Planning 101: Tipping Wedding Vendors

Getting engaged and getting married is a huge decision in any couple’s life, and it doesn’t get more real than when you start paying for your vendors and your pocketbooks get lighter. Then, on top of your vendor’s fees, you hear, “Make sure to budget for vendor tips!”

We understand that it’s often difficult for you to think about tipping your vendors when you’ve already paid them hundreds or thousands for their services. After being overwhelmed with the many guides and suggestions on how to tip vendors, we’re here to offer our own. We consider this more of a common sense, back-to-basics approach to tipping. We are in no way experts on tipping, or have the end-all-say-all, but we hope this will help get you started! :)

  • Tipping should never be viewed as mandatory. Although it is encouraged, you should never feel as though every vendor is automatically owed a tip. Tipping is first and foremost a GIFT for exemplary service. You should have the choice on whether or not you want to tip your vendors services!
  • Let’s take a moment right now and throw the “If it is the business owner, you don’t have to tip them!” saying out the window of a 50-story building… and let it never be heard again. In today’s wedding industry, 90% of your vendors are small business owners, and you’ll probably be working with a lot of the owners directly. Owning and running a small business is a lot of work. So, if one of your wedding vendors happens to be that business’ owner, and they do a fantastic/amazing/awesome job, consider giving them a tip!
  • If you choose to tip your wedding vendor monetarily, it is recommended that you tip in cash or money order. If your vendor prefers checks, write a separate check. Including your tip on one check means that the vendor will have to deposit and claim the tip as incomenot as a tip.
  • Use your best judgment when deciding on how much to tip: Choose a set amount or a percentage of the vendor’s fee. As a guideline, a tip is typically an amount relative in proportion to the amount the vendor charged and/or the amount of work performed. Regardless of what someone does service-wise at your wedding (whether they are a business owner, employee, stylist or server), handing out an envelope with $5 in it is is borderline insulting.
  • Tipping doesn’t necessarily have to be money! Do you know your vendor loves a certain restaurant or store? Giving a personalized gift is appreciated, and your vendor will be tickled pink that you took the time to say thank you with something they love!
  • The simplest way thank your vendor is to send a card or write a great review/testimonial for them! Reviews help bring your vendor more business and it is the gift that truly keeps on giving. And who doesn’t like a Thank You card? I, personally, have every single one I’ve ever received from past clients hanging up in my office!

Happy Wedding Planning!

AVAM Wedding by Wendy Hickok Photography
Fells Point Engagement by Natalie Franke Photography
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