They say that it takes a village to move a mountain, and sometimes wedding planning feels the same way.  The more you know, the less you’ll stress, especially when it comes to the murky question of tipping.  So, here’s a quick hit list on when and how much to tip your vendors.

General Guidelines

There are no hard and fast rules for tipping, so I suggest you do what feels right while keeping the following points in mind.

  • Check your contracts to make sure the tip isn’t already included in the bill.  Frequently the service charge does not include gratuity, so I’d recommend asking for clarification if you see that term on your contract and aren’t sure.
  • There’s typically no need to tip business owners because they’ve negotiated their fee and expect only that amount of money.  For example, your photographer who owns the studio or an independent band that doesn’t belong to an entertainment agency fall into this category.  
  • Choose someone you can rely on, whether it’s a parent, the best man, or someone else you trust, to hand out envelopes with the non-contract cash tips since you’ll be busy most of the night.
  • Feel free to think outside the box if cash is tight.  Tipping is a form of gratitude and there are other ways to show you’re thankful, from a thoughtful thank-you card to a framed picture from the wedding. 

For more tips on tipping, here’s a cheat sheet with examples:

Happy Planning,