The Ultimate Wedding Tipping Guide

Discover the best practices for tipping event professionals, how our ultimate wedding tipping guide helps you find the right amount for each vendor, and include it in your budget.

Tipping, especially at your wedding, is an expense that can add up unexpectedly if you don’t budget smartly. So, it’s important to understand the proper etiquette of tipping and make a plan. But how much do you tip a wedding photographer? Do you tip your wedding band? If you have a cash bar, should guests tip?

This guide aims to provide you with essential information on tipping etiquette in wedding venues, bars and restaurants in Greater Baltimore. So, let’s dive in!

How Much Should I Tip?

Tipping percentages vary depending on location, but just like at a hair salon or a restaurant on a night out, the general rule of thumb is to tip between 15% to 20% of the total bill. In cases where the service has been outstanding, tipping above 20% is highly appreciated.

In the vibrant culinary scene of Baltimore, you’ll find a diverse array of restaurants catering to various tastes. From seafood to international cuisine, here are a few popular establishments.

Linwoods Owings Mills, Maryland

Photo: Linwoods

Indulge in Linwoods’ delectable cuisine, style, and service at your catered event in Owings Mills, Maryland. With room to host up to 120 guests in the charming “Due Dining Room” and up to 150 guests for cocktail hour, it’s perfect for weddings, parties, and corporate events.

Also, for those who love to dance the night away, the venue can host up to 80 guests on the dance floor. The dedicated team at Linwoods will work closely with you to ensure every detail is meticulously arranged, making your event a true reflection of your vision.

Manor Tavern Monkton, Maryland

Photo: Manor Tavern

Savor fresh local ingredients at Manor Tavern, nestled in a 10,000-acre estate in Monkton, Maryland. Whether it’s an intimate gathering or grand celebration, their flawless event planning caters to your needs. Hosting 20 to 120 guests for seated events and up to 150 for cocktails, it’s an ideal wedding venue. 

One of the standout features of Manor Tavern is their dedication to sourcing the freshest local ingredients, ensuring that every dish served makes for a customized and delightful experience!

Guilford Hall Baltimore, Maryland

Photo: Guilford Hall

Step into industrial chic charm at Guilford Hall. It’s a Baltimore wedding venue set in a revitalized historic site to embrace a European-style dining experience. This brewery complex offers hand-crafted lagers and ales, drawing inspiration from Bavarian brewing traditions. It also ensures a delightful dining experience for your event.

With its spirited brewpub, intimate beer garden, and its open concept event space, Guilford Hall has you covered for gatherings of any size. Choose from their Crown Hall Space, accommodating up 300 guests, and their Biergarten, suitable for 20 to 300 guests depending on your rental needs.

The tipping expectation for Baltimore area restaurant wedding venues is between 15-20%+. If your favorite local restaurant is hosting or catering your wedding, consider tipping a little extra. It’s a way to show your ongoing support and gratitude for their consistent quality and service.

Wedding Vendors:

Reward your wedding team well! Of course, that starts with words of appreciation the day-of. Then. tips when their service is complete, and a thank-you note after your event. Once you’ve found your dream team, reward them well. That way, you can rely on that strong relationship going into future events. But how much to tip? Here’s a cheat sheet:

Hair and makeup, stylists: 15-20%+.

Photographers and Videographers: $50-$200 per person on site.

DJs: 10-15% of their contracted fee.

Musicians: $20-$25 per musician (cash generally preferred).

Wedding coordinator/planner: 10-15% of their service fee.

Officiant: $75-$100, in addition to any service fee.

Photo: Ashley Gerrity Photography and BVTLive!


Now, calculating a tip for your caterer is a bit more complicated. First, always check that a tip isn’t included in their bill upfront. The standard amount to tip is 15-20% of the food bill. Wait staff are usually tipped at least $20 each. Tipping the bar staff is expected too. Each bartender should receive 15-20% of the total drinks bill. Tell your guests that they can choose to tip, but it’s not required if gratuity is included in the bill or you’ve decided to cover gratuity on your guests behalf. For cash bars, typically companies do not allow tip jars without the host’s approval.

During cocktail hour, take a moment to compliment the bartenders. For example, compliment their cocktail-making skills or their ability to manage the busy bar efficiently. Recognizing their efforts and expressing your enjoyment creates a positive atmosphere. It also fosters a good relationship with the establishment. But, consider that tipping for service at the end of your event or including gratuity in your contract will make it easier to keep track of spending.

Splitting the Bill

Even though it’s likely many guests will choose to tip, ultimately it is the host’s responsibility. Make a tipping plan before your event, so that you’re sure to include gratuity in your budget.

However, on the other side of the table, many restaurants and bars pool their tips, so they have a communal tipping policy that ensures everyone gets a fair share. If this is the case, but you still want to tip your service provider extra separately, ask what their policy is first. You want to express your gratitude but not make it awkward for the person serving you if they have specific staff policies in place.


Photo: Linwoods Catering

Whether hosting a rehearsal dinner or enjoying a night out at a Baltimore bar, consider the unique characteristics of each establishment. Baltimore has a rich culinary scene, with diverse restaurants and bars offering exceptional experiences. Take the time to appreciate the ambiance, the flavors, and the efforts of the staff in creating a memorable experience for you.

Finally, tipping is not only about the monetary gesture but also about acknowledging and appreciating the hard work, skill, and dedication of service professionals. It’s essential to remember that tipping is a personal choice, and while there are general guidelines, it’s ultimately up to you to decide what feels appropriate based on your experience.

So, as you plan your special event in the Baltimore area, keep these tips in mind. Show your appreciation, leave a generous tip when deserved, and enjoy the incredible dining experiences this vibrant city has to offer. Cheers to great food, fantastic drinks, and unforgettable receptions!

Featured photo from Guilford Hall.



Katie Colon

Content Slinger & Editorial Queen