How much shoud I tip my wedding vendors?

How much should I tip my wedding vendors? Unfortunately, there is not one answer to that question and it varies from wedding to wedding and from location to location. So while there are guidelines I give my couples and ways that tipping seems to be the norm for all of our weddings, please don't use it as a know-all for what you should tip your wedding vendors your wedding day.

First, here are a couple of tips (pun not intended) to think about before deciding on a tip:

1. What can I afford?

Please don't base your tipping on "What can I afford within the remainder of my budget?" because that is something that needs to be taken into account from the start. Add some wiggle room into your budget to ensure you have the chance to thank your wonderful vendors for all of their hard work.

2. What does the vendor deserve?

If you had the most amazing experience with a vendor and want to thank them, then a tip, a gift, or a hand-written note is always much appreciated. And in all honesty, those little hand written notes are what makes my heart flutter the most because they're personal and honest. But of course, a little tip on the side makes me smile pretty big too :) So tip your vendors what you believe they deserve, just as you would at a restaurant or in an Uber.

3. Is tip already paid for?

Some vendors already include tip/service charge in their quote and final invoice. And while it is not always labeled as "gratuity," make sure you take a look or even ask the vendor if it has already been taken care of. That way, you aren't double tipping.

No matter what you decide, it is a decision that you need to make for yourself. So like I said, these are just guidelines that I give my couples based on what I typically see in my area and for the weddings that I do. It is not in any way the rule but a guideline to help you get there.

The best tip you could ever give me!

We have eight weddings coming up over the next two months and that means Final Timeline Appointment GALORE! We've been all over the place this week, finalizing timelines and details for all of our upcoming couples. Nothing makes me nervous about these appointments - I know what to ask and I know how to answer every question a couple is going to ask me...well, almost every question.

In a couple's eyes, these appointments are overwhelming because of all of the information I am asking over an hour and a half time period (literally every detail of their wedding day). But the good news is that once it comes out of their mouths, it's into my brain and out of theirs. And I am there to take care of the rest!

In my eyes, however, these appointments are a breeze. I've done hundreds of them over the past seven years so at this point, it's just muscle memory.

But to this day, I've got to admit, there is one single question that I cringe at the sound of. Before each meeting, I hope and pray that this question doesn't come up. Well, I don't actually pray, but I really hope!

And the question is...

Which vendors do I need to tip?

Eek! I just can't stand that question! And if you're one of my couples and have asked me that, don't worry. I still love you. And in reality, it's a great question to ask! Because if I still don't know the answer after this many weddings under my belt, then of course you're not going to magically know the answer with no weddings under yours!

Personally, it's sad to me that tipping has become such a dreaded topic. Isn't a tip supposed to be optional? Isn't it supposed to be given only to those who did a great job and not just given because society tells us we have to? It's become a mandatory item in some industries but here in the wedding industry, there is still a bit of a grey area.

And I'm sorry to say it, but today I am not going to be able to answer this question. Because it's not my decision and there is no "real" answer to the question anyways. The answer lies within you as a couple, and you only.

But of course, I can't leaving you hanging, so I'll give you my best advice :)

1. We all love money. You've paid what we charged and we're happy there were no problems there. But on top of that, a couple hundred extra dollars in our pockets at the end of the night for doing the work we were going to do anyways? Who wouldn't be happy about that?! Yes, of course it makes us happy when our couples tip us to show that we did a great job!

2. We're all on a budget. Two years ago, I was a bride myself. And even before then, I knew that weddings were expensive and that there isn't always as much room for a tip as a couple wants to give. If we all had unlimited money, of course it would be nice to tip the vendors we love thousands of dollars but as we all know, that's just not plausible. And as vendors, we know that too! So don't tip want you can't afford. Debt going into marriage is a big no-no!

3. Here is an article we wrote on how much to tip and other ways to tip besides money! There are plenty of other ways you can tell a vendor they did a great job!

4. Is the tip included in the contract? Some vendors include their tip within their price, sometimes known as a "service charge," and some vendors write in their contract that tips are "highly recommended." So carefully check each and every contract to make sure you didn't already pay that tip!

5. If worse comes to worse, ask! If you still can't decide, call you vendors and they'll give you an honest answer. If they pretty much expect a tip 100% of the time, they'll tell you in the nicest way possible. And if they never expect it, they'll tell you that too! So never be afraid to ask!

6. The best tip of all: If I were going to choose one "type" of tip I would most often want, it wouldn't be the couple hundred dollars at the end of the night. Yep, seriously. The best tip I could ever receive is a REFERRAL. Now this doesn't mean you tell your friend who is getting married to book me and they book me as their coordinator. Because you may not know anyone who is getting married! A referral could be an online review or it could be as simple as mentioning to your aunt, "Jenn from The Overwhelmed Bride was so amazing! I don't know how anyone plans a wedding without a coordinator!" Because you know what? That aunt may know someone getting married or she may have a friend who knows someone who is getting married. And the more people know about The Overwhelmed Bride and that I did a great job (if I did a great job, of course), the larger my business is going to grow. So that's why word of mouth is the best tip I will ever receive :)

So with these six tips (pun intended), you and your fiance can sit down and decide who you'd like to tip, and who you are not going to tip monetarily at the end of the night. But remember, money isn't everything. So for each and every vendor you loved working with, I urge you to find one way to "tip" them after the wedding matter why type of tip you are able to give!

Tips for Tipping

Just like when you and your fiance are out to dinner on your Friday date night, tipping is completely up to your discretion. Well the same goes for your wedding. While there are guidelines that specific vendors expect or don't expect, just as 15-20% is "expected" at a restaurant, nothing is required.

So before you dive into this nifty diagram, please read the next couple of definitions (it'll only take 2 minutes) so you understand what we mean by "required" and "not required."


These are the vendors who, like waiters and waitresses, expect some sort of tip at the end of the night.

Not Required

These are the vendors who do not expect any sort of tip but are very thankful when one is given.

But nothing is ever REQUIRED of you. Bad choice of words on my part?? 

I will not speak for anyone but myself, but I never expect a tip from a bride and groom. I know that weddings are expensive. I've planned hundreds of weddings over the past six years and have been a bride myself so I know that money is tight, especially at the end of planning. Budgets are often maxed out, leaving little to no room for tips. And I get that! Just because I don't get a tip, doesn't mean that I think any less of you. And it doesn't make me think that I did a bad job on your wedding day. So please please please never think like that!

A tip is under your discretion and if someone did a terrible job, then you can reflect that in the tip you give them.

But here's the great news, a tip isn't always money.

I've received some fabulous tips before that truly showed a couple's appreciation for my hard work. And here are some ideas:

- a small gift or bottle of wine

- a double date out to lunch or dinner

- a personal thank you note (these just touch my heart!)

- an online review (this is HUGE for us!)

- a referral to a friend, co-worker, or someone you meet in passing (LOVE THIS ONE!)

So just because you don't have money leftover for a tip, doesn't mean you cannot show your appreciation for your vendors...if in fact they worked hard for you :)

This diagram is not a rule.

To me, there are no rules. Do what you feel comfortable doing because you are the only one who can make that decision. So use this as a starting point, and never a LAW.

Tips for Tipping Wedding Vendors // The Overwhlemed Bride