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A Newbie’s Guide to Destination Wedding Tipping Etiquette

A close up of a stack of US dollar bills for tipping at a destination wedding.

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Expressing gratitude in the form of tips is more than just a monetary gesture—it's a reflection of appreciation.

Destination weddings offer an opportunity for couples to blend their love story with vibrant settings and diverse cultures. But, as enchanting as these global unions are, they come with their unique set of questions, especially when it comes to destination wedding tipping etiquette. Expressing gratitude in the form of tips is more than just a monetary gesture—it’s a reflection of appreciation, demonstrating an understanding of local customs.

Embrace the global wedding experience with the knowledge to make a good impression as we take a look at how to perfect your tipping etiquette for destination weddings, no matter where your love takes you. But, who do you tip at a wedding? Keep reading to find out.

The Cultural Aspect of Tipping

In a world where 95% of Americans report tipping, it’s easy to assume the customs are the same worldwide. While tipping is commonplace and expected in the United States, elsewhere, the story differs. In Japan, tipping can be deemed impolite—a stark contrast to Mexico where it’s eagerly expected.

Europe’s stance is variable, with differing customs found in every corner of the continent. In Italy, service charges often negate the need for tips, while in Greece, tips are much appreciated, but not mandatory. If you’re choosing to tie the knot abroad, understanding the unique tipping customs of the country you choose is crucial. 

Why is Tipping Important?

Wedding preparations can be a whirlwind, and inevitably one or two details will be overlooked. Budgetary concerns are often painted without consideration of one essential cost: tipping. Many couples meticulously plan for venue bookings, gowns, and decorations but forget to set aside funds for tipping the wedding workers, the very people who bring their dream day to life. 

Even officiants, who are pivotal in the ceremony but typically won’t accept cash, deserve a token of gratitude. As you chart out your wedding expenditures, including tips is a courteous reflection of your appreciation for those who make your day special. While wedding expenses are thoroughly accounted for, gratuities often go forgotten. Stay ahead of the budgeting game by having a clear picture of who you plan to tip, and how much.

Concierge handing someone a tray with a croissant and orange juice

Guidelines for Wedding Vendor Tipping

Navigating the world of wedding expenses can be intricate, and tipping is a segment that warrants clarity. Commonly, couples find themselves wondering what the destination wedding tipping etiquette is. As a rule of thumb, most wedding vendors anticipate a gratuity reflecting the quality of their service. Here’s a breakdown of typical amounts when it comes to tipping wedding vendors:

  • Photographer and videographer. If they own the studio, tipping isn’t required, but if they don’t, $50 to $200 per person is customary.
  • Hair and makeup artist. A gratuity of 15-20% of the total bill is standard.
  • Caterers. Check your contract if food isn’t included in your all-inclusive package or you get food catered from off your resort. If gratuity isn’t included, tip 15-20% of the total bill. If it is, tipping the servers is still considerate.
  • Band or DJ. For a band, $25-$50 per musician is customary. For a DJ, 10-15% of their fee is typical.
  • Transportation. If it isn’t included in the contract, 15-20% of the total bill is the norm.
  • Florist. While they don’t expect a tip, a gratuity of 10-15% of the bill shows appreciation, especially for outstanding work.
  • Bartenders. 10-15% of the total liquor bill or $20-$25 per bartender.

Remember, these are just guidelines, but the final tipping decision should reflect your satisfaction with the service provided and your budgetary constraints. Understanding destination wedding costs will ensure there are no financial surprises on the big day.

Shaking butler's hand

Destination Wedding Tipping Etiquette Matters

Getting destination wedding tipping etiquette right means your gratitude and thanks will be felt by every member of your wedding party. Ensure that each individual who plays a role in your special day feels acknowledged. A well-tipped vendor is a happy vendor, and their contentment often translates to impeccable service. 

For a stress-free destination wedding journey, reach out to Destify. Let us take care of the boring stuff for you, to ensure you’ll never be caught unprepared with tips.

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