Tipping at weddings can be a controversial topic, and there are pros and cons to consider before taking the big step to tipping your hardworking vendors. We hope from this, you are able to formulate your own opinion and do what works best for you.
Shows appreciation: Tipping vendors, such as the DJ, photographer, and servers, is a way to show appreciation for their hard work and dedication to making your wedding day special. These individuals work hard, so the act of giving them something extra is always a kind gesture.
Encourages better service: Tipping can motivate some vendors to go above and beyond to provide excellent service and attention to detail.
Establishes a relationship: By tipping, you can establish a good relationship with your vendors, which can come in handy if you need to work with them again in the future.
Customary: Tipping is customary in many parts of the world, so it may be expected by vendors.
Adds to the cost: Tipping can add a significant amount to the cost of your wedding, which can be a burden on your budget. To avoid this, plan ahead to organize your budget to include any tips/emergency funds to cover any surprises in the final stretch.
Can create awkwardness: Tipping can create awkwardness and uncertainty, as you may not know how much to tip or who to tip. Don't overthink or stress this area. If you are unsure, communicating with vendors can be helpful.
May not be necessary: Some vendors may include gratuity in their fees, so tipping may not be necessary. Read and familarize yourself with contracts.
May not guarantee better service: Tipping does not necessarily guarantee better service, as vendors should already be providing their best efforts regardless of a potential tip. So be sure to give the tip without an expectation for a return of something above their normal work level.
Ultimately, whether or not to tip at a wedding is a personal decision that should be based on your budget, expectations, and cultural norms. If you do decide to tip, make sure to do so in a thoughtful and appropriate manner.
Extra tip about tips?
Pre-label your tips and organize them in separate envelopes. Including a short note of thanks can be a greater gesture and adds a sentimental element.
Typically the parent/side who paid the vendor is the person who submits the tip, so it may be helpful to check your budget for easier separation. Here's some figures to assist with your decision.
DJ 15% of the total fee
Transportation 15-20% per driver
Musician $25-50 per artist if not included in their original rate