Tipping: Who and How Much?

This is one of the most popular questions we get asked here at Hummingbird.

“At the end of my event, who do I need to tip and how much do I need to tip them?”

Tipping is done on a case by case basis for each vendor and is always done with the idea that exceptional service deserves tipping.

Caterer: Most often, your caterer will include gratuity in your final invoice, so read through your final invoice very carefully to determine how much has already been included. If your final invoice includes 15% gratuity, but you feel the service and food were better than expected, then you should add an additional tip (5%)  to the invoice, or you can hand the gratuity directly to the catering manager at the end of the evening. Keep in mind that this is the largest tip you will need to cover and the tip is based on pre-taxed food and service, NOT rentals.) Make sure you add this gratuity to your overall budget.

Florist: Your florist will not ever expect a tip, but should you feel that the flowers were more beautiful than you imagined and the customer service your experienced was exceptional, than adding an extra $50 – $100 tip to the final invoice is greatly appreciated. If possible, leave them a positive Yelp review or WeddingWire review.

Band: The band will expect a tip and will likely not include this in the final invoice. Expect to tip each band member a minimum of $100 each in cash. If possible, leave them a positive Yelp review or WeddingWire review.

Officiant: You will have spent several hours with your officiant leading into your wedding as you determine the specific wording and style of the most important ceremony of your life. It’s always kind to add an extra $50-$100 to your officiant’s payment as a way of thanking them for playing a significant role in your wedding day.

Photographer/Videographer: Exceptional service should lead to a fair tip. If you feel that your photographer or videographer was an amazing part of your wedding day and that they helped to put you and your party at ease while keeping the energy level up, then a fair tip should be in order. I would recommend tipping at least $50-$100 per photographer. If possible, leave them a positive Yelp review or WeddingWire review.

Bartenders: If the bartenders are hired outside of the caterers, than be prepared to tip them each at the end of the evening. If you served beer and wine-only and you hosted a smaller wedding, $100-$200 per bartender should be in order as long as everything went well. If you served a full bar and had a larger wedding, be prepared to hand over $200-$300 per bartender for their exceptional services.

Transportation: If you rented a trolley, limo or shuttle bus (or other means of transportation,) than as long as they were on time and accommodating of your requests, an 18% tip is appropriate for each driver.

Stationary: This is one situation where tips are generally not expected. You are free to tip whomever you wish, but stationary is purchased as an outside service and I do not normally recommend tipping your stationary provider, but of course, if this is a close associate or a “friend of a friend” who is providing a great service, then you may find that tipping or offering a small gift is a nice gesture. If possible, leave them a positive Yelp review or WeddingWire review.

Ceremony musicians: The same rule of bands/musicians applies (tip each musician,) however, since your ceremony musicians are only playing for 30 minutes or so during your ceremony and then for approximately an hour during cocktail hour (this may or may not be your plan, I am generalizing) then you don’t need to tip $100 per musician. $25-$50 per musician is sufficient.

Baker: If the baked goods are delicious, beautiful and are delivered on time, an extra $20-$30 is a nice gesture but is not expected.

Hair/Makeup: Standard stylist tipping applies: 15-20% per client (bridesmaid, bride, MOB, etc)  OR 15-20% of the total bill if you are picking up the total cost.

DAY-OF NOTE: Before your wedding day, place any cash or checks into envelopes that are clearly marked with each vendors name. Hand these envelopes to your event planner or a trusted friend/family member who can hand out these envelopes toward the end of the evening.

Have I missed anyone? Do you have further questions about tipping? I’m always happy to answer any wedding or event-related questions! Feel free to email me directly at Mandy@HummingbirdBridal.com!