While tips aren’t required to give any vendor at your wedding it is definitely a nice gesture. There is a lot of backend work that vendors do, that you may not be aware of. Djs will spend hours trying to put together the perfect playlist for you, caterers are doing a test run of your menu to make sure it is perfect, and your wedding planner, well they are in a league of their own, organizing deliveries, timelines, floorplans and set ups. With this being said that is why we here at Illuminated Events are believers in tips or small gifts for the vendors that truly did an exceptional job to make your wedding extraordinary. Below you will find a list of vendors that are customary to tip, and how much you should tip each one.
Caterer: Should tip 15 to 20 percent of total bill, or $50 to $150 for each chef and $20-$40 for each server.
Band or DJ: Should tip 15-20 percent of the total bill, especially if they have a lot of equipment and are moving it from ceremony to reception. If not $15-$25 per musician in the band and $50-$100 for your DJ.
Photographers: Typically $100-$200 is customary for the main photographer, and $50-$100 for the second or third shooters. Your photographer after all does spend the most time with you on your wedding day!
Hair and Makeup Artist: 15%-20% just like you would if you were going in for your haircut.
Transportation: If it is not included in your contract you should tip 15% of your bill.
Officiant: Usually won’t accept a tip, but it is customary to donate to the church or place of worship they belong to, anywhere from $100-$500 is acceptable. If you are hiring a non-denominational officiant a $100 tip is a nice gesture.
Wedding Planner: While your wedding planner isn’t expecting a tip (most of the time their fee includes a tip for themselves) a gift is a welcomed gesture. Consider sending a thank you card with a photo of you and your new spouse. If you feel they went above and beyond anything you could have imagined a 10-15% tip of their total bill is welcomed. But the biggest thank you, you can give your wedding planner is writing a review on their Wedding Wire or Knot profile, or if they have a space on their website, write one on their website.
We hope this helps but if you still need more advice on who and when to tip feel free to give us a call!