Your wedding vendors are an essential part of your wedding day. Your photographers, videographers, florist, baker, DJ, caterers, and venue managers will all come together to—hopefully—pull the day off without a hitch! Yes, you’re paying them the big bucks, but wedding vendors who do such an outstanding job deserve a little extra credit.
So when they exceed your expectations, it’s nice to show your wedding vendors a little gratitude. Here are some ideas of how to show appreciation to your team of rockstar vendors.
First things first…
1. Tip them. This one’s an obvious choice. Everyone likes a little financial reminder that they did a great job, and in the US, tips are customary in certain scenarios. Here’s how much we suggest you tip different wedding vendors (read more on tipping wedding vendors here).
Photographer: Some photographers, particularly those who own their business, don’t need tips. But if they’re shooting for a larger company, $50-$100.
Videographers: Same rules as the photographer.
Makeup and hair: Tips are customary for your stylists; they typically expect between 15-20%.
Florists: Florists aren’t customarily tipped.
Waitstaff: Many venues will include tips for waitstaff in your overall bill. If not, it’s just like eating at a restaurant—a tip of 15-20% is expected.
Bartender: If the bar is hosted, it’s customary to give the bartender a 15-20% tip. If it’s a cash bar, ask your bartender if they’d like to put out a tip jar.
Officiant: It’s customary to give the officiant a tip of around $100.
Venue: If you’re getting married in a church or other religious building, it’s customary to give at least a $500 donation in thanksgiving.
Driver: Give your limo—or party bus—driver a 15-20% tip to thank them for a job well done.
Band: Bands typically get between $100-200.
DJ: Tipping a DJ isn’t expected. But if you choose to, $50-100 is a good range.
Wedding planner: Typically, you don’t tip wedding or event planners.
2. Leave reviews on sites like Yelp and Wedding Wire. Many brides find their wedding vendors on these sites, and leaving specific, positive reviews will greatly help your vendors find new clients! The more reviews a vendor has, the easier it is to find them on many review sites. So you’re helping them cut their marketing budget as well!
3. Refer them to your friends. If you have a friend who’s about to walk down the aisle and they’re on a hunt for a photographer, point them towards yours! Word-of-mouth referrals are a great way for them to drum up new business. Spread the word about how great they were on Facebook or Instagram, as well. Instagram is a major way that couples find their wedding photographers, so posting your photos with popular hashtags (#MinnesotaWedding, for example) can help brides pair up with their perfect photographer.
4. Send them photos from the day. For instance, have your photographer take a few great shots of your wedding cake and ask for permission to give it to your cake baker. Then, they can add it to their portfolio—it’ll look much cooler at the wedding than it did in their shop and can help them show their best work to potential new clients. Same goes for the headpiece you ordered from an Etsy shop or your invitation suite purchased from a local business. It could be another way to help them with marketing.
The sweetest touch…
5. Consider sending a handwritten thank-you note to any vendors that went above and beyond. Was it their job? Yes. But on the most important day of your life, the little things—like a florist who fixes your bouquet last minute and a band that was right on time—make a huge difference. Show them you appreciate them with a heartfelt card within 3-4 weeks after your wedding. Tell the DJ how much your grandma loved grooving on the dance floor, or tell the photographers how thankful you are that they suggested those sunset shots!
Do one or all of these to give your wedding vendors the thanks they deserve. Everyone appreciates a little gratitude! Even though you may be exhausted from the festivities, it’s important to remember to thank those who helped make the day such a success.