photography (Left)                       Cake – Barb Sullivan – Barb’s Cakes (Left)

Credit – David Shirk – Unplugged Photography  (Right)      Cake – Diane Olexa – Olexa’s Cafe   (Right)

Photo Credit – David Shirk – Unplugged Photography      Cake – Gia’s Cakes


Credit – Allison Lewis Photography                Allison Lewis – Allison Lewis Photography and John Deaver                                                                                     of Main Street Productions


Credit – Allison Lewis Allison Lewis Photography

Photo Credit – Allison Lewis Photography

Credit – Allison Lewis Photography                 Lighting Design – Design Productions LLC

Credit – Allison Lewis Photography                Floral – Hot House Design Studio

Thank you to all the wonderful professional vendors who always go above and beyond for our brides and for making every wedding day come to life flawlessly!  Bravo!!