Ask the Experts: Tipping Your Wedding Day Vendors

by Marta
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Ask the Experts is your chance to get wedding planning advice from a panel of wedding professionals.

Dear Experts,
Do wedding vendors who own their own businesses expect a tip? In my mind, if you’re a planner or florist, and you own your business, you set the price that you think is fair for your work, so it’s different than tipping a waiter who works for someone else and whose salary is set expecting that he’ll be tipped. But, a lot of articles I read seem to indicate that you tip everyone who works on your wedding day. I don’t want to cheat someone if their price was set assuming I would tip them, but I also don’t want to double my wedding budget with tips.

Thanks
Possible Tipper

Wendy of 1812 Hitching Post says:
Wedding professionals such as DJ, photographer, videographer, and wedding planner do not expect to be tipped. It is nice to thank these professionals for their services with either a thoughtful gift or with a personalized thank-you that the professional can use as a testimonial for his or her services. Online sites that have reviews are a great place to show your thanks; nothing is more welcome!

Always tip your servers. Most facilities include a gratuity. If you have a buffet meal, it is proper to give the head server a tip to distribute between all those who helped. $10 to $20 per server is an appropriate tip for buffet service.

Makeup Artist Miriam B. says:
It is polite to tip anyone who provides a personal service for you, for a job well done, whether they own their own business or not. When it comes to beauty services, the services are priced assuming that you will tip, whether your beautician is a company or an individual. It is also polite (and traditional) to tip your waiters or food service provider.

Melissa of Stylish Blooms says:
Great question! Most professionals do not set prices assuming they will receive tips. As a florist it is rare to receive tips from brides, but that's not to say that you cant. I believe you should tip those who you feel did more than they had to on your special day. When thinking about who you should tip ask your self, Did the person go our of there way for me? Make a special trip? Fulfill a last minute request? If you dont remember seeing the cake person or the florist is it worth it to you to tip them not knowing who actually came from the company? Some times the best tips are leaving a great review for future clients to see or sending them a thank you card when you send ones out to your guest so they can add it to their portfolio.

Sheila of All Faiths Ceremonies Says:
I did a poll of some of my [officiant] colleagues, and the consensus is that while a tip is never expected, it does mean a lot to us when we receive it. When it indicates you were pleased with the work we did, and service given, it is so very appreciated. I have received small tips that meant so much because I knew it came from the couples' sincere heart, and it touched mine. There is no rule about this, and I am well pleased when my couples are pleased.

About Our Experts:
The Reverend Dr. Sheila Gay Gross is an ordained, licensed interfaith minister who specializes in creating unique ceremonies for couples of all faiths and orientations.

Melissa Bonoffksi is the creative force behind Stylish Blooms in Bristol CT. She holds and A.A.S In floriculture and have over 13 years design experience.

Miriam Behar is a bridal makeup artist, hair stylist & Xtreme lash stylist in Miami, FL. She has 10 years of experience as a licensed beauty professional.

Wendy Waldron, photographer and wedding coordinator of 1812 Hitching Post Wedding Venue in central North Carolina, has 10 years experience planning and photographing "simply beautiful" outdoor weddings.