Do you need to tip a wedding photographer or other vendors? We break down the etiquette and expectations for you.
Weddings planning can leave you with dozens of etiquette questions you never thought you’d have to answer.
Does someone special need to take grandma to her seat before the ceremony?
Do I need to get a corsage for the second wife of my stepmother’s husband?
What am I supposed to do with a present that someone hands me in the middle of the wedding reception?
But one of the questions that trips couples up is the question of tipping.
Weddings are often expensive, so adding on tips for wedding vendors can feel like an extra, unnecessary cost. But are there times it’s necessary or expected?
Etiquette for tipping wedding vendors
First, keep in mind that tips are always voluntary. You aren’t required to tip anyone, and your guests definitely shouldn’t be responsible for tips! If anyone puts out a tip jar during your wedding reception, you are fully entitled to ask them to put it away.
That said, there are times when tips are expected. Consider getting a haircut. The salon or barber shop will charge a fee, and you know only part of that goes to the person who actually cut your hair. So it’s a kind gesture — a way to show respect for the work and gratitude for the personal attention — to offer a tip in addition to the cost of the service.
Tipping wedding vendors is similar. If the service performed is particularly personal, if the vendor went above and beyond the job description, or if you want to show extra gratitude for a job very well done, tipping is appropriate.
Tips are also a nice way of showing your appreciation if you caused inconvenience to a vendor, for example by forgetting to give them a key they needed or making them wait longer than expected. You can also offer tips to staff hired by the main vendor, such as servers or bartenders hired by your catering company.
Should you tip your wedding photographer?
So does that mean you should tip your wedding photographer?
In most areas, it’s common to offer wedding photographers a tip as a token of appreciation. After all, they’ve been with you all day, on their feet, performing a personal and special service. They may have helped with wedding planning, advised you on photo locations, or taken charge of getting photo permits that you needed.
Tipping your wedding photographer is also a way of showing respect for the photographer’s professionalism and expertise, along with the experience they’ve acquired over years of work.
In general, a tip is a way to say thank you for a job well done. It’s not required, but it is a generous gesture that tells the experts surrounding you that you appreciate everything they’ve done to help create the wedding day of your dreams.
So how much should you tip your wedding photographer?
That will vary depending on where you live and how long the photographer was with you that day. If you’re getting married in Manhattan, for example, you’ll probably give a larger tip than you would in Middletown. If your photographer was with you twelve hours on your wedding day, that would call for a bigger tip than someone who was only taking photos for five hours.
In general, 10% is a good rule of thumb for tipping wedding vendors, or a minimum of $20. It’s enough to show your appreciation for the work they’ve done… but it won’t feel like you’re paying for another vendor on top of the ones you’ve already hired.
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Location: Manhattan New York.