One of the most common questions we get asked as planners and coordinators is “How much am I supposed to tip my vendors?” Figuring out who to tip, how much, and when to give it can be confusing and frankly a little bit awkward.
While some vendors include a gratuity fee in their contract, many will leave that up to you to determine based on the level of service they provide. But for vendors who own their own businesses, as many of your wedding vendors do, tipping isn’t necessary. However, if you feel that the service you received from one of these vendors exceeded your expectations, a 10 percent tip is a nice gesture.
As for when, most tips should be handed out the day of the wedding, so plan on assigning the job of handing out gratuity to your coordinator, a friend, or a family member (a great job for Dad!).
Here are some basic tips on how much to tip your different vendors:
Caterers: Check the contract. Some caterers may already include a gratuity fee in their contract. If the gratuity isn’t included, plan on tipping all staff members, including the catering manager, waiters, bartenders, etc. $20-$30 each.
Floral Designer: A thank you card and a small gift will be perfect; if she is a designer company rather than the owner, you can tip her $30-$50.
Wedding Planner: A small gift or thank you card is perfect for your planner as well, however, if they really outdid themselves and you’d love to express your gratitude, then feel free to tip her 10% of her fee ($500 at most).
Band or DJ: Tip each member of the band $20 or $25, and a great DJs get at least $25.