Wedding receptions and ceremonies necessitate extensive planning and coordination from a variety of vendors. Learn how much you should tip wedding vendors at the end of the reception.
Wedding Vendor List
The length of your wedding vendor list will be determined by the style and budget of your wedding. A typical wedding vendor list might include any combination of the following:
Bartender: Depending on your catering package, bartenders may be included. During your reception, bartenders will prepare and serve non-alcoholic and alcoholic drinks to your guests. An open bar is a common wedding practice in which the hosts pay a flat rate rather than requiring guests to pay for each drink.
Caterer: During the reception, the catering company provides the meal and serving utensils. Some caterers include specialty cutlery that the venue may not have. Catering staff at a small wedding typically circulate the room and serve food on trays, whereas caterers at a large wedding party may serve a sit-down dinner with multiple courses.
Delivery personnel: The delivery staff's job is to assist vendors in transporting and setting up their equipment on your wedding day. Before the ceremony, delivery personnel assist the caterer, florist, and live bands with setup.
Florist: The floral arrangements for your wedding are created by a florist. The centerpieces, bridal bouquets, and any other table decorations are included. The florist works directly with the bride and groom to select flowers that complement the wedding theme and color palette.
Hairdressers and makeup artists: The bride usually does her hair and makeup at the wedding venue before the ceremony. Although it is optional, brides often hire hairstylists and professional makeup artists for their wedding day. Bridesmaids typically have access to these services as well, and in some cases, the bride and her bridesmaids (and possibly other members of the bridal party) split the bill.
Musicians: There is usually some kind of musical accompaniment during the ceremony and reception. The entrance songs are played by the ceremony musicians, while the reception musicians entertain the wedding guests. Couples typically choose between a live band and a DJ to provide music for the reception.
Officiant: A wedding officiant directs the ceremony. They can be religious or secular, and they will be in charge of the couple's vows and readings. Following the ceremony, the officiant signs a marriage license, which is then delivered to the clerk's office for certification.
Photographer: The wedding photographer is in charge of photographing the ceremony and reception. Private photo sessions with the bride, groom, and bridal party are also coordinated by photographers. Following the event, the photographer sends the bride and groom a portfolio of edited wedding photography to review.
Attendant at the photo booth: Renting a photo booth for your wedding reception is a fun way to encourage your guests to take their own photos during the reception. Outside, third-party vendors rent out photo booths. These companies also provide an attendant to supervise the photo booth setup and use.
Stationer: The stationer is in charge of more than just wedding invitations. They also design and lay out table notes and thank-you cards. Stationers also work with the couple throughout the process to ensure that the final designs reflect the wedding's tone.
Transportation company: A transportation company is especially important for destination weddings. They provide transportation for your guests to and from the ceremony and reception. If the wedding ceremony and reception are held at the same location, you may not need to hire a transportation service. However, some couples prefer to provide transportation between the venue and the guests' overnight accommodations.
Videographer: Some couples decide to hire a videographer in addition to their photographer. The videographer creates video content for the couple's wedding movie during both the ceremony and reception.
Waitstaff: While most waitstaff work for a catering company, not all caterers offer waitstaff. Your wedding servers will assist guests by filling empty water glasses, dismissing tables for dinner, serving the meal and wedding cake, and assisting with cleanup.
Wedding planner: Wedding planning is time-consuming and tedious. Wedding planners are hired by couples to help them with the planning process. Following the creation of your wedding budget, the planner collaborates with various business owners to find vendors within your price range. They also work with other key stakeholders to ensure the rehearsal dinner and reception run smoothly, such as the banquet manager, catering manager, and venue coordinator.
How Much to Tip Wedding Vendors
The protocol for gratuities varies depending on the service. In addition to sending thank-you notes and leaving positive reviews in exchange for excellent service, consider recognizing your vendors' efforts by following these tipping guidelines:
Bartender: A bartender's standard gratuity is up to 15% of the service fee. Check your final bill before adding the tip, as some bills include this service charge automatically.
Waitstaff and caterer: The service charge for the caterer and waitstaff is usually included in the total bill. If this fee is not included, consider tipping 15-20% of the total bill.
Florist, stationer, and wedding planner: Because business owners are not included in gratuity protocol, it is not necessary to tip the florist, stationer, or wedding planner. Consider a small gift or cash tip as a thoughtful gesture for exceptional service.
Hairdressers and makeup artists: Hairstylists and makeup artists should be tipped according to salon guidelines. A typical tip for professional hair and makeup services is 20% of the total bill.
Musicians: Tip each musician $20-$50 if the bill does not include gratuity. You can give the tip in the form of a cash envelope.
Officiant: While clergy cannot accept tips, you can make a donation to the house of worship. Consider giving a $50 tip to a secular officiant.
Photographer and videographer: The majority of photographers and videographers work for themselves and own their own businesses. While tipping business owners is not required, it is a nice gesture to tip the photographer and videographer about 15-20% of the final bill.
Employees of a transportation company: At the end of the night, tip chauffeurs and transportation company employees 15-20%.