How to Tip Wedding Vendors. A Cheat Sheet.

Wedding Vendors

Tips from the experts themselves.

When you’re already digging deep into your (or your parents’) pockets for wedding expenses, allotting room in your budget for gratuities on top of that can be hard to handle. And even though service charges may be spelled out in your contract, tipping—although not mandatory—is always appreciated for a job well done, not to mention a kind and thoughtful gesture. So don’t forget to factor in tips when making your wedding budget.

Since some wedding vendors will expect a gratuity, and other gratuities will need to be considered on a case-by-case basis, you have a few things to consider. Traditionally, business owners of larger companies don’t get tipped—just their employees—but you can and should tip an owner when the service exceeds expectations. Small business owners should never be overlooked either, since their businesses are often run by just one person.

Tip wedding vendors who offer exceptional service, write thank-you notes (they’re always appreciated) and assign the responsibility of handing them out to a trusted person, such as your wedding planner, a parent or wedding party member. Here’s a helpful breakdown of what’s customary for tipping each vendor.

Wedding Planner

Wedding planners won’t likely expect anything, but if yours did a great job, you can always offer a token of appreciation. (Note: Nonmonetary thank-yous like professional photos of the wedding for the planner’s portfolio can go a long way too.) About 50 percent of couples do tip their planners.

Protocol: Optional

The Standard: 10–20 percent, up to $500, or a nice gift

When to Tip: Hand off the envelope at the end of the reception or send a thank-you note with photos or a check right after the honeymoon.

Wedding Hairstylist and Makeup Artist

This is one area where gratuity is definitely expected. Tip between 15 to 25 percent just as you would in a hair salon, and consider giving a little extra if there’s a crisis, like one of your bridesmaids has a meltdown over her curls and it requires a redo at the last minute.

Protocol: Expected

The Standard: 15–25 percent, depending upon the quality of service

When to Tip: Tip your beauty stylists at the end of your service.

Wedding Delivery and Setup Staff

Slip a few dollars to anyone delivering important items to the site such as the wedding cake, flowers or sound system. If a lot of gear needs to be brought in and set up (tents, chairs or portable toilets), the workers deserve a tip too.

Protocol: Expected

The Standard: $5–$10 per person

When to Tip: Drop off cash envelopes the day before the wedding to the catering manager so the person accepting deliveries can distribute the tip.

Wedding Ceremony Officiant

If your officiant is affiliated with a church or synagogue, you’re often expected to make a donation to that institution. If you’re a member, you’ll probably want to give a larger amount than if you’re not. However, if you’re getting married there and they’re charging you to use the space, feel free to give a smaller amount. Tipping the wedding officiant, both nondenominational and denominational, is also appreciated.

Protocol: Expected (depending on officiant)

The Standard: Donate $100–$500 to the church or synagogue, and for the officiant, a tip of $50-$100 (maybe more, depending on how much time they’ve spent with you leading up to the wedding, say, in premarital counseling, for example).

When to Tip: Most ceremony fees are required prior to the wedding. Otherwise, have a responsible attendant pass the cash envelope at the rehearsal dinner if the officiant is in attendance.

Wedding Ceremony Musicians

If you worked with a mini orchestra to come up with the perfect score for your service and they pulled it off flawlessly, consider showing some monetary thanks for their talent. However, you probably don’t have to tip the solo church organist who was required to play.

Protocol: Optional

The Standard: $15–$20 per musician

When to Tip: Ceremony musicians should receive a tip at the end of the ceremony.

Wedding Photographer and Videographer

You’re not expected to give your shutterbugs any money beyond their normal fees. But if the wedding photographer or videographer doesn’t own the studio, consider tipping each person (or give a certain amount with a thank-you note to disperse to staff).

Protocol: Optional

The Standard: $50–$200 per vendor

When to Tip: Tip your photographer and videographer at the end of the reception.

Attire Alterations Pros

While it’s not required to give the person who is altering your wedding dress, suit or other wedding attire a tip, it’s definitely a nice gesture.

Protocol: Optional

The Standard: $20 to $30

When to Tip: If you’re opting to tip your alterations pro, give them the envelope at your final fitting.

Wedding Reception Staff

This group includes the on-site wedding coordinator, maître d’ and banquet manager. A service charge (typically 2 percent) is almost always built in to the food and drink fee, so check your contract. If the gratuity is not included, tip as follows.

Protocol: Expected

The Standard: 15–20 percent of the food and drink fee or $200–$300 for the maître d’

When to Tip: If it’s covered in the contract, the final bill is typically due before the reception. Otherwise, have one of your parents or an attendant hand the envelope to the maître d’ at the end of the reception, since you’ll need to know the final tab to calculate the percentage.

Wedding Reception Attendants

When it comes to bartenders and waitstaff, and parking, photo booth, bathroom and coatroom attendants, the rules of tipping are dictated by your contract. If the service fee is included, consider doling out extra only if the service was exceptional. If it’s not included, ask ahead of time how many attendants will be working your wedding and calculate on a per person basis.

Protocol: Optional, based on contract

The Standard: 10–20 percent of the liquor or food bill to be split among bartenders or catering staff respectively, $1 per wedding guest for coatroom and $1 per car for parking attendants

When to Tip: Although tips are traditionally passed out at the end of the event, you could distribute them at the beginning of the evening to encourage all the workers to give you great service.

Wedding Reception Band or DJ

Whether you hire a 12-piece swing band or a single DJ, tipping musicians is completely optional, depending on the quality of the job and how willing they were to follow your ideal playlist. And don’t forget about any sound technicians they bring with them.

Protocol: Optional, yet preferred

The Standard: $25–$35 per musician; $50–$150 for DJs

When to Tip: An attendant should tip the musicians or DJ at the end of the reception.

Wedding Transportation Company

Again, check your contract, as gratuity is usually included. If it isn’t, plan to tip provided they show up on time, provide a smooth ride and don’t get lost.

Protocol: Expected

The Standard: 15–20 percent of the total bill

When to Tip: Tip transportation pros at the end of the night or after the last ride. If you used a separate company for the guest buses, designate a bus captain to hand the driver a tip, otherwise this duty falls to a designated attendant.

Cake Baker, Florist and Stationer

These vendors do not typically receive tips, but if you feel they went above and beyond the call of duty, you certainly can send them a tip. Remember, though, that delivery people who work for these pros should be tipped (see above).

Protocol: Optional

The Standard: $50 to $100, or a small gift

When to Tip: If you’d like to tip these pros, send them a thank-you card with the tip enclosed after the big day.


General Wedding Tipping Tips

Read contracts closely.

Some vendors (particularly caterers and transportation companies) may include tips as part of their contract. If gratuities are included in the contract, you don’t need to provide any additional tips.

Write a review.

While writing a thank-you note is certainly appreciated, a positive review on a site like The Knot goes even further in helping a wedding pro’s business. Ask your wedding vendor if there’s a particular site where they’d like you to post your review.

For destination weddings, learn the local customs.

If you’re getting married outside the U.S., be sure to ask your wedding planner or venue coordinator about the local tipping customs. Also, make sure you tip in the local currency when providing cash tips to vendors.

Share photos.

Sharing professional photos from your big day is another way to thank your wedding vendors. Pros, particularly florists, cake bakers, stationers and planners, need photos of their work for marketing materials, so if you’re able to get permission from your photographer to provide these images, you’ll score extra points.


Looking for the perfect Milwaukee wedding venue at an affordable price, contact The Mitch.


This blog article was originally published and written on TheKnot.com. Original link can be found here: https://www.theknot.com/content/wedding-vendor-tipping-cheat-sheet

SPRING WEDDING IDEAS THAT YOU NEED TO START PLANNING NOW

Milwaukee Spring Wedding

If you’ve started on the fantastic journey of planning your dream wedding, you might be wondering how early is too early to start planning. While every couple has their own unique needs and desires for their big day, it’s safe to say that starting to think about your spring 2023 wedding now and booking solid dates is a wise move.

Give yourself enough time to plan and choose what you both agree on and feel good about your choice of venue and other vendors that will make your wedding day a success. Those key early decisions will leave you enough time for other important stuff later in the year like picking out bridal party dresses or planning your honeymoon and first dance!

Here are some of the ideas to start planning now if you’re getting married in the spring of 2023.

1. Partner Up on Research & Inspiration

One of the greatest things about planning early is that you don’t have to feel rushed and make last-minute decisions. Instead, you can just take your time and do your research. Check out sites like Pinterest together as a couple and jot down a list of things that you’d like to see make an appearance on your big day. Things like the floral blooms you want to use, colors for the linens and bridal party attire, maybe a hairstyle or veil you like. You can also find lots of information on upcoming color trends, dress styles and even themes to consider for 2023. Once you have some solid ideas you can start reaching out to vendors such as venue, florist, makeup artist, photographer, and others to discuss how they might be a good fit for you to make your vision come to life.

2. Book Your Venue

Perhaps one of the most important items on your list to get squared away early is the venue. It’s not only the place where you’ll be hosting your big event, but it will also determine the size of your guest list, your budget and even the day you’ll actually be getting married. Take the time to read online reviews, do your own research and book appointments to see the venue location and talk to the caterers and event staff to ensure you feel comfortable. Sample the food and service. The best venues offer tastings or “mock weddings” and having great food and service are essential to make your day truly memorable. Keep in mind that many of the most sought-after locations will book-up fast and far in advance so if you want a chance to host your wedding at an exclusive and elite venue, you need to give yourself enough time to book it.

3. Start the Guest list

Another big part of the wedding day planning that’s going to take some time is the guest list. Once you have your venue, you’ll know how many guests you can invite. Then you can start big and edit, tweak and solidify the guest list. As a general rule, 80 percent of guests will accept your invitation. It’s best to start that early on the process. Between seating charts, ordering the invitations and handling RSVPs and food choices, there’s a lot that goes into making your wedding guests enjoy your big day as well. The sooner you start to think about who you’ll invite and manage that list, the less stress you’ll have as the big day inches closer.

4. Enjoy the Ride

Once you have some of these bigger items on the list squared away, you can actually clear your mind and focus on enjoying the ride a bit more. After all, this is the day you’ve been dreaming about your whole life. You want to be sure you cherish every moment of the process.

Book your wedding at The Mitch.

9 tips for planning a great LGBTQ Wedding

Love is Love at The Mitch

Love is Love at The Mitch

1. Put Some Love Into Your Ceremony

Think about it: Everyone is here for you, to celebrate your marriage and your commitment. The party will be great, but I can promise that if you have a thoughtful, meaningful ceremony, the party will be even more amazing. Write heartfelt personal vows, choose ceremony music that means something special to you, and make sure your officiant knows both of you well, and can convey the depth and unique details of your love and devotion.

2. Don’t Discard Tradition

Many gay weddings skip typical rites and rituals such as dancing with parents, cutting the wedding cake, garter and bouquet tosses, and more. But your guests actually look forward to those traditions, which help give the evening excitement and momentum. If you take a pass on some traditions, bring in substitutes. Consider cabaret performers, dancers, photo booths, or other forms of entertainment that reflect your own interests and personality, and are conversation starters for your guests.

3. Personalize, Personalize, Personalize

Hire a graphic designer to create your own custom wedding logo, and carry it throughout your wedding materials. Include your logo on your invitations, ceremony program, seating cards, menu and much more, to “brand” your wedding in style. This personal statement makes for instant, cohesive, thematic decor.

4. Relax and Let Someone Else Do The Grunt Work

Don’t be afraid to call in the help of a wedding planner. Services can vary from venue selection, vendor contracting and complete design, to simple day-of coordination. Look for a planner who has specialized training in same-sex weddings and can bring in vendors who are trained and equipped to meet your needs.

5. Go With the Flow

Even though you’re the guests of honor, you also are the hosts of this party. No matter how good the food or the entertainment is, if your guests are waiting too long for a cocktail, or you run out of hors d’oeuvre, that’s what they’ll remember. Pay attention to the details around the flow of the event, and make sure you have adequate greeters and signage so your guests know where to go. Ensure plenty of bartenders so your guests never have to wait. Anticipate heavy traffic areas and plan accordingly.

6. Be Yourself

This is your wedding, not your sister’s, your mom’s or anyone else’s! Express yourself, be nontraditional if you want to be, and don’t let anyone tell you what to do.

7. Have Two Aisles

Are you and your spouse-to-be both eager to be brides? It’s perfectly fine to have two aisles and walk simultaneously if the layout works well in your venue. If you don’t have space or a preference for two aisles, you have to decide who will be the last one down the aisle, assuming the more traditional “bridal” role.

8. Only Invite Those Who Are Happy For You

If you have any friends, family members or co-workers who aren’t excited for your wedding or don’t believe in same-sex marriage, don’t invite them! The last thing you need on your wedding day is to be self-conscious and worry about what someone else is thinking or saying. Invite only those who are thrilled to support you and your marriage.

9. Protect Your Family

While the tide is turning, and marriage equality is spreading across the globe, remember that your marriage still won’t be recognized in a bunch of places. Hire an attorney who understands LGBT family law to draw up the documents to help protect your new family so you can have peace of mind when you travel the world together as newlyweds!