Each Wednesday, we tackle wedding etiquette. At times, it’s a reader question or one from a colleague, friend or family member and other times we’ll cover a popular issue. (Note: Questions may be edited for clarity and brevity.)


Question: We are working on our wedding budget and I’m not sure how much to allocate for tipping. How much should we tip our wedding vendors?

Answer: For most of us, our wedding is the first time we’ve planned a really big party, so it’s natural that we wouldn’t know innately how much to tip party vendors. Here’s a quick cheat sheet:

  • Catering (bartenders, chef and kitchen staff, servers):  15 to 20 percent of the total catering bill.
  • Coordinator, floral designer, photographers and videographers (who are not owners of their own businesses): Coordinators, $50 to $100; everyone else, $30 to $50.
  • Entertainment (DJ and musicians): $20 to $25 each
  • Makeup and Hair Stylists (who are not owners of their own businesses): 15 to 20 percent (or the same as you would for a regular appointment.) Don’t forget the assistants who help with shampooing and other tasks. For them, plan on about $5.
  • Officiant: $75 to $100 more than their fee (if they charged a fee)
  • Anyone else (site staff such as parking valets, limo or party bus drivers, delivery people and your seamstress): Valets, about $1 to $2 per guest; drivers and delivery people, 15 to 20 percent; and your seamstress won’t expect a tip, but do send her a small gift.
  • For venders who are the owner of their businesses: Consider a thank you gift or thank you note, especially if they really wowed you.



Do you have a solution to share or a wedding etiquette question? Respond in the comments or email Melanie@MyNewOrleans.com.



Save the date for the New Orleans Bride Magazine Bridal Show, Jan. 21 at the Hyatt Regency New Orleans. Click here for tickets and more information.