This is one of those topics that couples getting married think about but don't know who to ask. It's awkward asking your vendors, "So, how much should I tip you?" So, let me see if I can help you avoid that awkward conversation about which vendors to tip and how much to tip them.
Let me first say that this is totally based on my experience and not necessarily on any etiquette that's generally accepted. By that I mean, there's this conversation about whether or not to tip business owners or just to tip employees/servers of those business owners. I don't want to get into an argument with anyone but I don't think being a business owner should exclude you from getting a lovely tip or gift from your clients. So, the following list is based on my gut and what I actually did at my wedding.
Caterer: $25 - $50 per person who was actually there on wedding day. I had to ask ahead and get a head count of servers, managers, etc. who would be onsite on my wedding day.
Bartender: $25 - $50 He was hired separately from the caterer and was his own business.
Photographer(s): $50 - $100 per person. We had two photographers at our wedding.
DJ/Musicians: $25 - $50 More if just one, less if more than one.
Hairstylist/Makeup Artist: $25 - $50 Remember to tip more if they have traveled to you rather than you going to the salon.
Planner: $100 - $500 I didn't have a planner so this is based on my research.
Officiant: ?? I've received a few tips over the years but it's always a big surprise!
I'm not sure why but I don't think I tipped my floral designer or my cake baker. That's weird, right? I mean they work just as hard as anyone else. Now I feel bad, sorry you guys! I think people make a distinction between vendors who offer a service on wedding day and those that offer a product. It seems like the common practice is to tip those that offer services.
REMEMBER: The best thing you can do for your wedding vendor is to review their services on WeddingWire or Yelp or other rating website.