A tip is an expression of gratitude and one way to tell your vendors that you appreciate the exceptional service they provided. It is not a necessary expense. Should you decide to tip, here are some pointers to consider. Depending on where you live, the advice on how much to tip varies. These are merely minimum suggestions. In lieu of a tip, consider a nice gift, thank you note or some other expression of your gratitude.
Contact your vendors ahead of time to get a count of their staff working your event. This is also helpful in considering the number of vendor meals. Prepare the envelopes ahead of time, labeling each with the name of your vendors. You may hand the envelopes to the party planner/coordinator who will hand them out, as you may be very involved in saying good bye to your guests. Or you may elect to hand out the envelopes yourselves at the end of your event once your guests have left. Or following your event, visit your vendors and share your appreciation in person.
Whether you hired a band or DJ, remember to include all members of the entertainment including the dancers, sound crew, and road hands. You may hand the tip envelope to the band leader or MC and ask them to disperse it or hand it out individually.
Band Leader, MC $100 +, DJ $100 +, Audio Tech $100 +, Musicians, Road Hands and Dancers $50 – $100+ each.
For the catering or hotel staff, first check your contract to see if a service fee is included. If so, inquire if this service fee will go towards tipping the staff, and if not then a tip is certainly appreciated. If the service fee is not included, consider tipping. Find out how many will be working your event prior to that evening. The advice on how much to tip varies. You may do it on a per guest ratio or per server ratio. You may hand the tip envelope to the Maitre d’ or Banquet Manager and ask them to disperse it. Consider a separate envelope for the Maitre d’ or Banquet Captain.
Catering Manager & Banquet Captain $100+, Servers $25 – $75+ each, Kitchen Staff $25 – $50 each, Coat Check $25 – $50 each.
Consider a tip or nice gift, thank you note or some expression of your gratitude. Also ask the photographer to get them professional photos from your event. If they bring assistants, such as additional staff to set-up or work the event, don’t forget to tip them as well.
Head Planner $100+, Assistants $25 – $75 each
These include valet attendants, the limo driver or bus driver. $25 – $50 each.
In the case of photographers, videographers, florist, decorators, airbrush, photo favors or other vendors and smaller services you contracted for your event, consider tipping any assistants they brought along that worked during your event.
Head $100+, Assistants $25 – $50 each
Should your event include a religious component, do not forget to consider a ‘tip’ to the officiant or a donation to the church, temple, synagogue, or religious organization. Consider the scale of your wedding and the effort of the Officiant and tip accordingly.