Planning a wedding is stressful and difficult. You have to think about all of the deposits to put down and pay the rest of the fees before the wedding for the venue.  One of the things you may not know when planning a wedding budget, is that some venues or vendors expect additional wedding tips. These may not always be necessary, but it is polite. 


If you have been budgeting but still don’t have enough to tip everyone who is helping you make your dream wedding, there are some alternatives to consider. Here is the ultimate list of vendors you may need to tip at your wedding. 

Who You Need To Tip

When you are putting together your wedding budget, you need to keep the tips you will want to give out. This can add a decent amount of money to your budget, and it’s best to think about it before your wedding day. 


Before you plan on who you tip, you need to take a look at the mock invoices or the contracts you’ve signed. These should state whether gratuity is already included; if it isn’t, here is a list that might help you figure out what money you need to set aside for wedding tips. 


To start off the list, you should always consider your photographer. Chances are, this is a part of your wedding that will cost the most. Most photographers do expect a tip of $100, but not all photographers expect wedding tips. However, they may expect you to tip their assistants who came along to help. 

Waitstaff and Caterers

Sometimes in the contract you sign for catering, gratuity will already be included. If you feel like this is not enough, $10 per person is a really nice gesture for them. Keep in mind that these servers are not expecting tips like a server at a restaurant is. It will be completely up to you. 


Every package will be different. If you are hosting an open bar, they may include it in the total. However, if you have a cocktail hour and then let the guests pay for the rest of their drinks, they may leave out a tip jar so the guests can tip. This takes the pressure off you. 


The best way to determine if you need to tip the bartender is to read your contract. If you need to leave a wedding tip, save up to 20% of the total bill. Some venues will only let you bring wine or beer for the event and you will need to figure out how much needs to be there and who will serve it. 

Catering or Banquet Manager

Often, you will be working directly with the banquet manager, who works closely with the venue. You will need to set aside money for this person, especially if it is not included in the final bill. You can expect to pay between $200-$500 for their services. If you do not have the money on hand, you may be able to wait until after the wedding to send it. Read your contract to ensure this is okay. 

Hair and Makeup

This person acts as an on-the-go salon. You will need to pay 15%-20% of the total bill. This will be due on the day of the wedding. 

DJs or Musicians

Sometimes tips will be included in the contract. If not, you can expect to pay between $25-$50 per person. Keep in mind there may be other people who help set up the DJ booth or sound equipment. 

Who You Don’t Need To Tip

We know there are tons of things to keep in mind when you are looking at budgets. It can be stressful thinking about tipping on top of what you’re already paying. Luckily, there are a few people who are not expecting tips from you. The baker, wedding planner, and florist will not be expecting a tip from you. This can make it much easier to work with them. 

What To Do If You Can’t Afford a Tip?

If there is nothing in your contract about giving wedding tips, there might be other options for you. To show your gratitude, you can set a well-thought-out gift aside for the banquet manager. A small gift basket with some money is a really nice gesture when you can’t afford a 500 dollar tip. 


Another nice way to leave something that means a lot to a company is a good review. This can boost how much traffic they get to their website and may lead to future bookings. The last thing you can try is to leave them a personal thank you note. This can mean a lot, and you can always tell them when to expect your tip in the thank you note.