Your Wedding Budget & Guidelines for Tipping Vendors

Congratulations on your recent engagement! If you’re anything like many couples I work with, creating your guest list and booking your venue are first on your planning agenda! But, before finalizing either, I’d like to share with you the average costs of a wedding in our area and how to best anticipate your spending for the big day. Knowing the costs upfront will only help you to enjoy this special wedding planning season the best you can and my goal as your planner is to achieve just that!

The average spending on weddings in the Cincinnati/Dayton Market for 2019 was $26,803 (Wedding Report 2019), so I’m sharing a budget and tipping overview below to help you better plan your budget. And when you choose Natalia’s Event Planning, you’ll have access to a completely customizable cloud-based budgeting tool to easily manage deposits, balances, and gratuity for each wedding category. As always, please be sure to bring any questions you may have to our next conversation and let’s make this party pretty!

Natalias’e Event Planning Aisle Planner

Your Wedding Budget

Reception – This includes venue, catering, bar, and rentals:

Percentage of Budget: 40-50%

Optional Tip: $15-20 per server and bar tender,$15-25 per coat room attendant, $50 for catering manager, $50 for parking attendant


Percentage of Budget:10%


Percentage of Budget: 10%

Optional Tip: $50-100 per photographer

Bride and Groom’s attire and vanity:

Percentage of Budget: 5-10%

Optional Tip: 15-20% gratuity for hair and makeup services


Percentage of Budget: 5-10%

Optional Tip: 10-15% gratuity

Wedding Planner:

Percentage of Budget: 5-10%

Optional Tip: 15-20% gratuity

Miscellaneous – This includes the officiant, transportation, stationary, DIY, etc.:

Percentage of Budget: 10%

Optional Tip: 15-20% gratuity

Guidelines for Tipping Vendors

Tipping etiquette at a wedding is a common area of confusion. Although we tip service providers in everyday life, the understanding of who to tip and how much on your wedding day can be confusing. I’ll break down a few guidelines around wedding tipping below, but always remember that tipping is a personal choice and always voluntary.

The traditional wedding expectation is to tip a wedding vendor if you believe that they did a great job or provided exceptional service. By tipping them, you are communicating that you’re happy with the service they provided you on or before your wedding day. If you appreciate the work that they have done for you then you can show your appreciation by tipping them. Below are some helpful suggestions when considering tippng and gratuity in your budget.

-Tipping is an additional cost which you should include into your wedding budget

-It is not always necessary to provide a monetary tip to suppliers to whom you wish to show your appreciation. If you think your wedding vendor did a great job, you may also choose to send them a gift with a thank you note after the wedding. Remember that the most valuable gratuity you can give to any wedding vendor is your recommendation to others!

-Seal your prepared tips in envelopes for your wedding planner to deliver.

-If you forget someone or decide later they deserve a little something extra, feel free to send it in a nice note!

-Your decision on whether or not to tip is entirely at your discretion. If a wedding supplier has gone above and beyond the call of duty for your wedding, then tip them to show yourappreciation of their extra effort they put in to making your wedding day memorable.

-Read through your contract with each supplier to see if a tip is included in their price.

-Tipping should be based on the quality of service provided to you on your wedding day and in the process leading up to your wedding.

Photography: RG1Productions