(Closed) Tipping your vendors? Feeding them, too?- confused!

posted 8 years ago in Money
Post # 3
2362 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2010 - New York Botanical Garden

Haha, I like…”the usual” including a mariachi band – that’s awesome!

I am not sure on this, but I would definitely inquire about vendor meal prices, ours are signifigantly (like 50%) less than the regular meal

I think you do need to tip everyone though – that’s just what I have heard!  For the priest, as long as you are already paying an honorarium, you could potentially make a donation to the church, or something like that.

I’m interested to hear what others have to say about this too!

Post # 4
1566 posts
Bumble bee

My call: 

Priest – don’t tip; usually he would be invited to the reception, and if he RSVPs yes, you would obviously feed him

Singer – don’t tip or feed

Mariachi – if the contract doesn’t mention feeding them, don’t, but do tip

DJ, photo, video – Tip and feed

Post # 5
354 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2009

For tipping, the general guideline I’ve heard for weddings is to tip anyone who isn’t the owner of his/her business. So if you hired Joe Smith DJ, and Joe Smith is your DJ, you don’t need to tip him. But if you hired Joe Smith DJ Company, and Bob Jones is your DJ, you should tip him. Check your venue/caterer contract for waitstaff and bar tender tipping – it’s often included in the contract – if it’s not, you need to tip them.

For feeding vendors, it’s nice if you can feed anyone who will be there for a good chunk of your day and will be present at meal time. So IMO, photographer/videographer – yes, soloist and Mariachi band – no. It’s traditional to invite the officiant to your reception, and you’d need to feed him a guest meal and not a vendor meal if you do this. This may be one of those ettiquete things that’s fallen out of vogue, though? Before you start ordering meals, check with your vendors to make sure they want to be fed by letting them know ahead of time that you will be providing food if they would like it. We didn’t check with some of our vendors before we ordered their meals, and they chose not to eat – in retrospect, it would have been nice not to have paid for the uneaten meals 🙂

Post # 7
2397 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2010

Good advice, owlbride!  Makes sense to me 🙂 

Post # 8
1001 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2010

What if my meal is a buffet?  It seems pretty obscene to have to tip when we’re serving ourselves.  My contract mentions nothing.

Post # 9
1079 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

owlbride’s advice sounds good to me! We are also having a buffet – 10% tip is built into our cost, but I don’t know about tips beyond that for the men/women who are keeping the platters full, consolidating leftovers, etc.

Post # 10
2186 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

FYI – as far as feeding vendors, it doesnt have to be the same meal the wedding guests are eating. seriously it can be a pizza or a boxed lunch type meal, but if they are working more than 3 hours (i.e. dj, photographer, etc) you dont want them fading so provide a bit of nosh and at least water to keep them on top of their game and its a nice thing to do!


Post # 11
22 posts
  • Wedding: July 2010

I am so glad you asked this question, because we are at the point where we were thinking about this same question. I had heard, like owlbride pointed out, that you tip anyone who is not the owner of the business.  

What do you all think about these scenarios though?

1. Our officiant is a friend of ours (a Judge), and he is not charging.  He’s not a really close friend, but we have hung out socially, and we both work with him in different ways.  I was thinking we should get him a gift card to a restaurant?  What would be an appropriate amount?  He and his wife are invited to the reception.


2.  Our DJ is also a friend, but again, not a close one.  He is a friend/co-worker’s significant other, but he is charging us very little, much, much less than any other DJ we would have hired.  Maybe get him a gift card too?


As a side note, our videography and photography contracts include feeding them, so you may want to check that, because you might be required to feed some of your vendors!  I do remember a lot of photographers that we met with including that in their contracts.   

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