Planning a wedding is no small endeavor and there are many details that need to be taken into consideration. Something that is often overlooked is gratuities on your big day. It’s one of those things that can easily slip through the cracks during all the planning, but it’s essential to make sure you thank your vendors properly. Let’s explore how to calculate gratuities for your wedding event so you can make sure everyone is appropriately thanked for their hard work. 

Who gets a gratuity and how much should you give?

When it comes to gratuities, wedding guests are often unsure of who to give them to and how much is appropriate. Here is a breakdown of who typically gets a gratuity and how much you should consider giving:

The Wedding Planner: If you had a wedding planner help coordinate your big day, it is customary to give them a 10-15% gratuity.

The Photographer/Videographer: These vendors typically do not expect a gratuity, but if you felt they went above and beyond, 10-15% is appropriate.

Hair and Makeup Artists: It’s customary to give a 15-20% tip to hair and makeup artists. If the artist owns their own business, tips aren’t always expected since they set their own prices. It’s a nice gesture especially if they did an amazing job. 

The Florist: Like the photographer and videographer, the florist does not usually expect a gratuity. However, if you felt they did an outstanding job, 10-15% would be appreciated.

The Band or DJ: A 15-20% gratuity is common for these vendors.

The Catering Staff: It is customary to give the catering staff a 15-20% gratuity. This should be given to the head server at the end of the reception.

Other Event Staff: If there are other event staff members who helped make your wedding day run smoothly (e.g., bartenders, coat check attendants, etc.), it is appropriate to give them $1-$2 per hour worked.

How to Pass Out Gratuities

First, you’ll want to be discreet about it. Second, you’ll want to make sure the gratuities are given in an appropriate way. For example, if you’re giving cash, it should be in an envelope. Third, you’ll want to be thoughtful about who you give gratuities to and how much you give. While you’ve already spent what feels like a fortune on your wedding day, the people at your event work really hard to provide the most special day for you and their hard work should be recognized even if it’s just in a small way. 

If you have a Day of Coordinator, this job is best suited for them so you don’t have to worry about it. Pass out the envelopes toward the end of your event so it’s not quite as awkward. If you can’t afford a lot, a handwritten note goes a long way as well as leaving a detailed review online. 

Finally, make sure to read your contracts thoroughly or ask your vendors directly if gratuities are already added into your contract. Contact Everhart to schedule a tour, ask a question or discuss your upcoming wedding.