Your wedding vendors are a crucial part of your big day, so it’s important that you choose the right ones.
When our couples are interviewing their vendors, we tell them to ask every question they can think of, make sure they get the answers that align with their wedding vision, and read all the reviews they can find.
It’s also why Kendall Point—and any quality wedding venue—will have a vendor list full of professional, experienced, and vetted wedding vendors for their couples to choose from. If your venue is promoting these people, it’s because they know they’re at the top of their game.
One of the most frequent questions we get from couples regarding their wedding vendors is how much to tip them. So let’s dive into how much to tip wedding vendors, how to tip them, and more things you can do to show your gratitude.
First of all, tipping is a very personal subject. Ultimately you should base your decision on which wedding vendors to tip and how much based on your personal experience and feelings.
Some vendors—particularly caterers—will include a service fee in the contract to ensure their staff receives a tip. Even if they do that, you’re still welcome to give your waiters and/or the banquet captain some extra cash when the night is over if you feel their service went above and beyond.
In the past, it wasn’t considered necessary to tip vendors who were business owners like wedding planners, florists, or photographers. These days however, many of these vendors are small business owners or a team of one, so giving them a tip to express your appreciation for their work on your wedding day itself is certainly welcome.
Remember that these vendors are doing a lot of physical work—often a 14+ hour day—and going beyond their job description on the day of your wedding so it’s definitely appropriate to tip them! If you can’t swing the extra spend, a glowing review is always appreciated!
If your florist or wedding planner uses a delivery person or assistant on the day of your wedding, it would be appropriate to tip them for their service as well.
One wedding vendor where tipping is typically not expected is your wedding officiant.
If you’re having a clergy member perform your ceremony, a donation to their house of worship (or chosen charity) is customary rather than a tip. If you choose a friend or family member to be your wedding officiant, a tip wouldn’t be required, but paying for their travel fees to the wedding or giving them a special gift is a welcome gesture.
If you’re hiring a professional wedding officiant who is not a clergy member, friend, family member, a $50-$100 tip is appropriate (depending on how much you ask them to do). If you have a civil officiant (like a judge or justice of the peace) perform your wedding, they may or may not be allowed to accept gratuity, so it’s best to ask them directly how you can show your appreciation.
Look, we know you’re paying these vendors an awful lot already, so many people think a tip is already included—and in some cases, it is!
When it comes to catering, bartending service, venue staff, and transportation service, it’s very common for a 15-20% tip to be included in your contract, although it’s important to clarify whether this is intended to be given to the staff members as gratuity or is simply an additional service charge.
Your wedding planner or coordinator can help you look through these contracts to see what’s included and what’s not.
For other vendors, it will depend on the service they’re providing.
Remember that tipping is very personal, so you shouldn’t feel obligated to tip if you feel like the service doesn’t merit it. When it comes to tipping wedding vendors, ask your venue if they have any advice and definitely ask your wedding planner to help guide you.
When it comes to how to tip your vendors, the end of your reception is the most appropriate time (for hair and makeup deliveries, upon completion of their service is best). Some couples will delegate someone to handle this, since you’re being pulled in a million different directions.
So remember to get some cash before the big day and ask the most reliable person in your wedding party or family to personally tip each vendor.
Tipping isn’t the only way you should show your appreciation to your wedding vendors.
Gifts and thank you cards are a great way to show your personal appreciation, but one of the best things you can do for your wedding vendors is to leave them good reviews. Other couples are searching for wedding vendors after all, so help them find the ones who made your day extra special. Google, The Knot, Zola, Wedding Wire, and more are all excellent choices.
When leaving a review, be thoughtful and thorough. Highlight at least one or two things you loved about this vendor so readers can really take something away. And remember to be fair. That means don’t blame the vendors for things like sudden rain or poor communication on your part.
For example, if you expected your makeup artist to stay until after the ceremony for touch ups but it was never outlined in the contract, you can’t blame them if they have another job to get to.
It’s important to remember that reviews or gifts should not be in lieu of cash tips in some cases. They’re just an added bonus.
At Kendall Point, we know your wedding vendors (and your wedding venue!) go a long way into making your wedding dreams come true.
That’s why we’ve curated a vendor list full of San Antonio’s best wedding vendors who we know you will love working with. We’ve worked with each of them countless times, and we’ve seen the dedication and commitment they give to each and every couple.
Our venue staff is also here to help you have the perfect wedding day, and we include gratuity for them in your venue fee, so that’s one tip you can cross off your list.
Contact us today to schedule your in-person or virtual tour!