Do You Tip the Wedding Venue?

open glass jar filled with money with a tip sticker on the side

Prepping for your wedding day entails a whirlwind of emotions, countless details and usually some sort of team effort from wedding planners to photographers and caterers. Are you wondering who you should tip and if the venue itself should be included? If you’ve completely neglected or are confused about tipping in your wedding budget, here’s some advice on who to tip at your wedding, and approximately how much you need to budget for each type of service. 

Tipping the Wedding Venue: Etiquette and Essential Info

Just when you think you’ve accounted for every imaginable wedding expense, there is one fee you may have forgotten: tipping. It’s kind but totally optional to tip the wedding venue staff. If the venue charges a service fee or gratuity charge as part of the contract, you’re definitely not obligated to provide any additional tip; you can however tip extra if you feel the staff provided exceptional service.

  • Gratuity Included in Contract: Many wedding venue contracts now include a service charge or automatic gratuity. This fee is typically a percentage of the total venue cost and is intended to be distributed among the venue staff. Carefully review your contract to see if gratuity is already included. If it is, then additional tipping isn’t necessary.
  • Service Charge vs. Tip: It’s important to understand the distinction between a service charge and a tip. A service charge is a mandatory fee, while a tip is an optional way to show your appreciation for exceptional service.

Tipping the staff at your wedding venue is ultimately a personal decision and will be impacted by your contract and overall experience. If the venue staff went above and beyond to make your wedding day exceptional, then added gratuity is a thoughtful gesture. A heartfelt thank you note or a glowing online review can also go a long way in expressing your appreciation to the venue and staff.

Who to Tip on Your Wedding Day

First things first, consult your wedding vendor contracts since many contracts nowadays include a gratuity clause or service charge. This fee, typically a percentage of the total cost, is intended to be distributed among the staff. If a service charge is included, tipping those specific vendors might not be necessary. A service charge is a mandatory fee, while a tip is an optional way to show your appreciation for exceptional service that went above and beyond what was outlined in the contract.

Here are some vendors who will likely be deserving of a gratuity:

  • Venue Coordinator: Your venue coordinator is your wedding day quarterback. If they ensured everything ran smoothly, resolving any hiccups with a smile, a personalized tip shows your appreciation.
  • Banquet Staff: Unseen heroes, the banquet staff works tirelessly to ensure your guests have a seamless dining experience. Consider tipping them as a group, perhaps through the venue coordinator.
  • Bartenders: Did the bartenders keep the drinks flowing and create a fun atmosphere? A separate tip might be appropriate.
  • Musicians/DJ: Energetic tunes and a packed dance floor often reflect the DJ’s or band’s talent. If they kept the party going, consider a tip.
  • Hair and Makeup Artists: Feeling glam on your wedding day is a confidence booster, and if your stylists made you feel amazing, a tip shows you appreciate their talent.
  • Transportation Providers: The chauffeur who whisked you away to your honeymoon destination deserves a thank you. 

Ultimately, your wedding day is about celebrating your love and creating cherished memories. Tipping is at your discretion, and by considering the level of service you received and your budget, you can make informed decisions about how to express your gratitude. If you’re unsure about tipping expectations for a particular vendor, inquire with the venue coordinator for some advice.

Historic Acres of Hershey is a beautiful place for a wedding with multiple indoor spaces to choose from and lovely outdoor spaces, too. Our rustic property is lovely all year round. Give us a call at 717-298-6340 to learn more or contact us