A Comprehensive Guide to Tipping Wedding Venues

One question that often comes up when planning a wedding is do you tip the venue for a wedding?

Amid the whirlwind of planning and excitement that surrounds one’s big day, this question often arises as couples navigate the intricacies of wedding preparations.

The choice of a wedding venue is pivotal, setting the stage for a memorable celebration.

This article will provide a helpful guide to tipping etiquette at wedding venues, providing valuable insights to help you make an informed decision as you embark on your journey to the altar.

Do You Need to Tip the Wedding Venue?

When hosting a wedding at a hotel, restaurant, or other venue, it’s customary to tip certain staff members who provide services for your event. For example, you should plan to tip waiters, bartenders, and parking attendants. The general tipping guideline is $20-30 per service employee.

For the main wedding coordinator, a tip of $100-200 is common. While not required, tipping shows your gratitude for the staff’s hard work on your important day.

If the service and atmosphere are exceptional, you may choose to offer additional gratuity. However, you don’t need to tip the venue owner or salaried managers. With this guide on who to tip and appropriate amounts, you can thank your wedding team while following proper etiquette.

Who to Tip at the Wedding Venue

When hosting your wedding at a venue, determining who to tip can be tricky. Here are some guidelines on which staff members typically receive gratuity:

Waiters/Waitresses: These staff members serve your meals and drinks throughout the event. A tip of $20-30 per waiter is a standard amount.

Bartenders: The bartenders making drinks for you and your guests deserve a tip too. Plan on tipping $20-30 per bartender.

Parking Attendants: If the venue has staff managing parking, tip $2-5 per car they valet park.

Coat Check Staff: If there is a coat check at your wedding, tip $1-2 per coat checked.

Wedding Planner/Coordinator: This person oversees all the venue details, so a tip of $100-200 is customary.

Additional Staff: At your discretion, you may tip housekeeping, servers, or other staff who contribute to your event.

Following these guidelines helps ensure you tip appropriately for good service from venue staff. With a plan for gratuity, you can thank those who helped make your wedding a memorable occasion.

How Much to Tip the Wedding Venue Staff

Determining appropriate gratuity for wedding venue staff requires considering a few factors. Here are some tips on calculating tips:

Base Tips on Bill Total: For waiters, bartenders, and other staff, tipping 15-20% of the total food and beverage bill is a good guideline. You can ask the venue billing department for totals.

Factor in Service Quality: If service exceeds expectations, increase tips up to 25%. For disappointing service, decrease to 10-15%.

Number of Guests: The number of guests affects the workload for staff. For large weddings of 200+, tip at the higher end of the range.

Local Norms: In some areas, service industry staff earn a higher hourly wage, so tips may be lower. Check typical tip amounts near your venue.

Venue Rules: Some venues have policies around tipping, so check if gratuity is already included or prohibited.

Budget: Consider your overall budget when allocating tips. Adjust individual tips as needed to stay within your plan.

With these tips in mind, you can show appreciation through gratuity in a way that matches the service at your wedding. A little thoughtfulness goes a long way in thanking the venue team.

When to Tip Wedding Venue Staff

Knowing when to provide tips is just as important as knowing how much. Follow these guidelines on timing:

Tip During Event: For workers like servers and bartenders who engage with you and guests directly, tip at the end of the event. This allows you to base tips on the full experience.

Tip Set-Up Crews: Workers who handle setup like the decor team appreciate tips after completing their tasks before guests arrive.

Tip Coordinator Early: Give your day-of coordinator an envelope with their tip at the start. This shows your appreciation upfront for handling all the details.

Tip Venue Owner Separately: If the venue owner or manager has provided exceptional service, you can tip them additionally after the event.

Tip Vendors Directly: Handle tips for photographers, DJs, florists, etc. separately based on their own service.

Set Aside Funds: Have tip money ready in envelopes or a locked box. Distribute once the service is complete.

Pay by Check: For large tips, pay by check so you have records. Get receipts from staff when possible.

With proper timing, you can ensure tips reach the right people when it matters most – when they’ve finished working hard on your big day!

Tipping Etiquette for Different Wedding Venue Roles

When tipping wedding venue staff, follow these general guidelines for who to tip and how much:

Waiters/Waitresses: $20-30 per server is appropriate. For exceptional service, $50-100+ is fine.

Bartenders: Tip bartenders 15-20% of the bar tab. If there is a bar minimum fee, tip based on that amount.

Parking Attendants: $2-5 per car is suitable.

Coat Check Staff: $1-2 per guest for coat check service is standard.

Bathroom Attendants: $1-2 per guest visiting the restroom covers their tips.

Valet Staff: $2-5 per car valet parked is typical.

Coordinator: Give your day-of coordinator $200-500+ depending on the services provided and your budget.

Security Guards: $20-50 per guard is appropriate for their time and ensuring safety.

Cleaning Crew: Leave $30-50 total to split amongst the cleaning staff.

Remember that tipping is optional, and not required. Adjust tips based on your specific venue staff and wedding details. A little generosity goes a long way in showing your appreciation!

Tipping the Wedding Planner at the Venue

The wedding planner typically handles all the behind-the-scenes coordination with your venue leading up to your big day. Unlike other vendor tips that are given the day off, it’s best to tip your wedding planner before the wedding takes place.

For a full-service wedding planner, the typical tip range is $300-500 or 10-15% of their total planning fees. Part-time or day-of coordinators usually receive $150-300. Base the amount on factors like:

  • How long they worked with you on the wedding planning
  • Size and complexity of your wedding
  • Number of services they provided
  • Your overall budget
  • Quality of their work and responsiveness

Present the tip in a heartfelt thank you card 1-2 weeks before the wedding, mentioning your appreciation for all their hard work and attention to detail. A generous tip shows your gratitude and ensures your planner continues providing stellar service through your big day.

Tipping the Wedding Caterer

The catering team works tirelessly behind the scenes to make sure your wedding feast is executed flawlessly. From preparing the food to setting up the displays, to serving courses smoothly, these pros definitely deserve a gratuity.

For wedding caterers, the typical tip is 15-20% of the food and beverage cost. Base the final amount on factors such as:

  • Overall quality of the food and service
  • Number of catering staff working your wedding
  • Any special requests or challenges they accommodated
  • Your budget and what you’re comfortable giving

Present the tip to your catering point person at the end of the wedding or the next day. Give it in a card with a warm note of thanks for their stellar efforts to make your menu shine.

If the gratuity is already included in your contract, you can provide an additional tip at your discretion. A generous gratuity shows your appreciation and ensures the catering crew knows their hard work paid off.

Tipping the Wedding Bartender

Your bartenders are key players in keeping the drinks flowing and your guests happy all night long. Tipping these bar professionals is a nice way to show your gratitude.

For bartenders, the typical tip amount is:

  • $20-30 per bartender if you provide the alcohol
  • $50-100 per bartender if they provide the alcohol

Base the final tip on factors like:

  • Number of bartenders working
  • Hours they are working
  • Any special drink requests they accommodated
  • Your overall budget

Present the tip at the end of the night or the following day along with a thank you note. If the gratuity is already included in your contract, provide an extra tip only if you feel they went above and beyond.

Showing your appreciation with a generous tip motivates your bartenders to keep the party going strong all night!

Tipping the Wedding Valet Staff

If your wedding venue offers valet parking services, it’s thoughtful to tip the valet staff for safely parking and retrieving your guests’ vehicles.

For valets, typical tips fall in the range of:

  • $2-5 per car valet parked
  • $50-100 split among the valet team

When deciding an appropriate tip amount, consider factors like:

  • Number of valets on staff
  • Number of vehicles parked
  • Hours worked
  • Weather conditions
  • Your overall wedding budget

Present the tip at the end of the night or the following day with a thank you note to the valet captain. If the gratuity is already included in your contract, provide an extra tip only for exceptional service.

A thoughtful tip shows your appreciation for the valets’ work making parking smooth and stress-free for you and your guests.

Tipping the Wedding Cleaning Staff

The cleaning crew at your wedding venue also deserves consideration when distributing tips. These hardworking staff members ensure the venue looks pristine for your big day.

For cleaners, appropriate tips typically range from:

  • $20-50 per cleaner
  • 10-15% of the cleaning fees

When deciding on a tip amount, consider factors such as:

  • Size of the cleaning team
  • Hours spent cleaning before/after the wedding
  • Overall wedding budget
  • Condition the venue was left in

Present the tip in a card or envelope to the head cleaner or venue coordinator to distribute. If gratuity is already included in your contract, provide extra only for exceptional work.

A tip is a nice gesture to thank the cleaning staff for making sure the venue is spotless for your special day.

Creative Ways to Tip Wedding Venue Staff

Beyond monetary tips, there are creative ways to show appreciation for the venue staff’s hard work on your wedding day.

Some ideas include:

Handwritten thank you notes – A heartfelt note acknowledges their efforts.

Small personalized gifts – Consider engraved pens or tote bags.

Edible treats – Bake homemade cookies or arrange a candy bar.

Service vouchers – Offer vouchers for free services like massages.

Charitable donations – Make a donation to a charity in their name.

Additional PTO – If allowed, gift extra paid time off.

Online reviews – Leave positive reviews praising specific staff members.

With a little creativity, you can find meaningful ways to show your gratitude besides cash. A small personalized gift or gesture goes a long way in thanking the venue team.

Factors That Affect How Much to Tip at a Wedding Venue

When deciding how much to tip the staff at your wedding venue, there are several factors to consider:

Quality of service – Did the staff go above and beyond to make your day special? Better service deserves a higher tip.

Number of staff – The more staff assisting with your wedding, the higher the tip amount may need to be.

Your budget – What you can afford to give should play a role in tip amounts.

Venue policies – Some venues prohibit staff from accepting tips or have minimum amounts.

Geographic location – Tipping customs/standards can vary by region. Research what’s typical.

Wedding size – Larger weddings usually require more staff effort and higher tips.

Services used – More services utilized like catering or valet deserve higher tips.

Time spent – Staff working longer hours should receive larger tips.

By factoring in these variables, you can appropriately show your appreciation to venue staff through thoughtful tipping.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are you supposed to tip the wedding venue?

It is customary but optional to tip the wedding venue staff. Many couples choose to tip 10-20% of the venue rental fee.

Do you tip the venue owner?

You do not need to tip the venue owner directly. Any tips you give will likely be pooled and distributed among the entire venue staff.

Do you tip a wedding venue if they charge a service fee?

If the venue charges a service fee or gratuity charge as part of the contract, you are not obligated to provide any additional tip. However, you can tip extra if you feel the staff provided exceptional service.

Should I tip the wedding venue coordinator?

Yes, it is appropriate to tip the wedding coordinator or point person who helped organize and run your wedding day. 10-20% of their fee is a suitable tip amount.


Tipping wedding venue staff is a nice gesture to show your appreciation for their hard work on your big day. While not required, many couples choose to tip 10-20% of the venue fee to be distributed among the staff. Be sure to tip the wedding coordinator if they went above and beyond. When in doubt, tipping the venue for a wedding is always a welcome thank you.

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