Who Should You Tip On Your Wedding Day?

Who Should You Tip On Your Wedding Day?

Should you tip your wedding suppliers? It’s one of those awkward questions that comes up for couples again and again. Your suppliers have been an integral part of making your dream day come true, but also they have already quoted you a cost that they feel is fair for the expert work they do.

We asked this question on Instagram Stories and a whopping 82% of you said no, you should not tip your wedding supplier. Some wedding suppliers even got in touch to tell us that tipping is not expected at all. But several brides- and grooms-to-be did slide into our DMs to ask about the etiquette around tipping, and as always we are here to help.

Photo by The Wedding Illustrator

So here we answer, who should you tip on your wedding day, how much the should tip be, and how do you ensure the right person gets it. So while there are no hard and fast rules on wedding tipping – we’re even divided here at One Fab Day HQ on where we stand – we did put together tips to help guide you through the gratuity minefield!

Are You Obliged to Tip Your Wedding Suppliers?

In a nutshell, no!

Tipping is quite a cultural phenomenon, so while our American audience might be wincing at this, in Ireland or the UK, there’s no obligation to tip on your wedding day. It is appreciated, particularly by waiters and bar staff, but for many couples, even those who may have intended to tip, there’s simply not enough left in the pot by the time their wedding day rolls around, and suppliers are keenly aware of this.

Who Should You Tip on your Wedding Day?

Think about who you tip in everyday life. It’s different from person to person, but generally, it’s delivery people and service staff, so the same goes for your wedding. Most wedding suppliers are small business owners, so it’s likely your florist, your photographer or your band are self-employed, so the full fee you pay for their service (minus their expenses, of course) goes to them. Because of this – as some photographers told us – it can actually be a little awkward if a couple tries to tip.

If, however, you get your hair done by a hair stylist in a salon (rather than a freelance stylist) or if your tables are dropped off by a delivery driver from a big hire company, then they are probably on an hourly rate or salary, and less likely to receive anything close to the fee you’ve paid for the service.

The same rule applies for the waiting, kitchen and bar staff on the day of your wedding – yes, you might be paying a lot for your reception or your catering, but if they were working in a restaurant, they’d probably get a tip from every table. Again, that doesn’t mean you’re obliged to tip, but if you’re considering giving some of your suppliers a little extra, the venue staff should be near the top of your list.

Also if you’re having a Catholic wedding, it’s also customary to tip the altar servers.

How Much Should You Tip?

Again, this is where culture comes in. For service, it’s generally 10-15%, so for your kitchen and service staff, your total food bill might serve as a barometer. Alternatively, you can ask your venue how many members of staff will be working on the day, and assign a tip for each of them. For delivery people, hairstylists or makeup artists, a small note of five or ten is generally appreciated – again though, it’s proportional to how much you’ve spent.

How Do You Make Sure the Tip Goes to the Right Person?

Have tip envelopes ready to go ahead of your wedding, so you’re not worrying about finding cash on the day. Of course, if the service isn’t up to scratch, you don’t have to give them out, but being prepared means that you can give the money directly to the appropriate person and you’re not fiddling around looking for change.

When it comes to the venue staff, give a card with cash in an envelope, saying who exactly the money is for, whether it’s just for the service staff, or if it’s for the venue coordinator or management too. You’ll probably have a good rapport with your venue and most share tips with staff, but if in doubt, get a groomsman or bridesmaid to ask one of the wait staff if they receive the tip, before you give one. Some less-than-savoury restaurant owners hang on to the service charge rather than sharing it out, and while it’s not as common in wedding venues, it’s a good idea to check.

What If a Service Fee Is Already Included?

While this is more common in restaurant wedding venues than hotels or exclusive hires, always check if a service fee is included before you tip. If you’re already paying 12.5% on top of your bill, there’s no need to add a tip on top of that!

We hope this helps with any tipping dilemmas – if you’ve got any other thoughts and suggestions, hit us up on Instagram. Another question that has couples scratching their heads: Why Are Weddings So Expensive?

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