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  • Kathryn Graham

Gratuity, Who and How Much

When it comes to planning your wedding and making sure that all of your dreams come to truition it can be easy to forget a little thing we call gratuity. While working with a wedding budget forgetting the gratuity for your vendors can wreak pure havoc on not only your pocket book but your stress levels as well.


We here at Coastal Cruisers do not include gratuity into our prices or our quotes. We believe that gratuity should be entirely comprised of being a form of thank you for a job well done. If a vendor does not provide you with adequate service or service that you feel is worthy of admiration there is no reason at all to feel like you have been backed into a corner.

Providing a tip to event staff and those working with you on your wedding day has become a more of a custom in all service areas. However, it is in no way mandatory nor is it expected by many wedding professionals. With the exception of catering staff and possibly the venue, tips are considered a nice surprise by almost all vendors.


Providing a tip to event staff and those working with you on your wedding day has become a more of a custom in all service areas. However, it is in no way mandatory nor is it expected by many wedding professionals. With the exception of catering staff and possibly the venue, tips are considered a nice surprise by almost all vendors. \helping your wedding vendor grow his or her business. Also, you can be sure to always recommend your favorite vendors to your friends and family. Your friends and family will thank you, the vendor will thank you and everyone will be happy.


I have comprised a list of vendors that couples should take into account when it comes to paying gratuity from Bridal Guide's own Allison Silber. Here is a complete guide to which vendors you should tip (and how much!) on your wedding day.


Catering: If your contract doesn't include gratuity, you should tip 15 to 20 percent of the total bill. Another way to tip is offering $50 to $100 for each chef and $20 to $50 per server.

Wedding planner: Wedding planners won't expect a tip, so this is optional based on service. If you were given a huge discount or the planner went far above and beyond their contracted services, offering a tip of 10 to 20 percent is a nice way of saying "thank you" for the efforts.

Photographer and videographer: You're not required to tip them if they own the studio. If they don't, then giving them an extra $50 to $200 is a nice gesture. If there are two or three shooters, giving a $50 to $100 tip to each person (who doesn't own the business) is optional.

Ceremony staff and reception staff: It's not mandatory to tip the ceremony staff, reception staff and delivery staff, but if you'd like to, then you can offer them $20-$50 each.

Officiant: Often times officiants won't accept tips, but a $100 donation to their church is a great way to thank them. If the officiant is non-denominational, consider giving them a $100 tip, especially if they aren't charging for your service.

Hair and makeup artist: A 15 to 20 percent tip is expected, just like it would be for any other regular salon visit, but it isn't required.

Band or DJ: Offering a 10 to 15 percent tip is a nice gesture to your band or DJ, especially if they have to carry a lot of heavy equipment from one location to the next. For musicians, a $25 to $50 tip per band member is appropriate.

Transportation: A 15 percent tip is optional if it isn't included in the contract.

Florist: The florist doesn't expect a tip. However, if they do an outstanding job, you can consider giving them a 10 to 15 percent tip after services are rendered.


A thank you note can go a long way towards making your favorite vendor feel appreciated.


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