You may be wondering whether or not you are to tip or not to tip your wedding vendors. Don’t worry, you’re not alone! This is a very popular question among wedding Facebook groups and forums and there never seems to be a direct answer. That is, until this blog.

The Wedding Blue Book is breaking down the in’s and out’s of wedding gratuity for Arkansas-related vendors. If you don’t see a vendor your working with listed below, leave a comment or shoot us an email at

Let us start by saying that gratuities are not expected by every vendor. However, there are vendors that you need to respectfully tip (i.e. caterers, hair and makeup artist, and bartenders). It is important that you also check all of your contracts as sometimes gratuities may have already been included in your balance owed to help eliminate confusion. If this is the case, tipping is not required. But, if you find that a wedding vendor has gone above and beyond and you’d like to tip more, you may.

to tip or not to tip

Gratuity Breakdowns


Not required, but a nice gesture to tip at least $20.


10-15% of alcohol tab, if gratuity isn’t included in balance due

OR if you brought in the alcohol $50 per bartender, if allowing a tip jar

If not wanting a tip jar out for guests, $50-$75 per bartender

Cake Artist + Sweet Treats, Florist, and Other Deliveries

No tip required, but $15-$20 for dropping off and setting up cake(s), florals, etc. is always a nice gesture


15-20% of the food bill, if gratuity is not included in balance due

OR $100 per lead chef and $50 per server

Hair + Makeup Artist

15-20% of service, if not included in balance due

Music + Entertainment

We recommend tipping a band and/or ceremony musicians. For musicians who only played for the ceremony or cocktail hour, consider $20 per person. If having a band, consider $50 per talent.

Then, for a DJ, a tip is never expected, but if your DJ goes above and beyond consider $100-$150.

Photo Booth Assistant

$20-$40 is recommended if not included in balance due


Officiants associated with a church cannot accept tips, but you should offer a donation of at least $100. If not associated with a church, tipping $50-$100 is recommend.

Photographer + Videographer

No tip required, but if you feel they’ve gone above and beyond a $100-$200 tip is always nice gesture


Not required, but $20 per person who is unloading and reloading your rentals at the end of the night is always a nice gesture, especially if they help set the rentals.

Transportation + Getaway Car

10-15% of bill, if not included in balance due


$1-2 per car


Not required, but if a venue coordinator has gone above and beyond, you can always tip, give a nice gift, and/or leave a glowing review.

Wait Staff

If you’ve booked extra wait staff or a set-up crew, it’s recommended to tip $20-$50 per person dependent on job tasks if not already included in balance due.

Wedding Planner

Not required, but a tip or a gift is a nice way of saying “thank-you” for everything they’ve helped you with.

Important Thing to Note

Remember that tips are meant to serve as rewards for excellent service, so if you have the extra funds, it’s always a nice courtesy to tip. I promise your vendors will not be expecting it and it always makes their entire week.

And, if you really, really want to make your wedding vendors day, make sure to also leave them a glowing 5-star review on Facebook, Google, and wherever else you can leave them a review! You don’t have to type a different review for each platform they have. Simply copy and paste the review to all platforms. We promise this makes a vendors day and means the world to them when they receive a positive 5-star reviews.

We hope this blog helps when you are finalizing payments for your wedding date. For more planning tips, click here.

And, if there’s a wedding topic you’d like to see The WBB cover, send us an email to

Happy Planning!

Wedding Advice

To Tip or Not To Tip: Understanding Wedding Gratuity