With wedding season in full swing, we are getting more and more specific questions leading up to a couple’s big day. Lately we have seen a ton of couples asking about tipping their vendors. They often want to know which vendors they should tip, how much each will expect, when do dole out the tips, etc. First of all, you don’t HAVE to tip and most vendors don’t EXPECT a tip at the end of the night. If you do plan on tipping your vendors, make sure you have built that into your wedding budget. Once you realize how many people are involved in your big day, you will notice that you may be shelling out a bit of cash to tips each one. Check out our advice below on tipping local DC area wedding vendors.
Considering the cost of an average wedding in the DC area, you may be a little overwhelmed at why you’ll have to factor in tipping into your budget. However, try not to think why you have to tip vendors and focus more on how and when. Consider this: would you walk away from a restaurant without leaving a tip? Tipping is about saying thank you to everyone who had a part your wedding, and with planning you can accommodate everyone on your list without having to blow your budget!
Who to Tip
The best way to decide who you want to tip is to go over your vendor list and take note. Make sure the contracts you have don’t already have a tip built in, as well. We like to suggest that you tip people that have contributed greatly to the success of your big day and those who will actually touch a guest. Here are a few people that we suggest you consider tipping:
- Makeup artist(s)
- Transportation Drivers
- Wedding Coordinator or Planner
Note: Tips are often not accepted by religious officiants, but consider making a donation to their place of worship in lieu of a traditional tip.
How Much to Tip
If you did your homework, then the wedding professionals in the DC area that you chose are amazing! That said, tips aren’t expected, but are appreciated, especially for great service. You can go with a standard percentage of the your total spent with that vendor, like 15 to 20 percent. However, that does add up quickly and it may not be appropriate for all services. Just use your best judgment. If you go to the hair salon, tip your wedding hair stylist what you would normally tip for a hair cut. If your florist also built your ceremony arch or your chuppah, consider tipping them a little more for the extra work they put into building, delivering, setting up, and decorating.
We understand if you feel as if you truly can’t factor tipping into your wedding budget. In that case, consider a small gift to express your gratitude and appreciation. Regardless of your choice between tips and gifts, a handwritten thank you card to every wedding professional should be included on your newlywed to-do list! Wedding vendors also love a good review. Ask which website they would prefer you contribute to. A good review goes a long way in this line of work!
When to Tip
Vendors should receive their tips at the end of their service. For example, tip ceremony musicians at the end of the wedding ceremony; photographers at the end of the reception; or hairstylists at the end of the appointment. If you have a wedding planner, give him or her the tips in labeled envelopes to dole out at the end of the night or at the end of each service. If you don’t have a planner, consider assigning a family member or friends to do this. Trust us, you probably won’t remember to do it yourself by the end of the day. It’s the last thing you want to be worrying about!