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Recently, one of my brides asked me which wedding vendors should be tipped and it inspired me to do a little research and blog my findings. My short answer: Tip any vendor you think did an amazing job in providing you with a great service and a wonderful experience. I’m not a huge fan of the notion of having to do something just because it’s customary, so if one of the “should be tipped” vendors didn’t wow you or simply didn’t do a good job, then don’t tip them.
For a detailed breakdown of what does happen to be customary, read on. I created this list based on what ten large publications suggested couples do, tallying my findings and placing vendors into the category into which they most appeared.
Almost Always Tipped
These vendors are those who are almost always tipped and probably expect it. Hopefully, you chose talented, well-reviewed and respected professionals for each of these categories, so you’ll almost certainly be tipping these teams. Again, if one of these vendors dropped the ball (and your expectations were realistic), then feel free to forego tips for them.
- Hair and Makeup
- Catering (Note: Often their gratuity is included in the contract, so be sure to check)
- Delivery and Setup Staff
Below, I’ve listed the vendors that don’t usually appear on “must tip” lists, though can definitely be tipped if you feel they did an amazing job. Photography falls in this category and speaking from my personal experience, I don’t ever expect tips though I am always pleasantly surprised and so grateful when I receive one.
- Officiant (many church-affiliated officiants will only accept tips in the form of church donations)
- Ceremony and Reception Music
- Dessert Baker
Nearly Never Tipped
This list reflects those vendors who are nearly never tipped. Mostly this list reflects vendor categories that were never mentioned by any publication I checked.
- Rental Companies (Apart from delivery and setup team)
- Gown Boutique
If you’ve run out of room in your wedding budget to tip, but want to show your appreciation for vendors, this list of kind gestures would really make a vendor’s day!
- Review them on The Knot, Yelp, etc. – This is SO INCREDIBLY appreciated and important for vendors. It’s really hard to get brides and grooms to take the few minutes to do so, so I always am over the moon when my couples do.
- Send them a thank you note – who doesn’t love receiving these?
- Refer them to your engaged friends – if they book, that’s way better than any monetary tip and such an appreciated act!