The amount to tip vendors is very subjective. The tipping here in the Austin area is across the board, but I will give you an idea of what I normally see for vendor tips. About half of our clients tip as a percentage of the total bill (usually something between 15%-20%) for each vendor and it gets divided amongst the total staff that worked on an event. Some of our clients tip per worker. Both are pretty normal and accepted; it really depends on how you would prefer to handle it. Please feel free to tip as you see fit.
If they are NOT tipped as a percentage, here are the ranges of what we usually see:
Band Members are usually tipped between $25 - $50 per member.
Bartenders are usually tipped between $50 - $100 per person, unless there is a tip jar. If there is a tip jar, there is not usually any additional gratuity unless they did an exceptional job.
Cake + Dessert
If tipped, $20 - $50 per delivery staff member.
Catering Service Staff
Catering is usually tipped as a percentage of the pre-tax food cost, very much the same way you would tip at a restaurant, generally between 10% - 20%. If you prefer to tip as a flat rate, we generally see between $25-$50 per server.
***Gratuity is different from a service fee. The service fee covers the cost of business and remains with the owner for admin time and other overhead, while gratuity is given to the wedding day staff.***
$25 - $50 per musician.
DJ’s are usually tipped between $100 - $500.
Floral and décor is usually tipped as a percentage of the total. I usually see this around the 10%+ mark (pre-tax) but sometimes people will tip them by the person, as well---usually from $25 - $50 per person for all of those involved in setup and teardown.
Hair + Makeup
Hair and Makeup people are normally tipped as you would at a salon: 15% - 20% or so.
$20 - $50 per installer.
Donate $100–$500 to the church or synagogue, and for the officiant, a tip of $50 - $100 (maybe more, depending on how much time they've spent with you leading up to the wedding, say, in premarital counseling, for example).
Photography + Videography
Photographers and Videographers are usually tipped at a higher rate, often as much as 15% of their total. If not tipping as a percentage, I usually see the photographer and videographer tipped anywhere from $150 - $300 and the second shooter is tipped anywhere from $50 - $150.
Planners + Coordinators
We see a wide range of tipping in our category. Everything from spa gift cards and jewelry, to monetary tipping ranges from $100 - $1,000 or even a percentage. It can also depend on the level of service booked. Coordination Assistants are generally tipped between $50-$200 per Assistant.
Rental Delivery Workers
Delivery drivers are not always tipped, but when they are, I usually see about $20 per worker.
Photo booth attendants, animal wranglers, dancers, etc. would generally be tipped anywhere from $20 - $50 per person.
Generally 15% - 20% of the entire bill.
Generally $50-$100 each, typically there is only one present at your event.
Some general notes on tipping and gratuities:
Please feel free to tip as you see fit. This guide is made as a suggestion based on the commonalities usually seen on the wedding day in my experience.
You are more than welcome to write a check to each vendor, but cash is usually the preferred method for tipping.
If you would like to tip in cash, please place each vendor’s tip in separate labeled and sealed envelopes.