One of the most frequently asked questions that we receive is regarding vendor tipping. We are even starting to incorporate this information into our initial consultation so you can plan around it. The amount to tip vendors is very subjective. It can really be all across the board so all we can do is guide you based on what we typically see for vendor tips.
There are two ways to tip: by percentage of total bill or by worker. Because we are in the service industry, about half of the tips given are done as a percentage of the total bill (between 15% and 20%) for each vendor and it gets divided amongst the total staff that worked on an event. Some of our clients tip per worker. Either option is normal and accepted.
Tipping is based on your preference and is done based on how you see fit.
Here are the ranges of what we usually see -
Lighting installers- $20 - $50 per worker
Rental delivery guys- $10 - $20 per worker
DJ- $200 - $500
Budgets of $30k under usually tip on the lower end of that while budgets over $30k is when we see this shift.
Band- $25 - $50 per band member
Bartender Staff- $50 - $100 per bartender, unless there is a tip jar
Catering Service Staff- $20 - $50 per person, with the chef and catering manager both being tipped $50 - $100 each
This is usually tipped as about 18% of the food cost and is typically already contracted into the bill.
Baker- $20 - $50
Floral- $25 - $50 per person or 10% of the total bill pre-tax
Photography & Videographer- $150 - $300 and the second shooter is tipped from $50 - $150
Hair & Make Up- 20%
Planners and Coordinators- We see a wide range of tipping in our category. Everything from gift cards and jewelry to monetary tipping ranging from $100-1000 or even a percentage varying from 10-20%. It can also depend on the level of service booked.
Some Notes On Tipping -
You are more than welcome to write a check to each vendor, but cash is usually the preferred method of tipping.
If you would like to tip in cash you can place each vendor's tip in a separate envelope.
Also, don’t forget to write a review or a handwritten thank you note. Your words of affirmation mean the world to your vendors and reviews allow for business growth, assuring future clients with the same peace of mind you had when booking your vendors.
Happy to help with other gratuity questions as you have them!
Amber and Team