Your vendors. They are the real MVPs of your wedding. The one’s who keep all the parts moving and are largely responsible for getting you and your honey hitched without a hitch. Part of their job is to help you shine on your big day, and because of this, wedding vendors function almost exclusively behind the scenes. So how can you let them know that you appreciate all that they do and prevent them from becoming the unsung heroes of the occasion? Check out RiverStone’s Guide to vendor appreciation to find out!

Tips & Gratuities

Tipping is an effective way to directly communicate your gratitude, and it’s a practice that has become customary as the wedding industry has grown. Still, we know you’re on a budget, and figuring out just how much to tip your vendors can be tough. That’s why we’re including a few guidelines to help you out:

Photographer & Videographer

Single shooter…$50-$200. Multiple Shooters…$50-$100 each.

Studio owners generally don’t expect tips because they negotiate their own contracts.



Not mandatory. A 10-15% gratuity is a nice gesture.

DJ or Band

DJ…10-15% tip. Live Musicians…$20-$50 per band member.

Wedding Planners & Coordinators

A 10-20% gratuity is appropriate.


15-20% of transportation fees

Hair & Makeup

15-20% tip for all hair, makeup, and nail services


Most officiants will not accept tips. But a donation (typically $75-$100) to their church or place of worship is a nice way to show your appreciation for their services.

Ceremony & Reception Staff

Not mandatory. $20-$50 per person is appropriate.

Wait Staff

$20+ per server


10-15% of total bar tab

Plan to deliver gratuities on the day of your wedding. Place the correct tip amount for each vendor in separate, labeled envelopes ahead of time. That way  you can easily delegate this task to a responsible member of your wedding party.

Raving Reviews

Perhaps the most impactful way to thank your vendors is to give the gift of a raving review or referral. If you’re happy with the services you received, help your wedding pros grow their businesses by spreading the word! Remember to be honest and specific when you rate the quality of service, responsiveness, professionalism, value, and flexibility of your professionals. Here are some platforms that will help you get the job done:

Healthy/Hearty Meals

Wedding vendors work hard for their couples before, during, and after the wedding festivities have concluded. They cover a lot of ground, lift heavy items, and get plenty of exercise at their events. Trust us, this builds up a healthy appetite! Be kind to your wedding pros by providing them with healthy, satisfying meals. Take dietary restrictions into account, and remember, that vendors are not always able to sit down to eat when the meal is served. So speak with your venue about properly refrigerating or warming their meals accordingly. The generosity of a safe, healthy meal will go a long way toward fueling enthusiasm, and your vendors will be able to do their jobs more effectively when they are well cared for.

Thank You’s

A heartfelt thank you note goes a long way! If you appreciate the time and effort of your vendors, don’t be shy about telling them so! Include thank you notes with their tips, or send a text, email, or snail mail to their place of business.

Regardless of how you choose to do so, we recommend that you do not let more than a month pass before communicating your appreciation to your A-Team because…

“No one who achieves success does so without the help of others. The wise and confident acknowledge this help with gratitude.” – Alfred North Whitehead