October/December 2014

Pick Up A Copy

Wedding Tipping

By Ashleigh White

Posted: Monday, Jun. 30, 2014

Share Share

Ashleigh has been living in Charlotte since 2008 with her oversized yellow lab. She is a communications professional, grad student, runner, and lover of all things wedding! After attending 13 weddings in three years, it's now Ashleigh's turn to be at the altar. Join her as she blogs about her adventures in step-by-step wedding planning and tips for other brides-to-be!

Penciling in tips when budgeting for your wedding will help keep stress at bay when it comes time to pay up. As a general rule of thumb, vendors who own their own businesses need not be tipped. And while you are not obligated to tip anyone (unless it’s been calculated into your contract/bill), you should follow normal tipping protocols of 15-20% for your bigger vendors and smaller amounts for “helpers.”

In most cases, you won’t need to tip the photographer, videographer or florist, but you may want to give $5-10 each to anyone helping set up flowers at your ceremony or reception site. The same rule can apply to the cake, but if the baker isn’t the one delivering and setting up, a small tip will be appreciated by the one who handles that task. The ones you’ll really want to focus on are:

Officiant: if he is a Pastor at the church where you wedding is being held, it’s standard to make a donation to the church. If your wedding is not being held in a church setting, a gift in the $50-100 range is appropriate. We gave ours tickets to a Virginia Tech football game, his alma mater, and one of our connections to him (go Hokies!).

Wedding planner/coordinator: depending on the amount of work and total cost of services, this can vary. If you hired a planner who handled most of the details and was there from day one, a hefty tip should be considered. For a coordinator, a smaller tip or gift around $50 is reasonable.

Hair/Make up: Just as you normally would, tip 15-20% depending on the level of service. The only exception is if they own their own business and then no tip is expected.

Caterers: Assuming you have wait staff, bartenders and a set up crew at the wedding, you should allot $5-10 a piece for their part in the food set up and serving. Additionally, if you have a maître d, a larger tip (depending on the cost of the catering) should be given, consider $150-300.

DJ: If the DJ doesn’t own his or her own business, a 10% tip is fair. A lot of work goes in on their end to make sure the music doesn’t stop, the evening stays on track, the guests are having fun, and that your wedding reception is exactly how you dreamt it.

Transportation: 10-20% of the total bill should be given, especially if you hire a driver for the wedding party or the bride and groom at the end of the night.

Provide your maid of honor or best man with sealed envelopes (thank you cards are a plus!) with cash inside that are clearly marked. If they need help identifying a vendor, your planner or coordinator can help. Once you pass off the envelopes, you should be free of worry, and if you budgeted appropriately, you won’t be surprised at the extra cash flowing out of your pocket!

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

The Charlotte Observer welcomes your comments on news of the day. The more voices engaged in conversation, the better for us all, but do keep it civil. Please refrain from profanity, obscenity, spam, name-calling or attacking others for their views.

Have a news tip? You can send it to a local news editor; email local@charlotteobserver.com to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Charlotte Observer.

  Read more