Wedding Gratuity and Tipping Guide – Who to tip and how much?

Brides always ask for my advice when it comes to who, what, and how to tip out their wedding vendors. In America, it seems that we tip almost everyone we come in contact with. However, it is a little different in other parts of the world.

A recent bride asked me to send her blog posts on this topic because it was not customary in her native country. She wanted to read up on it so I thought I’d write one up!

Here are some of the individuals that you may consider tipping (usually in cash) for excellent service throughout the wedding planning process as well as during the wedding day:

Caterer – Usually this is built into the contract price. I have yet to see a caterer who doesn’t add this into their contract in Las Vegas however if you come across this, please add 20% gratuity to the total.

Wedding Planner – A gratuity is not expected. Some couples become close friends with their wedding planners by the time the wedding comes around. Any gratuity is at the discretion of the bride and groom.

Photographers/Videographers – I spoke to a few wonderful professionals in the wedding industry and the consensus is that gratuity is not expected.  It is at the discretion of the couple and usually only when their expectations have been exceeded. Typical amounts can be anywhere from $50 – $100 and even up to the hundreds.

Officiant/Officiate – A religious house of worship has its own rules about gratuity/fees/donations. This addresses the civil wedding ceremonies performed in hotels, golf courses, etc. Some Las Vegas wedding chapels include the fee for the officiant in their wedding packages; some do not. Check with individual chapels. However, a gratuity is never included in these packages. Any gratuity is at the discretion of the bride and groom and can range from $20 on up.

Makeup Artist/Hair Stylist – Gratuity is usually not included at the time of booking.  A 15% – 20% of the total is usually expected depending on the level of service.

DJ – Gratuity is not usually expected. Any gratuity is at the discretion of the bride and groom. Typical amounts range from $50 to $100.

Floral Designer – It is rare for floral designers to receive gratuities. But of course, if they exceed your expectations, a gratuity is appreciated.

Cake/Baker – It is also rare for cake designers to receive gratuities so the same rule applies for the cake designer as it does the floral designer.

Limo Driver/Transportation – it is customary to tip the driver 15% to 20%

Coat Check – $1 to $2 per coat

Bellhop – Besides your suitcases, you’ll need to transport those bags and/or boxes of wedding items to your limo, wedding ceremony and reception sites. Plan on about $1 – $3 per bag.  Sometimes your wedding items and gifts at the end of the evening will fill up two carts.  It’s not uncommon to hand your bellman a $20 bill or more.

Thank you to Adam Frazier, Ricky Gulati, and Terrence Lighten for their input.


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