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Tipping and Gratuity: A Guide to Gratuity for Vendors

Vendor tipping and gratuity etiquette is a gray area. On one hand, certain business types, such as restaurant waiters, expect a tip regardless of the quality of service. On the other hand, providers such as hairstylists & makeup artists may or may not expect an extra gratuity. Use this guide to help decide who, when, and how much to tip for your vendors and service providers.

Who Should You Tip?

As a rule of thumb, we recommend adding a gratuity for hairstylists, makeup artists, and any other aestheticians. These service providers have a lot of out-of-pocket expenses, and generally, build an expected gratuity into their pricing structure. For providers who perform their services on-location, meaning wherever you are located as opposed to a salon setting, gratuity is even more appreciated as the artists have additional travel expenses on top of the usual out-of-pocket expenses.

For other vendors, such as florists, bakers, caterers, etc. who provide a deliverable, gratuity isn’t usually expected but again appreciated. Leave a tip to show your appreciation. Especially if your vendor has gone above and beyond in some way, has extra travel expenses, or performed a last-minute request that wasn’t in their contract.

How Much Should You Tip?

Tipping your vendor is an indication of your satisfaction with their service. If you feel your provider has done an especially excellent job or gone out of their way to help you, a larger gratuity is appropriate.

We generally recommend a 15% – 25% gratuity for hair and makeup artists based on the quality of service provided. If you feel that the service is already fairly expensive, a smaller tip can still go a long way.

It’s important to keep in mind that providers like stylists and makeup artists generally see their gratuity as an indication of the quality of work they’ve performed. Tip according to your satisfaction. It’s a great way to give your provider feedback about their services. If you think they’ve done a stellar job, give them a little extra to show how happy you are. If you’re not happy with the service, don’t leave a tip. There isn’t a right or wrong way to tip a provider, so use your best judgment according to the situation!

How & When to Tip

Hands down, the best way to provide a gratuity to any vendor or service provider is in cash. However, if you don’t have any cash and you’d like to leave a tip, ask the vendor to add it to your bill. Or, send them an extra payment via a payment service like PayPal, Venmo, etc.

Never tip your vendor before they perform their services. Instead, tip your vendor afterward. Leave gratuity as an extra reward for a job well done. Providing a gratuity only after a service is performed ensures that your stylist or vendor stays motivated to do an excellent job.

If you aren’t able to pay cash on the spot, consider sending a monetary gratuity after your photoshoot or event. You could choose to send a check in a thank-you note or make an online payment. Leaving gratuity will let your provider know that you’re extremely happy with their services.

We hope vendor tipping and gratuity etiquette is now less of a gray area for you! For more wedding planning guides, head over to our free resources!

A bride and grooms guide for wedding vendor tipping and gratuity

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