Gratuity is a topic that is difficult to talk about because it is completely up to the customer to determine what is the appropriate amount to tip. We have many couples coming to us and asking about gratuities for their wedding day and what they are expected to tip. We have made a gratuity guide which we have been sending to our clients for years which provides some general guidance on how much is an appropriate amount. Below we have given you an overview of the information we send to our clients on wedding day gratuities.
Who do I tip on my wedding day?
The answer is pretty simple, anyone who is present on your wedding day should get a gratuity. There are a few exceptions to this rule, but for the most part if you are asking yourself if someone should get a tip, the answer is probably yes. One thing you will want to make a note of is which of your vendors have included gratuity in their pricing and how much that gratuity will be. If your caterer includes a 20% gratuity for all of the wait staff in your contract then there is no need to tip on top of that. However, you will want to note who that gratuity will be covering, is it just the wait staff or does that include the maître d’? These are the important questions you have to ask yourself.
When speaking about exceptions to this rule, we have to mention the elephant in the room which is: what if someone does not do their job correctly? There a few ways to handle a situation like this. The main question here is how much did them not doing their job impact your wedding day? If someone made a minor error and was able to fix it, they still deserve a tip. If they made a bit of a larger impact maybe reduce the amount that you are giving them. It is very rare that someone does their job so badly that it warrants not giving them a tip at all. Everyone is human, and honest mistakes happen so keep that in mind.
Many people also ask us, if one of my vendors is the owner of the company, should they still be tipped? Once again, the answer is a simple yes. There are many costs associated with owning a business so they are not getting the total amount you paid for their services directly in their pockets. The wedding industry is an exhausting one for sure and business owners still deserve a tip to show how much you appreciate their hard work.
How should I tip?
The best method to tip your vendors is giving them cash on the wedding day once they have completed their services. We recommend our clients put all of their tips into pre-labeled envelopes the week leading up to the wedding. You then give these envelopes to your planner or a trusted member of your bridal party to distribute to the vendors. This gives you enough time to think about how much you want each vendor to get beforehand so you can relax on the wedding day.
How much should I tip?
The amount that you tip is at your discretion. The standard rule of 15%-20% of the bill does not really apply to weddings since the bills can be very large. It is better to base your gratuity on the number of guests you are having and the amount of time that specific vendor spent at your wedding. For example, photographers spend a large portion of the wedding day with you and they have to do more work the more guests you have, so $2-$3 per guest would be a good starting point for their tip. Also make sure to remember that most vendors that come in are more than one person, so make sure to give a gratuity to their whole team.
At the end of the day, there is no single answer we can give you on wedding day gratuity. Use your best judgment and think about which vendors have stuck out to you and have truly earned a bit extra in their envelope at the end of the night.
If you would like to learn more about the gratuity guide we send to our clients, send us an inquiry so we can work with you on the perfect gratuities for your wedding day!