Tipping Wedding VendorsNo matter what the specific expense is, everything surrounding a wedding is expensive. By the time you’ve purchased your wedding dress, secured your wedding venue, and paid the caterer, you’re probably looking at a bill that exceeds any other purchase that you’ve made in your life. If you’ve budgeted carefully and planned ahead, then chances are you’ve slid in just under your maximum budget and have everything ready to go for your big day. But hold it right there! There is another very important element that you’ve likely overlooked completely, and that is tipping the wedding vendors and service staff.

If you totally forgot to put this in your original budget, don’t feel too bad about it because many people are guilty of this oversight. Hopefully, if you’re reading this article, it’s not too late and there’s still time to get it right. The fact of the matter is that many of these vendors and service providers make their ends meet with their tips, so it is essentially factored into their initial cost of service. It can be tough to know who to tip and how much you should give them, so here is a basic rundown to give you an idea of what is expected and what is considered appropriate.

The Officiant

It is always considered proper to tip your wedding officiant, but how much typically depends on the size of your wedding. Typically you tip them between $25 and $100.

Ceremony Assistants

Ceremony assistants are anyone that is involved in the ceremony itself such as a piano or organ player as well as altar boys or other people that are part of the paid service. You should usually tip them between $5 and $25 each, but sometimes their tip is covered by the fee you pay to rent the venue or church so be sure to ask ahead of time.

The Caterer

You should tip the caterer between 15% and 20% of the total food and beverage cost, but make sure to check the contract ahead of time because these gratuities are often already factored into the final bill.

The Chef

This tip is often covered by the catering gratuity, but in the event that you are being served at a venue that has a full kitchen on site, you should tip the chef $1 to $2 per plate depending on the size of the wedding.

Venue Staff

The venue staff includes everyone that takes care of the normal functions during the event including the banquet manager, maître d’, coat checker and bathroom attendants. It is considered appropriate to tip 5% of the total food and beverage bill divided equally among the venue staff.


The people who do your hair and makeup are usually tipped, and 15% to 20% of their base fee is usually appropriate. Make sure this gratuity is not already included in their fess ahead of time.

Limo Driver

You should always tip your driver, and your wedding driver is no exception. Typically around 20% of the total transport fee is considered appropriate, but this can fluctuate based on a number of different factors.

Who NOT to Tip

There are several types of wedding vendors that you simply should not tip including the florist, the baker, and the wedding photographer. Each wedding is unique and will have their own set of vendors, so use your best judgment when it comes to determining whether or not to tip and it should all work out fine in the end.