Successfully pulling off a wedding is a monumental task made possible by a large cast of characters—and it’s not just your bridal party and parents involved in the planning.
Your nuptials will be the sum total of the separate efforts by wedding vendors who will come together for a common purpose. And that purpose is to ensure that your wedding day is a romantically awesome experience without any hiccups whatsoever. From the wedding venue or catering hall, to the wedding photographer and wedding planner—all of them and more are crucial to the success of your ceremony and reception.
It’s no easy feat, but the professionals behind all of the supplemental services at your wedding are more than capable of getting the job done.
But who are the major players of the wedding vendor hotlist? And after they deliver their services, how much should you tip them? Let’s take this one wedding vendor at a time.
Wedding Venue/Catering Hall
With grand ballrooms, elegant entrances, and all the amenities you’ll need for a memorable wedding day, the venue is the ultimate tone-setter for your nuptials. According to Wedding Wire’s 2019 newlywed report, 86 percent of couples book a wedding venue—so it’s clear to see just how vital this element is to the large majority of engaged couples. And if you’ve really done your homework, you’ve selected a wedding venue that is also a catering hall. Clearly the greatest byproduct of having a combined venue-catering hall is that the location is more than capable of handling all the culinary aspects of the event, including food service, waitstaff, and clean up. In fact, a truly all-inclusive wedding venue takes a lot of the stress out of the equation. Sure, a DIY wedding sounds great—but when you stop to consider all that encompasses, it can be quite overwhelming.
Tip Suggestion: Oftentimes, the venue will include gratuity in the final cost of the event. And when your wedding venue is also your catering hall, this includes tips for bartenders, waitstaff, coat check/bathroom attendants, valet, the wedding venue's manager, on-site planner, banquet manager, maitre d', and more. Make it a point to ask your venue representative if gratuity is included across all the services they provide. If it isn’t, 15-20 percent is typical for most services. But at Chateau Briand specifically, they typically suggest $5/guest for the maitre d' and $125 for each bridal attendant.
Bouquets, boutonnieres, centerpieces, and décor accents, wedding flowers can be a compelling addition to any wedding day. Floral arrangements help to breathe life into your wedding theme, supporting your chosen color scheme with aromatic elements that are far more than mere eye candy.
Tip Suggestion: Most wedding experts agree that regardless of your floral budget, a tip of $50 to $100 is an appropriately sweet way to say “thank you” for your florist’s hard work.
Wedding Photographer And/Or Videographer
The idea of a wedding without a photographer documenting the event is as unfamiliar to us as a cocktail hour without tantalizing hors d'oeuvres—and this is why 90 percent of engaged couples hire a wedding photographer. Whether your wedding is a massive gala celebration or a smaller intimate affair, you’ll want an experienced professional who can find creative ways to capture and preserve the memories.
Tip Suggestion: While it’s optional to tip your photographer/videographer beyond their regular fees, if you’re feeling extra appreciative a gratuity of $50 to $200 per photographer/videographer is standard.
For some engaged couples, the wedding planner is the true MVP of the nuptials and, as such, they are often the top priority on your wedding vendor list. A wedding planner on top of their game will help you stay organized, on budget, and focused on what’s important during the pre-wedding process. These pros can be trusted with staying on schedule and overcoming any obstacles along the way—they are your coordinator, supervisor, and life-saver all wrapped up in one calming package.
Tip Suggestion: Wedding planners don’t typically receive tips, but if yours went above and beyond normal expectations, defying the odds to make your wedding happen, a tip of 10 to 20 percent couldn’t hurt.
Hair & Makeup
This is the crew that will make you and your bridal party looking strikingly gorgeous, effortlessly stylish, and fabulously famous with just the right amount of makeup and a fresh coif. The hair and makeup team will help you look and feel your absolute best when you need the self-esteem boost the most—the moment you’re about to walk down the aisle. These pros work some true magic under some intense pressure!
Tip Suggestion: Plan on tipping this team 15 to 20 percent of their fee.
Musical Elements Of A Wedding
Whether you’ve hired a band, DJ or string quartet to play the ceremony, music is another one of those tone-setting details that can shape the mood and liveliness of your wedding day and reception. A mini orchestra can perform a lovely medley of your favorite songs for the ceremonial procession, and a band or DJ can light up the reception and keep the dance floor filled while toning it down when the moment calls a few mellow numbers.
Tip Suggestion: Any live musicians at your wedding—during the ceremony or reception—should receive $25 to $50 per player. While your wedding DJ, who not only plays music but is also the evening’s emcee, should receive 10 to 15 percent of the total bill.
Wedding Ceremony Officiant
Whether they’re affiliated with a house of worship, a family friend doing you a solid or someone else entirely, the wedding officiant is the captain of the ceremony and can be thought of as one of the most important people in attendance. Think about it—if there’s no officiant, then there’s no one taking you from engaged couple to married couple, making the entire event nothing more than a really expensive dinner. First things first, decide if you’re having a religious ceremony or a secular ceremony. Then, take your search for an officiant from there.
Tip Suggestion: Tipping the officiant can be complicated. If it’s a friend or family member performing the service, your love and appreciation is often enough of a tip. But if your officiant is affiliated with a house of worship, a donation of anywhere from $100 to $500 to his or her institution seems to be the standard. As for civil officiants, a tip for $50 to $100 will suffice.