Tipping in today's day in age is a hotly debated subject. Many who are navigating the uncharted waters of wedding planning ask themselves which vendors they should be tipping, and how much. Do you do a percentage of the cost of the service? Do you do just a flat $$ amount? Should you even tip at all?
I am here to help you answer the question of whether or not, and how much, you should consider tipping your wedding day photographer(s).
WHY TO TIP
WHEN TO TIP
If your photographer delievered your gallery 3 weeks ahead of schedule, and put up with your bossy Mother-in-Law with a professional smile on her face, and stayed half an hour late to shoot until the end of your speeches... Then by all means, TIP THEM!
HOW TO TIP
It is a really unfortunate misconception that tipping must always be done in monetary form. Sure, cash is universally appreciated and, as such, is a pretty 'safe' way to tip... But it is by far not the only way to show your appreciation!
In my books, a 'tip' is any token of thanks & appreciation that a client gives to a service provider. Consider:
These are all simple, relatively inexpensive small gifts that you could offer to your wedding photographer to say thank you.
HOW MUCH TO TIP
Ok, so at this point we have established when and why to tip (only when you feel like someone has truly gone above and beyond!) and you understand that not all tips need to be in the form of cash. But what if you want to give cash? Or what if you want to give a gift, but you have no idea what value it should be?
My best tip is to not over-think it.
If you are most comfortable giving cash, it does not by any means have to be 10-15% of your wedding quote. A simple $50-$100 would do.
If you are giving small gift, don't worry for a second about the value of the item. It's much more important that a little thought was put into it, and that it's nicely wrapped and well presented.
With all of this said, let me tell you that as a photographer who has been shooting professionally for 7 years, it's relatively uncommon for me to recieve tips or gifts.
It would make me feel cheap and dirty to accept a tip that I felt my client couldn't afford, or was given with any sense of reluctance. I would hope that every single other wedding vendor on the planet feels the same.
If you love your wedding photographs, SAY SO! Gush to your photographer about it. Gush to your friends. Go online and leave them a wonderful Google & Facebook review. Mention their business name every time you share a wedding photo on social media. Nothing says 'Thank You' to a Wedding Photographer, quite like great 'word of mouth'.