The wedding vendors you should tip and how much to budget
- July 27, 2023
- 3 min read
Best practices for tipping vendors
Ways service charges can appear in contracts
How to organize your payments
Whether you’re DIY-ing a backyard bash or letting a planner handle the details of your ballroom-based nuptials, there’s no avoiding the truth: Wedding costs add up quickly. Don’t let vendor fees and payment schedules sticker shock you. Take a deep breath, and let us help you out.
To tip or not to tip?
When it comes to tipping wedding vendors, there is no universal standard.
For some vendors, such as makeup artists, hair stylists and catering staff, tipping a percentage of the cost — between 10% and 25% — is standard based on the level of service. Other vendors, like a DJ, photographer or officiant, are often tipped a flat dollar amount, typically between $50 and $150. And finally, you might tip wedding staff, like the valet, parking attendants or coat room attendants on a per-guest basis.
Review the fine print
When you book your vendors, read the contracts carefully and closely review what is included. Some vendors might include gratuity or service charges within their price. Some, like the venue, may require an upfront deposit and then ask that you pay the remainder closer to the actual date. Others may allow you to pay in installments while some may require the full payment at the time of booking. Some might even ask for payment after the event.
Research and book vendors early
As you start to book vendors, it’s a good idea to get multiple quotes. And remember, the earlier you book, the more options (and negotiating power) you’ll have.
Spend some time looking into the prices for specific vendors. If you have friends or family that were married nearby, ask for recommendations and referrals. Be sure to compare companies and providers for things like the venue, florist, music, cake and catering.
If you need help keeping track of your budget as you plan, consider creating wedding buckets to stay organized. With the savings buckets feature included in your Ally Bank Savings Account , you can create up to 10 digital envelopes (like DJ, venue, officiant, tips) to organize your dollars directly within your account. By factoring tips into your total vendor cost even before you book, you can be ready to focus on your big day and not your budget.
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