Wedding Sites & Services Blog

Tips on Tipping: Spruce Mountain’s Guide to Showing your Gratuity

You have planned and budgeted for every detail and vendor but then you realize, you are completely baffled on which of your vendors to tip and how much! Well we have put together a little guide for you on general suggestions for gratuity for your wedding vendors.

As you read though, keep in mind that tipping vendors is never obligatory, that a tip is a way of acknowledging excellent service and showing your appreciation, that being said though, you would not leave a restaurant without tipping! So, let’s begin our guide to help you navigate your way through gratuity on your special day.


Wedding caterer serving a tray of passed hors d'oeuvres

Photo Credit: Carrie King Photography
Biscuits & Berries Catering 



A lot of catering companies include gratuity for their workers in their contract but do your due diligence with confirming that on your contract. If the tip is not included, plan on tipping all the staff members including the catering manager, waiters, bartenders, chefs and any other necessary staff your event requires to provide your guests with the best service.

A good rule of thumb when calculating a tip is to calculate as a percentage of the cost of your total food bill, pre-taxed. You can figure on paying about 15 to 20 percent of the amount for the catering manager to share with the other staff. Or, often more of an economical method, can be to offer a flat amount for each worker. Typical tips include $100 to $200 for the catering manager, $50 for each chef, and $30 for each server and kitchen staff divided into separate envelopes. You can pay the tips ahead of time to the catering company or hand them to the catering manager near the end of the event.


Wedding beverage catering company serving champagne cocktails

Photo Credit: Carrie King Photography
Peak Beverage Catering 


PEAK Beverage Company:

Similar to our catering companies, you can have PEAK Beverage include a gratuity in your contract to be divided up among the workers but again, check to make sure whether it was added or was not. Many times the gratuity in the contract goes directly to your sales person but not necessarily those individuals actually working your event. A great way to decipher an appropriate tip is by using the total of the pre-tax liquor bill. You can figure on paying about 10 to 15 percent of the total liquor bill pre-tax.


Wedding floral centerpiece

Photo credit: Carrie King Photography
Park Floral Design



If you feel the florist went above and beyond with their design and customer service it is a nice gesture to tip about 10 percent.


Wedding photography: a bride and groom's wedding day photos by a lake

Photo Credit: Sarah Roshan Photographer

Photographers & Videographers:

An average tip for your photographers and/or videographers is $50 to $200. If there were several photographers and/or videographers, giving $50 to $100 tip to each of them is optional.


Wedding musicians perform with stringed instruments on stage

Photo Credit: Carrie King

Musicians and DJs:

A 10 to 15 percent tip is a great gesture especially if they carry a lot of equipment for your event which they usually do! For musicians, a $25 to $50 tip per band member is appropriate. 


Rustic wedding placecards and menu

Photo Credit: Carrie King Photographer
Sarah Viera Events

Wedding Coordinator: 

This is a trickier one because there is not a general rule about tipping wedding planners. If you feel, however, that yours has gone above and beyond for you, a wonderful way to show your gratitude could be expressed in many different ways. Though a monetary tip is the simplest way, you can always give them a gift certificate to a spa or restaurant, or send flowers and be sure to include a hand-written note, your planner will treasure it!


Group photo of the staff of Spruce Mountain Ranch

Photo Credit: Carrie King Photographer
Spruce Mountain Ranch Staff

Spruce Mountain Property Manager:

When it comes to tipping your Property Manager there is not a typical amount to resort to. Your Property Manager is the person behind your event, supporting your wedding planner, your caterers and your Peak beverage crew to make sure your event is seamless, the venue is immaculate, your vendors are communicating effectively and your guests are feeling at home. They are typically working a 12-hour day for your event and any amount of gratuity is greatly appreciated. 


Wedding stylist creating beautiful hair and makeup for a bride

Photo Credit: From The Hip Photo

Stylist and Make-up Artists:

You can tip your hairstylist and/or make-up artists similarly to what you would for a regular appointment, about 15 to 20 percent.


Wedding officiant performing a ceremony for a bride and groom in from of the wedding party

Photo Credit: Lisa O'Dwyer Photo


While it is not necessary to tip priests, ministers, rabbis or other religious officiants (many will not accept cash tips), you can always thank them by making a donation to their house of worship or organization which typically is around $75 to $200. If you belong to the church that your officiant is from and they perform your ceremony at no charge, it is always a great idea to show your appreciation through a gift such as a certificate to a nice restaurant. If your ceremony is performed by a civil employee, do not worry about a tip or donation, it often is against the law for them to accept.


Couple with a Rolls Royce limousine on their wedding day

Photo Credit: Rachel Havel


15 percent tip is optional if it is not already included in your contract.

We hoped this helped! And to end, we offer you some wise words from Mark Twain, “To get the full value of joy, you must have someone to divide it with.” Happy wedding planning!

A BIG Spruce Mountain THANK YOU to Sarah from Sarah Viera Events for helping us create this guide!

Many thanks to Spruce Mountain Ranch for this blog. For more information, please visit them here.


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