Showing your Gratitude with Gratuities

Simple guide on how to tip vendors after putting on a great event!

Knowing who and how much to tip your vendors and their employees can be overwhelming and possibly uncomfortable. This quick guide should help ease your concerns. Some amount of gratuity is "expected" or customary. Most of the time, gratuity is the standard 15%-20%, but sometimes it is based on the number of guests. However, gratuity should be viewed as a way to reward exemplary performance and personal attention.


Beauty (Expected): 15% to 20%

This would be for services such as: Hair, Make-Up, and/or Nails. Gratuity would be similar to what you would give during a normal hair/nail appointment.


Venue (Expected): - 15% to 20%

Most of the time, gratuity is included in the contract.

Additional venue staff gratuity:

  • Coat Room / Bathroom Attendant: $1-$2 / guest

  • Parking Attendant: $1-$2 / vehicle

  • Waitstaff: $20-$50 / employee

If the ceremonial venue is being performed at a place of worship, free of charge, consider making a donation of $250-$500. If there is a fee to use the space, consider a donation of $50-$100. This is not expected.


Catering (Expected): - 15% to 20%

Most of the time, gratuity is included in the contract.

Additional catering staff gratuity:

  • Catering Manager: $100-$200

  • Chef: $50-$100 / employee

  • Waiters/Butlers: $20-$50 / employee

  • Bartender: $20-$25 /employee OR 10% of Beverage Total


Transportation/Parking (Expected): - 15% to 20%

Most of the time, gratuity is included in the contract for Limos/Town cars, Specialty Vehicles, Buses, etc..

Additional transportation/parking staff gratuity:

  • Parking Attendant: $1-$2 / vehicle

  • Valet: 15%


Officiant: $100

If the officiant won't accept tips, consider donating to their place of worship.


Photographer/Videographer: $50-$200

Lead photographer/videographer would be compensated on the higher end of the range, while an assistant would be compensated on the lower end. Also consider if the professional is the owner if their company or if they are employed or contracted. Typically, you would not provide a gratuity to the owner of the company.


Cake/Dessert Designer: $5-$10

This amount could be per delivery or per employee that comes to set up.


Rental/Decor: $5-$10

This amount could be per delivery or per employee that comes to set up.


Entertainment: $20-$150, up to 15%

If hiring a DJ, consider $50-$150 OR 15%. If hiring live musicians for ceremony and/or reception, consider $20+ per musician/sound tech.


Florist: $50-$200

Could also consider the generic 15%-20%.


Additional Tips:

  • For the day of the event, provide your Planner with all gratuities, separated into labeled envelopes.

  • If your budget does not allow you to show your gratitude through monetary means, you may show your gratitude by sending handwritten Thank-You's, providing photos from your event that they can use for marketing purposes, providing a 5-star review on all their platforms, sending referrals, etc.

  • Contact Vendors/Venues to receive a staff count when preparing gratuities OR obtain count from your Planner.


1st Capital Events, LLC | York, PA | 717-683-8127

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