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A Wedding Planner's Guide on Gratuities

Updated: Jan 23, 2023

A wedding planner's best practices regarding vendor gratuities.

Our couples ask us questions around gratuities often, so have no fear - we're here to clear the air! As a wedding planner for over 100 weddings, we've seen it all.

It can be overwhelming to think about tipping your wedding vendors. Do all vendors expect a tip at the end of the night? Which ones? What is the proper amount? Who should be responsible for handing them out? Read on to find out more.

Some vendors build gratuity into their pricing.

It's important to review your contracts before making any decisions regarding gratuity. If you've already paid gratuity in your first, second or final payment, then additional gratuity is not expected. Contract reviews are included in all of our packages at Calico, so we can help you read between the lines.

Did my vendor go "above and beyond?"

If the answer is yes, then you should feel more conformable providing some form of gratuity. Remember that you are paying for a specific service, and if your hair and makeup artist, photographer or wedding planner has provided above and beyond what you contracted with them for, then feel free to throw in a little extra!

Prepare your tips in advance.

The last thing you want to be thinking about as you walk through your sparkler exit are those blank checks sitting in your getting ready bag that you forgot to fill out. Your wedding planner will almost always be willing to pass these out for you on the day of. At Calico, we pass gratuities out at the end of the wedding night. We want to make sure your vendor team puts their best foot forward ;)

10-20% of your total invoice is a good rule of thumb.

It's more customary to tip your delivery people, wait staff and valet attendants a little less, but the discretion is ALWAYS yours.

Ran out of budget? We understand. Planning a wedding can be expensive. One way to mitigate this is to build gratuities into your already existing budget, before you get started with the planning. You can certainly thank your vendors in additional ways; by providing them a small gift or gift card, or writing a 5-star review on their preferred platform(s).


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