Knowing Who to Tip is the First Piece of the Puzzle

Like many things, with wedding tipping there really is no clear-cut answer as to who should be tipped and how much they should be tipped.

The purpose of tipping is simple, though – it’s a way for someone to show appreciation for a job well done. Tipping is a discretionary decision that someone chooses to make based on the experience and service they received. But although the purpose is simple, it seems that nowadays more and more people see tipping as an expectation rather than a gesture.

As I often say to my couples when this topic comes up – Tipping is a courtesy…not a requirement.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I do genuinely believe in tipping and am known to tip quite well. But I believe in tipping based on the quality of service and experience. I don’t believe in tipping out of expectation or a feeling of obligation.

As mentioned above, wedding tipping is not a clear and dry topic. It truly is a discretionary practice that only you can decide upon. So, what’s the golden rule to wedding tipping….

If the person providing the service owns the company, you do not need to tip them.

For example, if you hire a DJ company to provide music at your wedding and the owner of the company is the one that provides the service, it is not necessary for you to tip him. However, if an employee of the company is the one who provides the service on your wedding day, you should consider tipping them if you were pleased with the service and experience provided.

What’s the logic behind this ‘golden rule’, you ask?

Well, simply put, it is assumed that the owner of the company is already making a profit off of your business rather than only being compensated for their time as an employee would. They set the pricing structure for their company’s services and in doing so, they factor in the operational and overhead costs of the business along with including the desired profit margin for themselves.

Use the golden rule to help you create a list of which vendors you wish to tip.

If you would like a better idea of how much you should tip each vendor, I might suggest heading over to Pinterest where you’ll find many wedding tipping resources. But, be careful – allowing yourself to get caught up in all of the fancy charts and grids can create a false sense of obligation and requirement.

At the end of the day, who you tip and what you tip is 100% up to you!

Top 5 Tips for Wedding Tipping

  1. Know Your Vendor Contracts.
    Some vendors, such as a caterer, may include a gratuity amount within the terms of their contract. If so, you do not need to tip these individuals further unless you truly wish to.
  2. Think Proactively.
    Include vendor tipping within your initial budget. This will help you determine what you can afford to spend on tipping. It will also help to remove unneeded stress days before your wedding.
  3. Don’t Get Stuck On What The Industry Says You Should Tip.
    Your tipping should be based on only two things – the level of service and experience that you received & what your budget allows. If you are already over budget, then monetary tipping likely isn’t your best course of action. See next tip.
  4. Money Isn’t The Only Way to Tip.
    If your budget doesn’t allow for tipping, consider an alternative method of showing your gratitude. A small gift, a thoughtful thank you card, or a well-written testimonial, are all great ways to show your appreciation. Many vendors hold a lot of value in these personalized ‘thank yous’. Some even prefer them to receiving a cash tip.
  5. Always Remember – Tipping is a Courtesy…Not a Requirement.
    You should never feel obligated to give a tip. Tip because you want to reward someone for providing you with a great experience and great service.

Katrina Scarlett, Wedding Coach

Do you have any questions or comments? I’d love to hear from you –