Not sure how much budget you should set aside for tips? Read this.
When finalizing your wedding budget, you definitely shouldn’t forget to set tips (ideally in conveniently labeled envelopes) aside for your wedding vendors. While there are sometimes added service charges or gratuity put toward your total payment in your contract, it’s always thoughtful and appreciated to give your vendors a tip for a job well done.
Typically, those vendors should include your planner, hairstylist, makeup artist, venue coordinators, deliverers and/or setup and breakdown staff, attendants, ceremony officiant, all musicians and entertainment (for your ceremony and reception), photographer, videographer, bartenders, caterers and transportation. Basically, anyone who’s helping out the day of your wedding. (Traditionally, business owners of larger companies don't get tipped—just their employees—but you can and should tip an owner when the service exceeds expectations. Small business owners should never be overlooked either, since their businesses are often run by just one person.)
We know it’s a lot to remember. That’s why we’ve created a super-helpful wedding vendor tipping cheat sheet, right here. We also took to The Knot 2017 Real Weddings Study (where we polled nearly 13,000 newly married US couples) to see how real couples tipped in 2017.
Overall, 87 percent of couples surveyed tipped their vendors. Like we mentioned, primarily, the vendors tipped were the ones on-site the day of your wedding (although some couples did respond that they tipped their cake bakers and florists as well).
Additionally, the study found the couple is most likely to handle the day-of payments and tips (again, labeled envelopes should really come in handy). Other respondents said their parents, spouse’s parents, maid of honor or best man handled the payments instead.
In terms of amounts, it totally depends on how much you spend on each service (our cheat sheet breaks down percentages) and how many guests you have (especially when looking at the catering staff), but it should be helpful to check out the average vendor tip amount of respondents from our study, below.